Adapted from a recent talk for teens. Maybe not my best writing, but my most necessary message. Published quickly- forgive my errors and run-ons. This is what it looks like inside my head. XO- Mindy
I moved 14 times between third grade and my senior year in high school. 14 times! Now, granted a few of those moves were within the same town and same school district but still. 14 different homes- packing up and moving, in ten years. I ended up attending 6 different schools over the course of 13 years in school and that did a number on my self-confidence, y’all! Looking back on my time being a teen- the thing that stands out to me the most is the relationships I built with my peers- I built strong bonds with a few friends, but spent a lot of my time feeling like I was hovering on the outside of the circle, looking in. I think, regardless of how long you’ve been in the same peer group with the same girls- sometimes you may feel like I did. A little like you don’t belong, you could be doing something more or better to be noticed or be more popular- You may feel like you have some friends but not a ‘best friend’ or you may get invited to some events but not all of them and the things you are left out of may make you forget about just how cool, how smart, how funny, how important, and how valuable you are to be around. I want to talk to you about that today- I want to help you realize- right now, right where you are- just how freakin’ awesome you really are and give you some tips on how to help others realize just how great they are too.
By the way- my name is Mindy- Hi! I’m 38 years old, I’m a mom to two kiddos- Lainey who is 14 and Luke he’s 11. I’ve been married for 18 years to my prom king- who I only ended up attending prom with because I was dumped at the end of my senior year and didn’t have a date- ta-da!! As it turned out, I love him a lot. I am a business owner and I have over 15 years of life experience leading and mentoring women inside of my skincare and cosmetics company. Over the last 6 months, I have founded She, Confident Site- it’s a blog, podcast, and social media community of over 3,000 friends, based off the idea, amongst other things, that life is always better with a friend. As a 38-year-old woman I have finally figured out some of the secrets to overcoming insecurity, negative self-talk, and that sense of not belonging. Here we go- 3 She, Confident statements you can adapt into your everyday life-
She, confident in her personality and caring heart, opened the circle to invite everyone needing a friend in.
Less circles, more horseshoes- Here’s what I mean. Think about a friend group- maybe your friend group, maybe a friend group you can’t seem to fit into. Replace the word group with circle- now- make a circle with your hands and hold it up. Where’s the entrance? There’s not one, right? When you are looking at a circle- there’s no starting point- there’s no way in. Now, open your hands to form a horseshoe. There you go. There’s a gap! There’s space to get in. This is not an original thought by the way- there’s an author, Glennon Doyle, who introduced this concept in one of her books and it has literally changed my perspective on making new friends. Did you know we adults have this same problem – with cliques? There are people who I consider some of my best buds now over the last 6 months who I never would have carried a meaningful conversation with had I not either opened up my circle to them or started talking about this horseshoe phenomenon on social media.
Keeping your circled tightly closed serves no one- yes, it can feel safe to keep your friends close, to stay with who you know. Y’all there are so many awesome people around you- in class, at church, on your sports teams- your lifelong bff may actually be right there- and she may be feeling left out or bad about herself. You may be feeling that about yourself! Be who you need. I know you’ve all heard ‘to have a friend, you need to be a friend’ but most of the time it’s just a little kindness that makes all the difference. Choosing to be kind- it’s as easy as offering a smile or a hug when someone seems down.
She, confident in her own talents and abilities, realized standing out is the new fitting in.
It’s OK not to ‘fit in’ – you don’t have to be like everyone else! Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, you’re really cool just the way you are.
Do a deep dive into what you believe to be true about yourself and don’t let anyone else’s opinion on that stop you from being true to yourself. Life is long, high school is short. I am not trying to throw clichés at you- I remember- I really, really remember playing small or trying to change things about myself to fit in. It never served me. I want to help you skip some of the heartache that comes along with living not your true personality.
No one doing more that you will ever criticize you. Let me say that again- if you are doing something awesome, if you are excelling in a subject or on a project. If you are everyday overcoming hardship or disability. If you are an amazingly talented artist or singer or mathematician and someone makes fun of you or gives you grief about it- that’s their insecurity speaking out. It has nothing to do with you and will have even less impact on you long term if you’ll get that. Mean people stink. There will always be mean people. Bullies. Mean girls. Silly boys. Listen- the first thing my husband y’all- my husband of 18 years- the first thing he ever said to me in high school was actually really mean. He has paid for it for 20+ years. The reason he said it was pressure from his friends and trying to be funny – not anything he believed about me. No, I’m not going to tell you what he said. He knows. (It should be noted that he did come to my work after school that same day in 11th grade to apologize. I forgave, but I’ll never forget. <insert evil laugh here>)
Your people are out there- the ones who love you and support you just the way you are right now. If they’re not in your high school, they’re not in your high school. BUT I bet some of them are. Don’t be so busy trying to fit in with the people you feel like you SHOULD fit in with that you miss out on the ones you do fit in with.
She, confident in the many parts of her that made her special, quit worrying so much about where she hit on a chart or a scale.
You are not a number- you are made for more. Try not to worry so much. Apply yourself, study and prepare, rise to the challenge. BUT don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s plenty of time to worry later- you are more than a grade or a test score. Yes, grades are so important, education is so important, if you choose to go to college- getting into a good one is a big deal. But these things do not define you. What will define you- what will serve you even more than a grade or a score- is how big you love. How you make other people feel. I’ve built an entire career on how I make other people feel. Yes, I run a very successful business and it’s important to be educated on the ins and outs of how all of that works but it would have never lasted a day if I didn’t realize that the PEOPLE are the most important thing.
Another insignificant number- the one on the scale. Whether you’re thin as a rail or thicker than a snicker- as long as you feel good, you’re good. As long as you’re moving your body with intention daily, as long as you’re nourishing your body with good food- stop worrying about the current force of gravitational pull on your body mass resulting in a number on a scale. Take care of yourself by doing a few things daily- wash your face, brush your teeth and hair, apply some makeup if you WANT to ( you never, ever have to) move your body at least 30 minutes a day, and eat some protein and veggies. And then, live your life and love yourself.
Feeling bad about your body doesn’t serve any purpose and you are in charge of your feelings- train your brain. If you can get this now…. You will be so powerful in your life. If you don’t let your thoughts about yourself hit negative- you’ll be unstoppable. See yourself the way your Creator sees you. You are perfectly planned and exactly the way you are meant to be. When you feel this way about yourself, you can in turn help others feel this way too.
If you don’t remember anything else that I shared with you today I just want you to carry this- You are capable of amazing things. You have what it takes, already deep down inside of you to be exactly what you’re meant to be. It’s simply up to you to choose to be confident enough every single day to live your purpose. I believe in you.
Have a teen who should hear this message? Please share!
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