Okay, Friend, I’ll get right to it: I don’t know you. At least not fully. But that’s okay, because I do know enough about you to say this: I think you’re awesome and you deserve to love yourself. I think you are worthy of all the good that has come to you in your life. And as for the bad, well, I wouldn’t have wished it on you, but without it we wouldn’t get to enjoy the full you that we see today.
We all have our high moments and our low ones. And I want you to know that, through all of them, I still think you’re awesome. It can be easy to lose sight of that sometimes, and if that ever happens to you, like I know it does to me, here is your reminder – the top 15 reasons you deserve to love yourself.
1. You can make people smile
Whether through jokes, stories, a well placed hug, a friendly wave, or even those sweet dank memes you make, you have what it takes to unleash positivity and bring a smile to people’s faces, and that’s all I need to know about why you are awesome. A smile is one of the simplest and most powerful tools of the human psyche, and the more of them you give, the more you have. This superpower is within your control, and I know you won’t waste it.
2. You are becoming more of you every day
You may have once thought you’d be fully grown by somewhere around age 18, but anyone can see that’s far from the case. With each new lap around the sun, you have continued to grow into a greater and more complex version of yourself. You haven’t stopped growing yet, and you likely never will. You are on an ongoing journey of becoming yourself.
3. You look great today
Just take a look at that smooth operator in the mirror. #slay. It doesn’t matter how your skin looks, what you’re wearing, what you’ve eaten this week, or what in Davy Jones’ locker your hair thinks it’s doing. You look great today because you look like you, and that’s awesome. On the off chance I’m wrong, you don’t like you and you in fact woke up looking like someone else today, please consult a medical professional, or like a priest or something. That wasn’t supposed to happen. It doesn’t usually go like that.
4. You are the only one of you there has ever been or ever will be
7 billion-odd people alive on this earth today, another 100 billion or so who have lived throughout history, and literally only one of them is you. Just think of it – one you, and dozens of billions of everyone else. While there are others who share certain interests, passions, or skills, there is no one else out there who can shine exactly your brand of light into the world. If that doesn’t tell you how special you are, I don’t know what will.
5. You are an important member of your community
The reception on my crystal ball is a bit fuzzy today, so I can’t tell if it’s a neighborhood, a family, a religious group, a team that you work with, or an online community, but I know that you are an important part of a community. Probably more than one. That community is a part of you just as you are a part of it. And it shouldn’t be any other way. That community is what it is, in quantifiable part because of you. You make them better, and they make you better, too. You bring your piece of the world into your community, and you share the products, ideas, and values of your community back out into the world. And for that, I think you are awesome.
6. You are still here
I don’t know everything you’ve been through; I cannot see every obstacle you’ve surmounted, every demon you’ve faced, or every pain you’ve endured. No one can but you. But I do know that they have been many. Some were probably not so bad, while others were nearly unbearable. And through them all, you have persisted. You have faced one challenge after another, and YOU ARE STILL HERE. You’ve been absolutely freaking unstoppable so far; what’s going to stop you now?
7. You have your own goals and dreams
You have places you want to go with your life. And while there’s nothing wrong with where you are right now, you are on one hell of a journey. There is more yet that you still want to do, see, and become, and I think you are awesome for it. That vision of yours, that ambition, is what drives you to learn, to experience, and to become all that you are.
8. You do great work that benefits others
In this modern, globalized, automated and specialized world, most of us do jobs that are pretty specific. This can feel lame sometimes, and cause us to lose sight of the importance of the work we do. Whether you love your work or are urgently looking for a change, the work that you do improves the life of at least one person, or most likely many people. Thank you for that. And if I’m one of the people who benefits from your work, directly or indirectly, then thanks twice.
9. Your life is a fascinating story
Just as no one else has ever been you, no one else has ever lived your life. Your experience, your joys and your pains, your fears and your dreams are yours alone. The story of your life has further molded you into a unique individual with a unique story to tell. Only you have the perspective, empathy, and specific set of skills and tools that your life experience has created.
10. …and there’s still so much of it left to tell
Even with as much of your story as we have so far, it’s still not over. There are many pages still unwritten, and I for one can’t wait to see what fills them. You have neither succeeded nor failed so far, you have simply gotten yourself to where you are in this moment. What comes next is up to you, and that’s how I know it’s going to be great.
11. You’ve learned from your mistakes and hardships
I know that there have been places where you’ve made small missteps, and a couple of others where, let’s be honest, you royally fucked up. And, my friend, that’s okay. I forgive you, and I know that you can too. Building honest self respect is a journey. You have learned from these difficult moments, and you are more of yourself than you once were because of them.
12. You have earned the love of others
There are people who love you. They know you aren’t perfect, they know you’ve made mistakes, and guess what? They love you anyway, and so do I. You have earned the love of others, and likewise the right to love yourself. You will always deserve that love, and you do more to be worthy of it with each passing day.
13. No one else has accomplished all that you have
Your “trophy case,” whatever it may be, is filled with a unique combination of milestones, accolades, and achievements. It is unlike any other because you have contributed to the world that which you alone could. You are a winner, and a success — okay, now I really don’t want to say “in your own special way” here, but be warned, I’m going to anyway. Seriously, last chance, you could skip ahead to #14 right now and not have to deal with this — in your own special way. Ah, damn, there it is; too late, oh well.
14. You’re not perfect
You’re not perfect. I know what you may be thinking: “Duh, that’s what I’ve been telling myself the whole time.” First of all, get that energy out of here. There’s no time for that today. Second, I’m glad you’re not perfect. Perfect things are boring and bring nothing new to the table. The imperfections of people, the cracks in the glass, the scars, are what give them character. Your flaws, while potentially frustrating, disheartening, or infuriating, are what make your contributions and perspective unique.
15. You are ENOUGH
Let’s try an exercise. Write out the phrase “I am not ___ enough.” ten times on a piece of paper, then fill in the blanks. Got that done? Okay, great. Next, crumple up that piece of paper and eat that nonsense. EAT IT. Okay, you don’t actually have to eat it if you’ve already gotten enough fiber today. But that list is nonetheless, and pardon my french here, absolute hogwash. Flimflam. You can try and debate me on this, but I assure you I’m quite stubborn on this subject, so you might as well just agree with me now: you are ENOUGH.