A Shared Wisdom Guest Post Featuring Marilyn Tam
They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them. – Mahatma Gandhi
Are you good enough? Most people harbor feelings that somehow if people really knew who they are, they will not like them. This nagging feeling buzzes in the brain like small yet powerfully irritating mosquitoes, ready to sting at any moment, undermining our confidence to claim our rightful place at the table. This sense of insecurity can be negatively self-fulfilling and very destructive because it robs us of the confidence and courage to forge ahead on achieving our dreams. The choice to change is in our own hands.
Being an unwanted child I was told from as early as I can recall that I was worthless, not a good start to building self-esteem. Yet eventually I learned to trust my inner knowing that each person is worthwhile just as they are. Self-respect gave me the strength and resilience to leave home in my mid teens and come to America, and to succeed in business, humanitarian work and in life. How did that happen? I was blessed along the way with angels who told me that I was okay. We all have those angels in our lives when we look for them.
My first angel was my grandfather who gave me my Chinese name, Hay Lit, the names of two powerful emperors in China’s history. One emperor was respected for his compassion and wisdom in governance and the other known for his prowess and strategy in war. It was a most unusual name for a girl, but for some unknown reason my grandfather chose this remarkable name for his third granddaughter. He died when I was seven so I never had the chance to ask him why. But the fact that someone thought I was worthy of such a legendary name fortified me when the outside world was telling me I was trash.
You, too, have your own angel(s), who believe in you, whether it is a family member, a teacher, a spiritual figure or friend. Keep their support in your heart and affirm to yourself that you are indeed good enough just as you are. Whatever you choose to do or pursue, you can learn, get the resources for and move towards it, once you believe. Tell yourself that you are good enough, yes, right now. Treat your affirmation like oxygen; you need to keep breathing it in on a regular basis to sustain yourself.
Today’s marketing is built on capitalizing on our insecurities. We are told that we must buy certain products; patronize particular stores and services and act in specific ways to be acceptable. This relentless bombardment from all sides is constantly working to make us feel less than. We are told that only if we docilely follow the marketing script will we have a chance to be rich, respected, loved, look like a super model and have a happy life. But the number of products and services advertised keep on coming and there is no end to the things we need to do to attain the impossible image being portrayed.
No wonder we feel less than good enough! Yet the choice to be happy is in our power. Once we know our reason for being, we will know how to set our priorities and outside blandishments will not impact us as much. We are secure in our inner knowing of what is important and use that as our guide to make the choices which best suit our life. By steering with our internal compass we are not pulled hither and fro by others yelling from the sidelines.
Find your life purpose. Keep it in your consciousness and use it to guide your decisions. Know that you are good enough right now. Treat outside input as just that, another source of data. Know that you are capable and worthy of your goals, and with confidence and diligence you will achieve them. I believe in you!
All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.
– Nike Ad
Marilyn Tam is an international selling author, speaker, entrepreneur, humanitarian and former CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel Products & Retail Group and VP of Nike and the Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation.
Marilyn’s new book, The Happiness Choice – The Five Decisions that Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be was just released!
Thanks so much for sharing your post with us, Marilyn! And congratulations on your new book!
P.S. – I have a new blog! It’s called, “What Do You Eat, Anyway?” I’ll be sharing tons of healthy, yummy recipes there – and sharing yours, too! Be sure to check it out by clicking below.