First day of school 7th grade… 1990… Martin Luther King Jr High, Berkeley, California.
A sea of kid faces, new tennis shoes, freshly combed hair, and nerves. Lots of nervous smiles and giggles.
I recall being overwhelmed by the number of kids and the size of my new school. I remember worrying over my outfit and my hair. Desperately trying to find my friends so I wouldn’t be standing alone…
All I cared about in that moment was what other people thought about me. How I looked compared to how everyone else looked. I cringe now to picture that overwhelming insecurity.
Recently I saw a post from Rachel Hollis on Instagram. She is an Author and coach. She was preparing to speak to preteens and teens for the first time. Her audience is mostly adults. So she asked her Junior High aged son and some of his friends to help her understand the issues that kids their age worry about.
The list was something like: their clothes, fitting in, what other people think of them, their weight, and their grades.
What is crazy is if you substitute grades for work… most grown women and some men sit around worrying about the same stuff!
But why? When you read it on paper like this doesn’t it seem so silly? To compare yourself and judge yourself, constantly, actually sounds like insanity. Yet many of us never grow out of that insecure feeling.
We compare our homes, cars, jobs and bank accounts to the adults around us. The same way Junior high kids are busy staring at each other’s shoes.
This morning I stood out front of the CCMS campus, with Michaela and her friends. Watching all the anxious nervous giggling young faces… and I wished for each and every one of them to uncover the lie for themselves. I hope they know the truth years and years earlier than I figured it out.
The lie: Other people’s opinions matter.
The truth: Your own opinion of yourself is ALL that matters.