Be Your Best Self

Emily - USA
Entered on April 23, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I often find myself trying to live up to other people’s expectations. It is hard constantly comparing myself to the looks and abilities of others. Sometimes I worry if I am pretty enough or even smart enough to be in the same room as other people. I hear my parents tell me that I should get all A’s and my friends tell me that I should wear my hair a certain way, or not to wear that dress, but at end of the day, I am still me. You see, it isn’t about being someone else’s vision of you, but being yourself. This I believe in, being your best self, being the person I want to be.

Being your best self isn’t about winning, it’s about a feeling of accomplishment, like the one I felt when I finally finished my Girl Scout Gold Award. I have been a girl scout for 14 years now, through this program I have travelled the world, shared experiences I would have never known, but mostly I have grown into a woman of confidence, character, and courage. Being a Girl Scout throughout high school and middle school was no easy feat. Even through the constant questions about cookies, and the jokes about the uniform, I stayed true to myself and to my organization. Even when it might have been labeled as ‘uncool’, I was never embarrassed, and wore my badges with pride. This is only possible when you truly believe in yourself. Because I wanted the best for myself, and because I wanted to earn my Girl Scout Gold Award not to prove something to other people, but to prove something to myself, I was able to complete the 150 hour project successfully. To complete my project, I had to delve inside of who I was, and without an overwhelming sense of confidence and pride in who I was, this goal would never have been accomplished. My belief in myself has led me to success, and it has also helped me accept failure.

Even though I am very proud of this honor, prizes don’t make people, but being the best that I can possibly be makes me a better person. Life doesn’t always turn out exactly as you originally expected, but by realizing your potential, you are a winner even when you are not. I often find myself trying to live up to other people’s expectations. It is hard constantly comparing myself to the looks and abilities of others, but then I remember that I am the best I can be. This I believe in.