My friend’s 13 year old daughter was thrilled to be wearing a brand new handbag she’d received for Christmas. That was until she ran into her school friends at the local supermarket pool and they sniggered at the new accessory, deeming it uncool.
She removed the bag from her shoulder immediately and asked her mother to carry it for the remainder of the shopping trip, embarrassed and upset by the reaction of her friends. My girlfriend took this as an opportunity to encourage her daughter to be proud of who she was, to ignore the negative comments and to celebrate her sense of style. But a week later, the bag is still relegated to the back of the cupboard.
It got me thinking about why, even as adults, we give our power away like this? Why are we so desperate to be accepted? Why is our confidence so dependent on how others view us?
Our self-esteem is so intimately connected to our sense of well-being. And our sense of well-being has a huge impact on our frame of mind and whether we’re feeling happy or miserable.
Which means we’re very vulnerable if we’re relying on others to make us feel good about ourselves.
It’s the challenge of a lifetime, and often the work of a lifetime, to genuinely appreciate ourselves, with our own unique spirit, style and body. Even though I’m vigilant about positive self-affirmation, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some days that I wished I was smarter, thinner, prettier, etc.
It takes mindfulness to slowly pull our power back to ourselves and to have the courage to be our authentic selves. In doing so we realise that, really, we’re the only ones with the power to make ourselves happy.
For an inspirational video on stepping into our power see https://www.facebook.com/GreatestShowman/videos/1575778802489736/