I had the honor of giving my first TED talk yesterday at TEDxYouth@Hewitt. It was an amazing experience that I will forever be grateful for. An auditorium filled with minds thirsty for inspiration. A group of speakers with so much passion for their life's work that you couldn't help but feel thankful just to be in their energy. I spoke about the Power of Kindness. I talked about how kindness changed the trajectory of my life. I shared how when I was bullied in elementary school for not being "good enough", kindness from others was what made the difference between despair and hope. I spoke about how being kind to others can lead to happiness, love, and success. But I screwed up. Big time. While my talk focused on how kindness to others can change your world, I realized I missed a major point.
My talk should have been about being kind to yourself.
In my world, I hear intimate, personal, heartfelt stories on a daily basis. Clients, friends, and total strangers share things that they would never tell anyone else. I am so humbled by their openness, and heartbroken by an often common thread. There is a severe lack lack of kindness. Not to those around them, but to themselves.
"I'm not good enough."
"I don't deserve better."
"No one could love ME."
In so many words, these statements are often repeated. Why? Why are we so hard on ourselves, when we are so aware of the need to be kind to others? I may have lost an opportunity to share that message yesterday, but I am going to share it now.
Be kind to yourself first. Focus on loving you before you think about loving someone else. Realize that you are good enough, deserve the best, and are so unbelievably lovable. Demand respect, and do not settle for being treated poorly.
In case no one else is telling you this, including yourself, I will - YOU ARE WORTH IT.