1. I am not good enough. Yes you are. You are a work in progress, and you always will be, just like every other human who lives or who has lived on this earth. Just because you’re not perfect does not mean you aren’t good enough.
2. How am I ever going to get through this? You’ve made it this far, haven’t you?
3. People think I’m better [more successful/more capable] than I actually am. Have you heard of impostor syndrome? It’s highly likely that that’s what your brain is doing to you right now.
4. As hard as I try not to be, I am absolutely crushed by the judgment and criticism of others. Yeah, a lot of us are. It’s okay. You can feel those things. What matters is that you keep doing the things that you care about anyway. That will show you who you are.
5. I’m never going to get my dream job. Dream jobs aren’t sexy. They aren’t as beautiful and perfect and flawless as they seem. They’re still incredibly difficult and scary. They can be worth it, but it takes a lot of hard work and humility to get there, and it starts with a bunch of small, everyday commitments – not one, simple, easy action.
6. This isn’t where I thought I would be at this age. Almost none of us are where we thought we’d be. But we also end up experiencing a lot of cool things and having a lot of successes that we never expected to have, either. Focus on the things you did do, pay attention to what you regret not doing, learn from both of these things and use this knowledge in the future, and force yourself to live every day with a fire inside of you that you’ll look back on in ten years with pride and contentment.
7. I don’t think I can do it. Almost every single difficult thing any person has done in history has seemed impossible. Until they actually had the guts to do it.
8. So-and-so’s life is so much better than mine. I guarantee So-and-so feels the same way about someone else and that that someone else feels the same way about someone else. It’s an endless cycle, because it’s in our nature to compare ourselves to others when we think we aren’t good enough. Save yourself some time and do your best to focus on your life instead of theirs. You’ll go a lot further.
9. I hate how insecure [insert name] makes me feel. You can’t control how that person treats you, but you can control whether or not you are the type of person that makes every other person you meet feel comfortable, respected, and appreciated.
10. I have turned into someone that I really don’t like. If you were capable of becoming this person, you’re also capable of un-becoming them.
11. My [father/spouse/friend] thinks I should be doing this instead of this. Advice is important and often very helpful, when it comes from someone who cares about you. But there’s a difference between someone trying to give you helpful advice and someone simply not believing in you when you’re chasing after a dream that truly matters to you.
12. I really don’t want to get out of bed today. The thing that helps me is remembering that once I get out into the world today, I’ll be surrounded by a lot of people who felt the same way I did, but who got out of bed, too. It makes me feel less alone.
13. I don’t know who I am and I have this fear that I’ll never figure it out. There’s not an end goal where you reach this point. Every single person in the world, no matter what their age, is still working towards this need. Some people eventually grow to be more certain in themselves and who they are (often, as they get older), but no matter what, we’re all still figuring out who we are every single day, and we don’t stop until we die.
14. I’m scared. That means you are also very much alive.
15. This is harder than I thought it was going to be. Anything that’s worth it usually is. If it’s something toxic that is actually detrimental to your life, health, and wellbeing, walk away. But if it’s just something that’s intimidating, scary, and different than anything you’ve done before, hang in there. Have faith in yourself. You’ve navigated challenging paths before, and you can do it again.