When it come to self-belief, “whatever works” is as good a starting point as any.
Not everyone grows up “believing in themselves.” Not every child is told they’re special and will achieve great things.
So, what motivates a tiny person when recognition of their virtuous acts, pride in their work, and certificates on the fridge aren’t always a given? Revenge.
The Disney villainess’ game. Hell, it’s the thing that inspires most of their villainy in the first place.
But my confession is this: Back then, I related to them more than the princesses—and even more so now. They’re fabulous.
When I was eight years old (let alone 14, let alone 21) and thought about my future, I didn’t dream dreams like “I’m going to change the world for the better because I love planet Earth and everyone on it!” And I certainly didn’t think “My love for myself is reason enough to always do my best!”
No. Like little Ursula, my reason to show up to class, to study, to apply to university et al, was simpler. Three words: “I’ll show you.” As a woman in her early 30s, I now know that holding onto old stories and mistreating old wounds can be toxic. I know forgiveness will set you free. I know you have to do things that make you light up, from the inside out.
And yet, my definitive advice when it comes to getting started is: “Whatever works.”
If your life isn’t sunshine and puppies, it’s going to take more than a few rays of sunshine and some puppies to motivate you. So, if you want to (or wanted to back then) prove your teachers wrong; if you want to never speak to your high school “friends” again, if you want to do a Julia Roberts and say “Big mistake. Huge.” to anyone who underestimated you, I say good on you.
Just know that righteous anger may be the powder keg that booms the starting gun, but it’s your race to run. And you’ll need way more stamina than “I’ll show you” can fuel in the long run.
Originally published as a newsletter for Girlboss.