Here’s something you may not know about me… I used to be addicted to feeling not good enough and constantly telling myself that I didn’t measure up. That I didn’t quite have what other people had.
I was plain. Unoriginal. BORING.
Brown hair and brown eyes. Five-foot-five-inches tall. Size 9 shoe.
I had a middle-class lifestyle. Nothing was picture-perfect, but everything was status quo.
And there was nothing special about me. Nothing that made me stand out. Nothing that made me feel like I mattered.
Yes, I was always surrounded by love and support, but I still felt alone. Because deep-down inside, I knew something.
I knew that I was born for more. I looked around me and at what I saw in the mirror, and while it all felt average to me, I didn’t feel average on the inside.
As a young child, I saw myself as a star. I saw my name in lights. I imagined myself hanging out with all the celebrities, just like I was one of them.
And when I was young, that’s always what I was: a star. I would find ways to get myself on a stage whenever I could.
I took dance classes and performed on stage with the older girls. I was chosen to speak on the microphone and introduce my first-grade chorus during our school event. I went to an art camp where the final project was to create a piece of art (a mask) and then stand on the stage and show it to everyone.
I used to find a million different reasons why my summer camp leader should let me go up on the stage in the gymnasium and perform for the group (one time she actually let me when I’d been reading a book on magic tricks from the library and wanted to show everyone what I learned).
I was always in the school musicals and plays. I was always performing and showing off and putting myself out there.
Because that’s how I felt inside. I felt like this amazing super-star performer who people needed to pay attention to.
I WAS BORN THIS WAY.
I didn’t know any different. It’s just who I was.
And then somewhere around middle school things started to change. Suddenly I found myself being made to feel not good enough… by the girls who bullied me, by the guys who called me ugly, by the people who treated me like I didn’t matter.
I didn’t know how to deal with any of this. It was like a barrage of feelings and thoughts I had never, ever had about myself before, coming at me at a speed I couldn’t stop. It overwhelmed me and freaked me out and made me retreat.
And that’s when I turned to writing.
From a young age I was fascinated with words and most especially with reading. I couldn’t get enough of it. I carried books around with me everywhere.
I had always been a writer, but it wasn’t until middle school that the writing came pouring out of me like a spout that couldn’t be turned off.
Suddenly I had poems, I had short stories, I had ideas, coming out of my freaking ears.
I couldn’t write them down fast enough to capture them all.
All of my life up to that point I felt so average. Like there was nothing special or important about me. Sure, I was creative and had some talent. But I just never felt good enough.
When I was at art camp making my mask for the final presentation, all I could think about was how weird and crazy mine looked compared to everyone else’s. I just wanted my mask to look as good as the girl sitting at the table with me.
When I was in dance class we painted t-shirts to wear for our final recital and everyone else’s shirts had their names in the center with perfect little dots and squiggles surrounding them. I drew a big-ass hot-pink flower with a giant green stem and a bunch of other random things. And then I squeezed my name in at the bottom.
When we looked at all the shirts, everyone’s looked pretty similar and mine looked like a crazy person painted it. All I could think was–why can’t I do it like they do? What’s wrong with me?
I felt this way about pretty much everything. Except for writing.
Writing was always that thing that made me feel good enough. That made me feel special and talented and worthy. That made me feel like I was more than enough. That I was so much, I actually had something leftover to share with others.
My words. My writing. My stories.
And looking back now, it all makes sense. I wasn’t average. I wasn’t unoriginal. I wasn’t not good enough.
It’s that I was always hanging out with people who were further along than I was. Older, more experienced, not beginners. (I was always very mature for my age and I had a passion for learning new things, so I participated in stuff kids my age weren’t interested in ’til they were older.)
Connecting the dots now I can see it so clearly.
I am good enough. I always was good enough. I just always liked to push myself more than most people and try things I wasn’t very good at and fail and fail and fail and keep going.
And now I’m choosing to SEE MYSELF this way.
I’m choosing to feel like that little super-star girl who just wanted to perform and be on stage and have all eyes on her.
These days I’m choosing to “perform” through my writing (though you never know when you might see me singing, dancing or doing some acting some day!) To take center-stage with my words.
To share what I believe to be true about me AND about YOU.
And that is this: you have what it takes. I have what it takes.
You knew from a very young age that you have what it takes. You’ve always felt different inside. You’ve always felt like you have star-quality inside.
You just didn’t always see that inner feeling reflected in your outer reality. And because you were so young, you didn’t know yet that reality is relative.
It’s relative to the thoughts you think and the things you believe.
So you chose to believe the reality that you saw around you. Just like I chose to believe it.
And then we internalized what we saw and made it mean something about ourselves. That we’re average. Not special. Not good enough.
Yet deep-down we still felt it. We may have pushed that feeling away, squashed it with negativity or just flat-out ignored it.
But it was still there.
And it’s still there right now.
Because here’s the thing–what you feel inside is real.
Your dreams, your desires, the things you want to achieve and create for your life. It’s all real. And it’s all possible for you to have all of it (if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t feel pulled to it).
You just stopped believing that it was real. You were too busy shoulding yourself about nonsense and telling yourself you’re not good enough, not special enough, not talented enough… not enough.
So here you sit now. Still with that deep-down feeling that you were born for more.
Born to write. Born to create. Born to put words on the page.
Well, let me tell you something right now…
If you feel this way…
If deep-down inside you KNOW…
If every part of you rings true with the things I’ve said here…
Then it’s time.
It’s time for you to drop the mask and drop the false-front. Time to stop pretending that you’re something other than what you really are.
Time to come out to the world and BE the author you are meant to be. That you’ve always known you were born to be.
It’s time to come to terms with the fact that this feeling you have inside–this feeling that you were born for more, born to shine, born to share your words with the world–it’s never gonna go away.
Are you hearing me?
You will wake up with this feeling every single day for the rest of your life. You will go to sleep with it, nagging you, begging you to let it out.
It will taunt you, it will haunt you. It will follow you EVERYWHERE.
You cannot escape it. It will be there until you are no longer here.
So the choice is yours… do you take this feeling to your grave and bury it with the shell of who you lived this life as?
Or do you let it out RIGHT NOW? Unleash it to the world and finally realize that if you are born to write, if you are called to put words on the page, if you feel deep-down inside that you were BORN FOR THIS…
Then it is your RESPONSIBILITY to STEP THE FUCK UP. It is your PURPOSE to serve the world with your gift of the written word.
You are doing the entire world a disservice by not showing up every single day and doing your writing, by not pushing through the BS and the excuses and finally finishing and hitting publish.
That not good enough feeling? It’s always gonna be there too. And right now, if you’re MIA in your writing life, then most of the time, you’re letting that feeling win. You’re letting it win over the feeling you have deep inside that you were born for more.
It’s time to CHOOSE to let that other feeling become the priority. To stop listening to the BS and realize once and for all that feeling not good enough DOES NOT COME FROM YOU.
You are NOT born feeling not good enough. You are born feeling that feeling inside that says YOU ARE A STAR, BORN FOR MORE, HERE TO DO BIG THINGS, HERE TO SHAKE THE WORLD.
THAT feeling is real. THAT feeling you were born with.
Feeling not good enough came as a byproduct of your environment, programmed into you without much you could do about it.
But just remember that feeling not good enough does NOT BELONG TO YOU. You may have claimed it all these years, but it’s not yours.
Once you realize this–once you really, really take it to heart–you can finally choose to let it go and to focus on the feeling you were born with… that feeling that says, I AM BORN TO WRITE.
You’re here for a reason. If writing is it, then it’s time to put on your big-girl pants, step up and do your part.
The world is waiting for you.
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