I was watching a segment from the daytime talk show, The Real called “Baggage Check.” Each of the ladies shared a personal story about an insecurity they’ve dealt with in their life. It took courage for them to do this! Discussing insecurities on national television is not an easy thing to do.
Listening to their stories made me want to share one of my own.
It was my second year in college. I was working with a youth program and we took the students on a college trip. One of the male professors at the college asked me what my major was, I proudly said, "I'm an English major!" This man laughed at me in front of my students and said, "Oh, so you're going to be a taxi driver huh?" My 19-year-old heart was broken! He made me want to hide under a rock and change my major. What he said and the way he made me feel, stayed with me for a long time. It wasn't until I was about 25-years-old that I became content with the choice I made in college. Before then, I always questioned whether or not I was going to be successful in life. I felt limited in my career choices and never fully embraced my true passion.
To some this may seem like an insignificant moment, but his words planted a seed of doubt in me. This seed grew into a deeply rooted tree. My dreams were no longer a reality because I feared failure. Of course I worked hard to obtain my degree all while working full time and having a child. But, I chose a career that was safe instead of doing something that I loved. My plans of taking the GRE and going to journalism school was set aside for a career in education.
Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, but my dreams are far beyond the walls of my classroom. It has taken me years to learn the lesson I share with my students every day when they come to me with tears in their eyes because someone said something mean to them. I always tell them, “It doesn’t matter what people say about you. What matters, is what you believe about yourself.” I’m sure my second graders don’t yet understand the meaning of such a phrase, but hopefully it remains etched in their brains to use in their later years.
A little over a year ago, I tattooed the word “believe” on my wrist. For me, it is a constant reminder of the importance of believing in myself. Whenever I sense a
moment of self-doubt, I glance at my wrist and positively affirm myself. I think about the goals I’ve set for myself and where I want to be in life.
There may be moments in your life when people make you feel less than or inadequate. Those moments can destroy your self-esteem and make you want to give up. But belief in yourself can withstand anything. Knowing that you are capable of achieving anything is powerful! Don’t let others take that away from you.
Do you have baggage that you’ve let go? If you’re brave enough and want to inspire others, share it down below.