“But you’re like, gorgeous. What’s your Instagram following?”
I almost choked on the plantain chip I was eating and burst out laughing. My friend Amanda—who is indeed, one of the most gorgeous people I know—was staring at my friend Danika in shock.
Danika couldn’t give two fucks less.
“No seriously,” she said, “I bet companies would totally pay you to promote their products. And your personality is awesome, and—“
“And she used to be on TV!” I blurted out.
“What!?!” Danika turned back to Amanda, demanding an explanation, “Girl. You have too many things going for you.”
The three of us were sitting around my dining room table, enjoying a midday picnic of my favorite things: plantain chips, bean and corn salad, guac, and this smoked salmon dip I call ‘Salmon Crack.’ My friend Danika, a singer/songwriter in Nashville who referred to her occupation as full-time hippie, was crashing on my couch for the week. Amanda and I, who only worked four hours that day and already felt like we both got hit by a truck, snuck away at noon to enjoy an offsite lunch-turned-therapy session.
I knew each girl well and thought the world of both. The two knew each other for all of…thirteen minutes. And Danika wasted no time in making Amanda her new best friend, discovering her life’s calling, and mapping out her personal brand.
To Danika’s credit, Amanda is a total babe. One of my favorite coworkers of all time, Amanda is an ex-NFL cheerleader (go Redskins!) and former host of her own talk show. She has this innate talent for remaining composed at all times, even while someone is screaming in her face. It’s mildly disturbing.
But on that particular morning, my blonde-haired, pom-poms out, heartbreaker of a friend was down. I was not used to seeing Amanda down. Amanda is a badass, and I drug her away from the office because there was someone back at my apartment with the power to remind her of it.
Let me explain something to you: The world thinks you are ten times more successful than you believe yourself to be.
You are surrounded by people who think you are intelligent, creative, and decisive. And you need to start listening to them.
You know those little whispers of self-doubt you hear each and every day? Those self-deprecating voices that say you’re a failure, you’ll always be broke, you’ll never lose weight, you have no idea what you’re doing, you’re letting everyone down—no one hears or believes those thoughts but you.
Everyone believes you have a bright future ahead of you. They believe you’re talented. They’re jealous of your ideas. They’re amazed at how far you’ve come and all you’ve accomplished. Everyone around you is screaming at you, telling you you’re a badass. Every time you get down on yourself and start questioning your potential, let these people serve as a reminder.
Your thoughts can be your own worst enemy.
It is twisted world up there full of false realities and pretenses. Just as Amanda and I thought we were drowning that morning, Danika was there to remind us that the only people on planet Earth believing we were failing, were the two of us.
And the next time Danika believes her career is tanking or her future is in shambles, we’ll be there to remind her that it’s simply not true.
Never, ever forget that you are a badass.
Surround yourself with people who build you up, remind you of your greatest strengths, and contradict all the false realities you make up in your mind. And return the favor when they need the same reminder.