Powerful beyond measure

By Grace Njoki. Grace, 17, is a student at Daraja Academy in Nanyuki, Kenya. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

We all at some point look in the mirror and can’t help but admire how beautiful we are. It is the same for me. In front of the mirror, I am the most gorgeous, brilliant and talented girl there ever was. But what happens when we step away from the mirror, and the first person we meet speaks about how ugly we are? Doubt and fear rise and they lower our self-esteem.

It is white truth that we cannot remove doubt and fear from ourselves, because it is inside of us. Not in some of us, but in all of us. However, we can fight it from within. I have been a victim of this. Not because I did not believe in myself, but because someone else did not believe in me.

The journey to fighting negative forces from others is not easy. It comes with a lot of challenges and false hopes. Most of us tend to run and hide from the world just because we let negative forces from others control us.

I believe that the best weapon to fighting negative forces is not by running away. The best weapon is ignorance, self-pride, the confidence that we can do it, and the fact that we are powerful beyond measure. As I am about to tell this story, I know it may sound silly, but if you have gone through something like this, it will make a lot of sense to you.

Back not long ago, when I was a ten-year-old in primary school, I was talented. I could write beautiful poetry and recite it better than anyone else in the school. However, inside of myself, I was cowardly. I was always afraid of competition and losing. I hated to embarrass myself and give people reasons to make fun of me.

There was a big poetry competition that I had always dreamt of attending, and this was my big moment. I wrote my poem and recited it every day to qualify for the auditions. The day came and I went to audition and I could not believe who my competitor was. She was not only the most beautiful girl in school, but the richest.

When I saw my competition, my fear started rising, and I was afraid. She came right next to me and said, “I not only hate you because you are poor but because you are the biggest loser.” The word “loser” echoed in my brain. It killed me. I tore up my audition papers and left running, crying and worst of all, feeling like a loser.

From then on, every time I tried to do anything, I saw myself as a loser and a fool. Before then, my poor background never mattered, but after that incident, it began to matter. The negativity started translating into my academics and I started failing. It was with the help of my mother that I have come to erase that feeling and I started living to my true potential.

Echoing my mother’s words, I will also tell you that it does not matter what people think about you; what matters is what you think of yourself. People will always talk, and we are not always able to quiet them. We are only able to shut our ears from them. We can hear them, but not listen to them.

Dare today, dare today to do what people thought you could not do. Hiding from the world only makes you hate yourself more. People say that courage is not everything you need. I also say the same thing. Courage is not everything, because it is the only thing you need to rise today.

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