Self-confidence can be a very unpredictable thing. One minute you feel like you're doing okay in life, and the next minute, you feel like you're not good enough at all.
My life coach and I have been working together for some time now on my sense of being "good enough." This blog is one result of that effort. I now feel "good enough" to share my thoughts and feelings via the written word here in cyberspace for anyone who opts to read them. I am a unique child of God. So are you.
This blog is one means of self-expression for me.
So when Harvard declined my submissions to write a paper or make a presentation regarding equine welfare and related matters, as one might expect, my self-confidence took a pretty hard lick. I was extremely blessed to have - and continue to have - excellent support, including many of you who read this blog. I thank each of you for your very kind words, and I have read each comment or message with a grateful heart.
One comment, however, had an especially profound impact on me, and the residual effect will, I believe, prove to be long-lasting.
When I texted my BFF to let him know Harvard had said, "no, thanks" to my proposals, BFF texted four simple words.
"You're better than Harvard."
Even to retype it here gives me pause. ME?! "Better" than HARVARD?!! Prior to receiving his text, such a thought would have never entered my brain. Ivy League schools are in the stratosphere of academia; no way would I have ever considered myself 'better' than Harvard.
But his text seem to explode in my brain and quickly extrapolate into some very useful and wonderful new ideas for me to ponder.
Maybe I'm better than Harvard; maybe not. He is, after all, my BFF, so of course he's going to be extremely supportive and positive when he knows I've had bad news.
But the notion of me being "better than" anything got me to thinking - hard.
I am absolutely certain I am better than some things. I am better than smoking, for instance.
It's a deadly habit with zero positives, in my book, and I've never even been tempted to try it.
Esther is better than smoking.
Read that statement again very carefully. I am NOT saying I am better than A PERSON who smokes - hey, we all have our challenges. I am saying I am better than a processed plant leaf and the massive marketing machine of Big Tobacco. Nyah, Nyah, R.J. Reynolds!
I am better than smoking.
But what about sugar? What about being overweight?
What if, somewhere deep down inside, I am better than obesity? Is that possible? Could I latch on to this new idea of, "better than" and use it as a positive mantra?
What if I AM better than sugar? Better than carbs? Better than cookies?
What about fear? Am I better than fear? What if I could be? I am a stress-eater; if I could eliminate fear, could I eliminate sugar? What if I already am fearless but won't acknowledge it? Better than fear?? This is very hard to comprehend.
Esther is better than fear. It even looks like a foreign phrase, to me, at least. But what if it is TRUE? Oh! To be fear-less. What a lovely thought!!!
What about self-doubt? Let's try that one on: Esther is better than self-doubt. Hmmmm... Not sure I buy it yet, but I like the sound of it!
Esther is better than fill-in-the-blank.
I find it almost impossible to wrap my brain around this concept, yet my heart and soul are humming joyfully at the possibility.
Better than settling.
Better than overweight.
Better than fear.
Better than disappointment.
Better than self-condemnation.
Better than giving up.
Am I better than I was yesterday, or the day before, or the year before? Absolutely. I have grown and changed and pushed myself very hard in some directions. But there is more to do, always more to challenge myself with, so that I can grow and push more boundaries and discover more of this grand adventure called Life each and every day.
What are YOU "better than?"