Last week my 14-year-old daughter, Taya and I sat down to review her social media. Like many parents I’m always trying to maintain the delicate balance between overly watching every move and allowing her some independence to learn and navigate the teenage world she is in with being the parent and keeping a watchful eye on the appropriateness of photos and comments.
As always there were the endless one to three-word comments from her girlfriends – ‘shot’, cutie”, “gorgy” mixed in with the fire, love heart and hand-clapping emojis. But it was a conversation within this endless stream of innocuous commentary that triggered a conversation for us.
One of Taya’s friends had written, “I wish I was more like you”.
“Tell me more about this comment, Taya”, I asked.
Taya went on to share that one of her friend’s struggles with self-doubt and self belief.
“And so what did you say to her, Taya?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Mum I said to her, who would be you if it wasn’t you? You are perfect just as you are.”
Our kids can teach us so much, right?
I’m sure it’s not just 14-year old girls that have these feelings of self-doubt and comparison-itis. Self-doubt seems to have followed me around for the last 49 years – I’ve simply learnt to have an internal dialogue (albeit a lengthy one at times) with myself to get over the internal chatter.
I wonder if you are spending too much time trying to fit in, doing what everyone else is doing?
Is this need to conform actually eroding your individuality and the uniqueness that ultimately allows you to stand out?
How on earth can we be our best selves, feel brilliant, when we are engulfed by comparison-itis and lack of self-belief-itis?
What if we could remove the shackles we are placing on ourselves and instead know that we have all we need right now? That we have all the skill and capability that is able to contribute and influence; that our opinion matters; that the culmination of all the facets of ourselves – the strengths, the weaknesses, the success, the failures, the loves and the imperfections – in all of this is our perfectly imperfect and brilliant selves.
Think about it, without people being who they truly are, being their brilliant selves, we will never create the true heart and soul, the pulse and the heartbeat, the belonging that is needed to turn the challenges of our present into the successes of our futures. When we reconnect and reclaim who we are in the entirety of our lived experience, our imperfections, and strengths when we stop faking it until we make it, will we be in a position to unleash our individual brilliance, and at the same time unleash the brilliance in others.
In the words of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen fame;
“Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter.
Someone will always be younger. But they will never be you”.
Or as my not so famous but equally wise daughter said, “who would be you if it wasn’t you?”
So go on, tap into the brilliance of you because you are perfect just as you are.
Until next week