A human being with feelings will be in generally want of some self-esteem.
It doesn't matter when you realize your swanitude, whether it's today, last year, or a year from now...there will always be times of doubt.
Times when you think you might not be worthwhile.
Days where you wonder if any of your coworkers even like you at all.
Hours/Minutes/Seconds of self-deprecation.
It's just human nature.
I'm having one of those days today (It's Thursday. I'm writing this one day earlier and scheduling it due to my cousin getting married. Yay Anna! *throws confetti*)
I sat in a meeting, made some sort of comment, and felt the disinterested glances from my coworkers. Inside, the lies began at once.
They don't like you.
They wish you weren't here.
No one on staff wants you around. They wish you'd quit. You add no value here.
This isn't a new lie to me, but one I've faced my entire life. The lie of not belonging. I can remember this feeling all the way from elementary school right up to my very own FRIENDS.
They're only friends with me because they feel like they have to be. They pity me. None of them actually want me around...
These lies are dangerous. They aren't like the lies against our physical selves--the ugly, the fat, the weak--which can be fought with other physical means or words of affirmation. Lies against our selves.
Our true selves.
Our very souls.
These lies can sink in and grab hold. It's not just that you're ugly...you're not worth looking at.
It's not just that you're fat...you're a waste of space, disgusting.
It's not just that you're stupid...you aren't worth listening to.
And on and on.
The lie tells you it can't be fixed. There's something inherently wrong with YOU and who YOU are.
Even as I sat in the meeting, this feeling stirring in my soul, I had to mentally force myself to combat it. KNOWING it was a lie--and honestly, even if it wasn't--I had to kill it so I could continue with my work.
It's a lot like weight lifting, Swanitude. You build the muscle through exercise. You have to teach yourself how to respond when these things come your way. The more you build up your Swanitude muscle in your brain, the quicker you'll be able to fight against the Ugly Duckling syndrome when it descends. You have to keep that muscle fresh and ready. If you let yourself fall into those lies (we all do at times), it's going to be harder to get yourself out.
Self-worth isn't pride. Healthy self-esteem isn't vanity.
Self-deprecation isn't humility.
We're taught the opposite of these things (especially women) and are told we can't value ourselves and be valued by others. It's one or the other, but not both.
It's simply not true.
Even as I sat thinking ill thoughts today, I remembered one of our beautiful swans sending me a message just yesterday, letting me know that I've been an influence in her life.
Maybe you don't need to hear this today. Maybe you're thinking "Kelsey, I'm on track. I got this. I'm feeling good."
Turn around and find someone who isn't. Find someone who has never heard that they aren't the ugly duckling and let them know.
When you do, let me know - tell me how it worked. I want to be able to report back to you all what you each are doing.
I want us to prove we can change the world, one heart at a time.
And if you are having one of those days, know that I see you. I see your value, your beauty, and your spunk. I see all the possibilities in you that you can't see in yourself, and I'm here to tell you...
You are so worth it. Hold on tight. You can do it.
If you need help, we can do it together.
If you feel me, reply to this email. If you're having a rough day, let me know. If you're feeling great, tell me about it!
And if you have a story about your own swanitude (doubts, realizations, struggles, wins) or about someone else's (or someone who might need our encouragement), please PLEASE let me know.
Kelsey Weight Lifting Swan