This is to all the over-thinkers and the over-achievers. This is to all the people that put in time, energy and effort to get the best. This goes out to all the people that strive for perfection, and if not that, the next best. This is written for and to the ones who finish, recheck, finish, recheck and finish only to recheck again so all goes without fault. This, this is for the perfectionists who don’t think they themselves or what they do is perfect enough. To myself and every other similar being out there I say this: what you have, who you are and what you present is good enough. Not only so, but it is needed.
I wrote a piece a few years ago called Be-you-tiful on accepting who you are as an individual uniquely incomparable to anyone else. While it garnered quite a few views, stirred a bit of conversation and left me - and hopefully others - feeling better about themselves, I sit here years later almost back at square one battling the same thoughts that plagued my mind all through out high school, college and up until that point of publishing Be-you-tiful:
Am I really good enough?
How come I don’t feel fully confident and comfortable in my own skin?
It feels like I’m the only person going through this problem. Am I the only person going
through this problem?
Will anyone ever see me to be as gorgeous as the other people around me who seem to be floating on a cloud of effortless good looks?
Why does putting together a simple outfit turn into the biggest battle in the morning?
Can [ insert x body part here ] just look like [insert other person's body part here] so I can feel
and look better?
How come I couldn’t think of that?
Why can’t I speak like that?
Oh man, should I have done it the way I think they would like it to be done?
Why didn’t I just stop talking after that point?
How come I didn’t say that?
Did I do enough?
Was I good enough?
In the years since writing that piece I began forging my own path into an industry that I absolutely love, so it’s safe to say my life has not been void of some challenges. Even though I have faltered and fallen I have risen and learned, as well as coasted through and between many lessons that got me to where I am now. Additionally, I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with the best community - work wise and personal - and they have been most generous in passing on what they know using premeditated words of wisdom and unknowingly through their regular day-to-day actions.
All that time, every lesson, challenge and all those words spoken unto me has lead me to believe that even though I am far from the human being I wish to be, the one I am now is something to behold. That is a statement I do not say lightly, with a prideful heart or in comparison to anyone else.
I got to this point because I have finally figured out how to love myself - how to love who I am, imperfections, blunders, gaffes, unwanted surprises, differences and all. It’s called grace.
Grace has taught me to realise that I and my mistakes are not alone.
There are six billion nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine other people on this planet and they mess up just like me. It’s called being human and having faults is part of the package of being one. Whether you are a day-old intern or a seasoned Managing Partner, mistakes are bound to happen. Know that it doesn’t make you any less of a person or any more of a loser if you find yourself in the midst of one (even on a regular basis).
You are different and that is more than OK.
I don’t say this in the way your mum said it to you in primary school to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but as a stark and need-to-know truth. There will indeed be days where you feel like everyone else knows or possesses something you don’t but there is no shame to be had in that. Your natural and nurtured character act as evidence and a forewarning that your moments of feeling like the odd one out are highly probable. Take me for instance. I am a twin. My twin and I were created, born and raised in the very same environment but yet we couldn’t be any more different at times. Instead of forcing ourselves to be the exact same we embraced our differences and celebrated them as great additions to who we are as individuals and as a pair. I hope you can do the same no matter who you are with.
The term good enough is actually not too good to be true, it's just plain true.
There will be moments when a life-related or work-related deadline hits and you will beat yourself up because you weren’t as close to completion as you would have liked to be. Know this: Wherever you’re at you just need to simply put it out there for what it is, own it and take pride in it. Imagine this: If every time someone asked for more time and the world heeded to that request you think we'd have the same Nike logo we all recognise today? Carolyn Davidson, the designer of the Swoosh asked Phillip Knight, Nike’s co-founder for more time to revise it because she was unsure about her work. However, Phil brushed her tentative comments aside, took her unfinished draft and ran with it. So now here we are! One of the world’s biggest brands with one of the most recognisable symbols. Who knows what it would have looked like or if it would have been as memorable as it is today if she didn’t hand it over because she was too afraid to show her work.
Your good is so good enough. No matter the stage it’s currently at, you have to take it and own it.
Don't dismiss the love from others or yourself.
Why is it that it’s more likely for one bad comment to stick with us than it is for countless uplifting and encouraging comments to actually sound like truth? Why is it so easy for us to be fooled into believing the negative than to simply see ourselves for who we truly are: intelligent, kind, tenacious, cool, gorgeous, handsome, mindful, creative, lively, independent, wonderful, and amongst many other traits, confident. THAT is who we are and so much more. The existence of other people who are also intelligent, kind, tenacious, etc. should not diminish your level of the same traits. It would be similar to saying the more diamonds you have the less each one then becomes in value. You my friend are a diamond without the rough (Yes, men are included in this too). We all are diamonds. So when someone points out your uniqueness, accept it and thank them. Don’t try to diminish it by attempting to explain away they’re words. Do not give the unnecessary and negative thoughts the time of day.
The same goes for if the roles were reversed. Noticing what you like about yourself should not be affected if no one is there to agree or if the people around don’t make an attempt to notice the same thing. Speak on your strengths even when no one else will. It’s not being haughty or prideful but confident and grateful. Yes, there are six billion nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine other people who carry similar traits to you but you, dear diamond will always be uniquely incomparable to anyone else. Stand firm in that and take joy knowing that you don’t have to follow anyone else’s steps but your own.
So go on, accept thyself. Embrace thyself. Love thyself.