Dear Younger Me,
You love to hear the words “I’m proud of you,” but you struggle to be proud of yourself. Your overthinking, perfectionist, people-pleasing self doesn’t often allow you to feel like you’ve done a good job. You see mistakes and regrets more than the good things, but I want for you to acknowledge the ways you have grown.
I challenge you to look back and see with different eyes. Look back at some of the things you’ve accomplished that were hard or out of your comfort zone and see how far you’ve come or how you were brave. It doesn’t even have to be something big. Maybe it’s a little moment that mattered in a big way. For example, when you score a lot of points in a basketball game, you’ll feel like you’ve made your family proud. But your favorite moments of high school basketball are going to be those moments you played some great defense. Whatever they may be, hold onto those big and little moments and let yourself celebrate them and take joy in them. I know it’s hard to believe, but you don’t have to wait for other people to be proud of you to be proud of yourself, either.
However, there is One who we should be seeking to make proud, and that’s God. A friend will tell you, “God is proud of you.” You will struggle to believe it, and I wish when I had heard those words, I would have taken hold of them instead of doubting them. Still, I encourage you to keep seeking and striving to make Him proud. Though your insecurities may keep you from being proud of and delighting in yourself, remember God delights in His children.