The confidence you see here wasn’t something I was born with. Any beauty you see was something I was tremendously blind to in the past. This woman is not the same one from two years ago and I have my public speaking teacher to thank for that. A man who is understanding, fearless, and compassionate. And all he said was one simple phrase that changed my life forever;

“Look in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘I love you (your name), I really do.” You’ve probably heard me mention this before but you wonder, why was this such a turning point in my life? I mean, I have a family who’s constantly told me I matter, that I’m loved, that I’m beautiful…so why did this man have such a great impact on my life that I never saw coming?

The greatest rebellion is loving yourself in a world trying to sabotage your light.

Nikki rowe

Because he taught the one class I was terrified of. Getting up in front of strangers and having to speak for 4 minutes on a something they probably don’t want to hear. Someone who’s terrified of the spotlight, someone who’s terrified of making mistakes, someone who lacks having any kind of confidence in themselves.

But he knew. He knew I was scared. He knew I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it through. But that didn’t stop him from seeing my potential, from having the same black curtain that’s been covering my eyes all my life. He knew all I needed was that confidence I’ve struggled for years trying to gain but could never find. Every speech I gave, I nailed. It was still terrifying… but I made it through. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have passed this class. I wouldn’t have gained more than just a passing grade.

I feel most beautiful when I’ve achieved something I never thought I could reach.

Since then, I’ve never questioned my worth, my beauty, or my strength. My confidence in other aspects of my life still need to be worked through but Haywood taught me that without self-love, you’ll gain far less fortunate things than anything else.

Loving yourself brings happiness into your life, makes you grow as a person, helps you appreciate the circumstances you go through and builds strength you never thought you had. I feel most beautiful when I’ve achieved something I never thought I could reach.

Thank you Haywood for being one of the first healthy roots I needed to become the woman I am today.