by Justin Watkins

There is an old African proverb that says, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” This simply means that if you don’t doubt your greatness, no one else can make you doubt your greatness.

During our teenage years, hormones are high, temptation is hot, and our desire for acceptance is heavy.  Self-perception is fragile and we often look for validation from unqualified sources, not really understanding that validation and esteem is an inside job.

People ask me, “What is it that these young people need to help them find their way?” Without pause. Self –esteem, confidence in your own worth.

Without self-esteem we make poor choices in friends, dating relationships, habits and academics.

But where does self-esteem from?

Jeff Yalden a teen advocate and expert suggests that self-esteem comes from being challenged and overcoming those challenges. Self-esteem also comes from social interaction, interaction with family and friends, coping skills and mastering difficult tasks.

Going forward I want you to do me a huge favor that will strongly benefit you. From this moment forward do your absolute best at tasks both large and small. Throw everything you’ve got at it. Over time your view of your self will expand, your confidence will flourish and eventually you will have no enemy within telling you that you are not great. Ultimately because you have no enemy or evil critic within, the enemy outside:  the pressure, negative words, unfavorable environments, can do you NO HARM! Go, grow, and become BETTER!

I just want to see you WIN,

Mr. J