I was speaking to a friend recently. Nothing special, just a mundane conversation about studying and exams and out of nowhere this is what she says:
“One day, I’m gonna tell my kids about you and tell them they should aspire to be like you”
I was taken so off guard because this was not like any compliment I had ever received before. Mind you, we are both seventeen. It is incredibly rare for us to think about anyone with such depth. It wasn’t a shallow compliment like the ones we hear on a day to day basis.
Her words were so personal and wasting no time, I started to tear up. You might think I’m being dramatic but let me just give you a little backstory that will explain why this meant so much to me.
For years, I have been working tirelessly to become the best version of myself. To become a motivated, passionate and hard-working person. To become an empathetic, compassionate, understanding and charitable person. To be mature and avoid situations that involve gossip and slander. However, in my mind I was failing. No matter how much I tried, I could never bring myself to portray that perfect image of myself except to one or two extremely close people who knew exactly who I was on the inside.
This was a period of self doubt and of low self esteem. There was no way that I could become this person if I had no confidence as confidence is one of the main characteristics of this person I was trying so hard to be. It takes a great deal of confidence to be completely true to yourself.
In our society, it is terribly easy to get caught up in trying to fit in; but why do we need a world where everyone is the same? People should be aspiring to stand out. Not by doing crazy things like dangerous online challenges (tide pod challenge I’m looking at you) but by being yourself. You hear it time and time again but it really is that simple.
And that is why I will remember my friend’s compliment forever. It immediately filled me with heaps of confidence and truly made me feel special. It was the beginning of my journey to get back to being self-loving, allowing me to start working on being that person I aspire to be. A person who does my own thing and isn’t afraid to be different.
So go out this week and find someone to give a truly personal compliment. Show them how much you admire them. And let me know what the best compliment YOU have ever received is.