One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt recently is to know my own self-worth. I’ve been through a lot of knocks in life, as has nearly everyone, and it can be hard to pick yourself back up and not blame yourself for whatever’s happened. However, knowing your own worth means that you know when you’re not being treated how you deserve, and when you need to get yourself out of a situation.
I didn’t have the best school years; I wasn’t exactly bullied, but I also wasn’t liked by the majority of people. Part of this was due to being ‘too nerdy’. At school, it is much too often considered a bad thing to be clever and top of the class. It is looked at as boring, and many fail to appreciate that people who work hard and achieve good grades do also have a personality and have fun outside of their school work. Then there was the fact that I was also not considered to meet the definition of pretty. By that, I don’t even mean that other people had better natural beauty, merely that I did not wear ‘enough’ makeup to be ‘pretty’ or ‘cool’. Perhaps this issue was heightened because I attended a girls school, but the fact that for my first couple of years at secondary school, I had no interest in makeup caused even fewer people to bother to make an effort with me.
However, I’m not saying this to put out a sob story. I’m saying this because I now have a job with the world’s leading beauty company. Me?! Me that was constantly put down for not being beautiful, not caring about my appearance and not wanting to make an effort to look good now has a job in the beauty industry?! Crazy stuff eh. It’s made me realise that the opinions of all those people in school were, to put it plainly, just wrong. I am beautiful, and I am worth it (guess the company).
I have also recently become single again after spending a couple of months in a relationship where I really wasn’t happy. At the time, I guess I thought I was. I wasn’t treated badly by any means, but I just felt that very little effort was being made on the other person’s behalf and they seemed unbothered by whatever I had to say. I wasn’t made to feel special, but because I was invested in the relationship, I didn’t want to leave. I’m not a quitter and I wanted to make it work, but I learnt that not everything is under my control, and I can’t make another person feel for me the way that I felt for them.
Although sometimes I feel like I wasted away a good few months that I could have spent searching for better, I have to remind myself of how much I learnt in that time. I learnt not to settle. I learnt how I deserve to be treated. I learnt that I should listen to my friends when they tell me I deserve more. I learnt that I am worth more than a person telling me I’m too much work, because for the right person, being with me will be far from a burden.
Never, ever, ever let yourself believe that you are the problem in a situation or relationship. The right people will never make you feel like that, and that’s who you should spend your time with and energy on. If you haven’t found those people yet, keep searching. During my first year of university, I struggled heavily with finding people I connected with, but I’m proud of myself for how I handled the situation. I didn’t blame other people for not wanting to be friends with me – that’s fine, you can’t be friends with everyone, they’d clearly decided I wasn’t their type of person, and if they cut me off then equally they’re not my type of person either. I made my way around sooo many different friendship groups, before finding out that the people on my sports team were who I had been looking for all along. I now have an amazingly strong group of friends, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their endless love, support and laughter.
You are smart, you are beautiful and you are more than the voice telling you that you’re not good enough – whether that voice is the one inside your head or the voice of someone else. Never lose faith in who you are, and don’t change yourself for anyone.