I’m here to talk about a lie. Well, several lies actually, but today I’m just focusing on one. And it’s one that you’ve probably heard a lot, usually from the person who is hardest on you: yourself. It’s a lie that can cause a lot of damage. This lie is, “I am not good enough”. Five words. That’s it. But believing this will lead to anxiety, discouragement, and can even keep you from reaching your full potential. So, as your sister, and as someone who is still learning how to deal with this lie myself, I want to help you out. Because you aren’t alone, and you need to know that.
When I was in high school, I had a couple of adults say some pretty hurtful things about me that had to do with my appearance, family, and abilities. These remarks were said in a stressful situation, and I don’t think the speakers meant any harm to me personally. The things they said were unkind, but the worst part about it is that I then took these thoughtless words and formed them into a belief about myself.
For years, this belief of “I’m not good enough” would creep up on me at the most annoying times. It would pop in when I was introducing myself to a new person, applying for college, trying on clothes, going on a date with a cute boy, or even playing sports with friends. It became one of the windowpanes through which I saw the world and was keeping me from enjoying what should have been some of the highlights of my life. Once I realized what was happening, I was determined to break this cycle. But changing our beliefs is a lot easier said than done.
So, as you start on this cycle-breaking journey yourself, here are a few things to remember. You are loved. And you are needed for things that you cannot comprehend yet. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem…has given at least equal attention to the placement of each of us in precise human orbits so that we may, if we will illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.”
Heavenly Father, knowing you, your gifts, fears, insecurities, weaknesses, and everything else that came together to create who you are over many millennia before mortality, knew that you would be needed here and now. We are not smarter, or wiser, or kinder than God, and if He knows you are good enough, then you are. He placed you here for a mission and purpose that are specific for you, and that only you, in your precise orbit, can accomplish.
But you and I are not the only ones who have felt like we aren’t good enough. Moses expressed a lot of doubts about his ability to lead and even communicate with people. “O my Lord, I am not eloquent… but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” He felt awkward, underqualified, and not good enough. So the Lord reminded Moses of who made his mouth, and who can make the deaf, hear and the blind, see. And then the Lord promised Moses that He would teach Moses what to say, and would even send Aaron, Moses’ brother, who could speak well and had completely different strengths than Moses, to help Moses in the areas that he was weak. (Exodus 4:10-16)
Now it may not be a part of your divine mission to lead an entire nation of people through the wilderness, but I think the feelings that initially made Moses question his own purpose are no different than the lies we believe about ourselves. But the Lord knew Moses, just as He knows you, and He will strengthen and enable you to do whatever is part of your divine mission. And He may even send someone else to help you out in the areas that you are still weak. My sister, Anna, plays that role for me. So learn to rely on others, find your purpose, chase those dreams, smile through the rain, trust the Lord, and remember that you are good enough.
Things That Help:
- Achieving Goals
I make a to-do list every day. This might sound a bit obsessive to some, but even just marking off little things helps me to feel like I am progressing. And breaking down bigger goals into small, daily tasks makes those goals more achievable and less overwhelming. It reminds me that I am good enough to accomplish daily tasks that will aid me in accomplishing my overall purpose and mission.
- Get On Social Media…
and stop following every single person who doesn’t bring you joy. Yes, I’m inviting you to follow the advice of Marie Kondo, our favorite decluttering guru, for your Instagram feed. If someone’s posts make you feel anything less than beautiful and grateful, you need to take a step back. If you find that some posts are leading you to compare your life to the golden highlights of another’s and to stress way too much about your appearance, then you need to take a step back. I think one of the reasons President Nelson gave us the challenge for a 10-day social media fast was to get us to rethink who we follow, why we follow them, and how we are affected by what we see on those platforms. Social media can be such a great way to receive inspiration and stay connected with others, so pay attention to how you feel and get rid of anything that does not edify. Remember the 13th Article of Faith from your primary days: “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things”.
- Find Your Purpose
This is a lot easier said than done, but it is possible. Do you know those things that really excite you? The things you love and think about and get a thrill from doing? Those are not random, and I personally believe they are connected to our purpose. And don’t worry if you don’t have something yet that makes your soul sing. Read your patriarchal blessing. Try a lot of different things. Support other people in their things. And pray, and read, and ask, and follow promptings, and keep doing all the good things that bring light into your life. We’ve been promised that if we seek, we will find (Matthew 7:7).
Girl, you’ve got this!
Abbey is currently a senior studying Creative Writing at Utah Valley University. She served a mission in Sydney, Australia and loves traveling when she can. She has five younger sisters and is so grateful for all of the women and girls who have shown her what it means to blossom.