By Megan A., http://meganbethadventures.blogspot.com/
After my first semester of college, my self-worth had taken a beating. I had fallen into the trap of feeling that I wasn’t “enough,” and that included everything—from being “outgoing enough” to “beautiful enough” for anyone to like.
In an attempt to reach out to me, my dad took me on a drive through the canyons. And he said something that struck me. He said, “I’m not going to make this a conversation where I say over and over again that you’re beautiful and you don’t believe me. But I need to start with this—that you are beautiful, and if there’s a word I would use to describe you, it would be elegant.”
The word was like a lightning bolt to my head and heart. Elegant. That was more than just a catchphrase. There was power in that word. Power, confidence, and poise.
Hearing my father use that word to describe me wasn’t an ego-booster. It caused me to think about what I really wanted to be. I didn’t just want to build my self-worth on media’s distorted perceptions of what it means to be beautiful, my own self-doubts, or what other people said. I wanted confidence. I wanted grace. I wanted to be elegant.
I don’t know if my dad knows just how much that talk meant to me. But it shifted my view as to what truly makes a woman beautiful—not her outward appearance, but who she is. And when a girl or woman knows who she is and is happy with that . . . well, that my friends, is confidence.
I remember another confidence shift for me happened while I was serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ukraine. On my mission, in a foreign country without family, friends, or anything familiar to turn to, I came to know what it was like to be forsaken and alone, and how to turn to God completely.
It was through these difficulties that a transformation came to me. I can’t even pinpoint how it happened, but slowly and surely, I began to gain true confidence. I realized my worth before God, and I knew that worth was infinite.
I wrote these words in my journal, about nine months after I started my mission:
“I’ve become more loving during these past nine months. And more sure of myself. . . . I just feel like myself. I know who I am. And I’ve found that I like this girl—I like myself.”
Me right before I left for my mission in Ukraine
That is, I believe, a desire of all women—to be able to like ourselves. And we should! Because in all reality, we are incredible. We are fighters. We are heroes. We teach, reach, and love. We should be proud of who we are and who we are becoming. We are beautiful.
Confidence always shines through. And that confidence is beautiful.
Megan A. is a writer, student, and friend who blogs at http://meganbethadventures.blogspot.com/