I remember when I was a teenager going to a friend's house, and her being embarrassed that her Mum had put little motivational quotes around every mirror.
"You can be who you want"
"You are likeable, loveable, lively"
"You can achieve your goals"
"You deserve it"
"You are worthy of people's time"
"Your opinion matters"
That kind of thing - in droves! I remember feeling scornful about it at the time (come on, I was 16, I was scornful of absolutely everything) and I remember thinking that it wasn't going to work, because said lady was crippled with her low self esteem (which baffled me because I thought she was pretty great!).
I look at it now, though, and think she was on to something.
I was a pretty miserable teenager. I didn't improve much in my early twenties. Angst was angsty, pain was painful, I sort of wallowed in woe and misery and felt I was worthless and used that as an excuse not to pursue anything I wanted - I was so scared of failing that I didn't try, then couldn't fail, only DID fail!
I also surrounded myself at that point with pretty shitty people - people who had no drive, no goals, no successes or happiness and who, rather than support anyone who DID want more, pulled them down, scorned them, shattered them and any dreams they had - including mine.
I got very low and felt pretty worthless and unimportant - then my Grandmother got ill and we had a lot of talks before we lost her. One of the last things she said was "Give it your all - you've got a lot of all to give - don't waste yourself". She told me that life stops before you're ready, and that she had a lot more she wanted to do but couldn't, and letting myself drift along unhappily was hurting her as well as myself because she knew how far I could go if I tried.
From that moment everything changed and I made a conscious effort to move on - I moved to a new city, made new friends, met my now husband and DID more.
My life now is totally unrecognisable compared to then - I am a better, more confident, more successful person and I am achieving things now that I honestly thought were unreachable dreams just a few years ago.
I still get bouts of anxiety and low self-esteem, but when I do I look myself in the face in a mirror and I say "stop it - you're BETTER than this - you're BLOODY GREAT" and I say it over and over and list my achievements.
My blog tagline says it all - "Bringing you the awesome" - I'm awesome. My family are awesome. My life is awesome.
I don't always believe it - but I believe it a lot more than I used to. I don't need everyone else to believe it - I just need ME to believe it. The more I believe it the more I push myself to achieve things and to set more goals. The more goals I set the more I reach and the better I feel.
I don't always believe it - but if I say it enough times I begin to hear it - and the positive statements begin to smother and drown out the negatives I've heard over and over by wasting my time with people who would never leave their own negativity behind.
I refuse to waste another minute and not LIVE this life. I refuse to believe that I can't, that I'll fail, that I should just survive - I want to DO, and BE, and LIVE.
So who am I kidding with all this "bringing you the awesome" stuff? Me. That's who. And I bloody love it.