"One of the most courageous things in the world;
Is to have the Faith to be who you are;
When the rest of the world is trying;
To make you into everyone else."
This quote is perfect for this campaign. Self esteem comes from having faith in yourself. It comes from refusing to believe any negative things that are said to or about you. Self Esteem comes from being your own person. We are unique. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Again, perfection does not exist.
While I was in my 20s, I was lost. I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to work with children and I wanted to be my own boss, but figuring out how to get there was difficult. I was pulled in many directions and told what I “should be doing”. It wouldn’t matter what I did for work, I wasn’t really happy. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. It made me feel worse about myself and about my abilities.
Then, I bought a better camera because of my love of photography. I had taken many photography classes and I had dated a photographer for years. I was the person who took pictures constantly. So, I started taking pictures everywhere I went. I would take them at football games when I was coaching cheerleading, I would take them at family get togethers, and I would go out and just walk, snapping away. At the same time, I decided to go back and get my degree in Elementary Education, which I had originally started years ago. I added on photography classes specific to what I wanted to do. People would ask why I didn’t do it for a job and I said, “Not yet” while I honed my skills. I finally decided to take the plunge in 2009.
Now for the first time in my life, I feel I am doing what I “should be doing”. I combined all of the things I love into one career. I used to regret all of the time I was “wasting” getting here. I used to struggle with getting closer to 30 without knowing what exactly I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now, I regret nothing. Everything that happened before got me to where I am now. Don’t ever regret anything. Regret is another negative word. Instead of regretting, look back and learn from your past. Realize it has made you the person you are today. My past made me strong, independent, responsible, knowledgeable, and successful. I didn’t think this then, but see it now. I wish I had known it before. I would have ridden that roller coaster with less anxiety and fear.
For those who feel they aren’t happy with what they are doing, find something you love and believe you can do it. There’s no better feeling than doing something you truly love. I still have a second job that I am giving up this summer, but two jobs were needed to get me started. It’s hard work to do what you love. You may have to make sacrifices, but it is worth it.
For those who are young and have no idea what you want to do, there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re just starting college, take classes on all different subjects you enjoy. Figure out what your passions are. The sky is the limit. I know many people who knew exactly what they wanted to do when they went to college and they got that degree, but are now working in completely different fields. It is better to generalize and figure out what you want than to feel pressure at the beginning.
For those young people who are done with school or who never went to college, you also need to find your passions. What will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning? What do you feel you are truly good at or could be with some training/schooling/practice? Whatever it is, figure out how to do it and get there.
Lastly, do not put yourself on a time crunch. I always used the phrase, “by the time I’m 30.” It’s one thing to have a goal, but make sure you are already know what that goal is. For me, it was vague, “I want to be doing something successful….. by the time I’m 30”. I was already causing defeat. Once I started photography (at 29), I began to say, “I will be successful at this and have a great business within 3 years.” This was a focused goal, which was achievable. That brings us to now. I’m about to turn 32 and business is great. I love it and believe I’m doing what I was meant to do.
I’ll leave you with a song today. Listen to all of the words. I’ve always loved this song and it is perfect for this campaign.
“you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind"
We're all beautiful inside and out,