I’m realizing more and more as I work with the youth in our church, building strong confident men and women is not an easy task and I worry as to how I can build that confidence in my own children. They are pushed and pulled in every direction and being happy with who you are is no small task. I taught a lesson on Sunday titled, “The ability to succeed” in which the lesson focused on seeing the good in ourselves, and with a strong conviction of who we are, it will enable us to be more successful.

We started out by talking about the things within us we don’t like. For example, my feet are large, I’m overly sarcastic, my hair is naturally a lion mane and I lack patience. Some things on my list will never change, some can be changed with money, and some I can really work at and over time possibly change. Through our discussion we came to understand we’re often most discouraged when we compare ourselves to other people which is an on-going battle for many. We are always trying to keep up – but with who? There will always be someone smarter and richer and prettier and funnier…by comparing ourselves to them we will always be left discouraged and disappointed in ourselves and our abilities.

Each girl took a turn standing in front of the chalkboard as we wrote many of the attributes we love about them around the board.

And even as we did this exercise, several girls started to disagree with things written and were even uncomfortable. It is so hard to hear good things about ourselves. It is our nature (some might claim it as humility) to degrade ourselves, our talents and achievements. But we each have so many good things to offer and are so much better than we give ourselves credit for. Too often we view ourselves as the ugly duckling instead of our true potential as a swan. It is clear, I will have my work cut out for me as a mother as I help my children to see their reflection as a swan. (Who am I kidding, I have to work on this just as much for myself!)

In order to believe in yourself, you have to be you.