About 6 months ago I gave a keynote speech in London about the anxiety, panic attacks and depression I suffered from 5 years ago. It’s a speech I give often, and I am used to being approached afterwards by attendees who frequently share with me their own story and journey through challenging times. And, indeed on this occasion I was approached afterwards, however one of the individuals who approached me absolutely floored me. He said, and I quote “What you said has made me realise for the first time in my life that I am not worthless”. My heart broke for him in that moment. I am guessing he was in his late forties, and it broke my heart to realise he had spent his entire life feeling worthless. I wanted to speak to him further however we were surrounded by people which prevented an intimate conversation so all we had time for was a 2-minute conversation whereby he showed me some notes he had taken during my speech and me telling him that he did matter and that I valued him.
I was so perturbed by the fact that he felt worthless that he actually changed my life and my speech. I have updated my speech to ensure that any attendee listening to my speech knows that they matter, and I want to repeat my words here.
YOU MATTER. YOUR STORY MATTERS.
YOU ARE WORTHY.
YOU ARE DESERVING.
YOU ARE LOVED. I BELIEVE IN YOU.
Now it may sound crazing, saying I believe in someone when I don’t know them, but I do genuinely believe in everyone. Everyone has a story, and everyone is a victim of something, but we all have the potential to own our story, rise up and write a new story. I have written a new story for myself and I do not have any special superpowers that you do not have. Your potential for change and growth is just as limitless as mine.
I am here to remind you that YOU MATTER. You matter because you are unique and bring value to the world, even if you don’t think so. Not sure how? Well, even a simple smile can change someone’s life. The greatest gift you can give someone is a smile, and maybe your smile changed someone’s day or life. Perhaps your smile made someone feel seen and valued. Your words may have inspired someone when you didn’t think you were being inspiring. You never know how you positively impact someone but do know that you do matter.
Still not sure how you matter? Okay, I want you to make a list of what you stand for and against.
Let me give you an example:
What I stand for (my core values): Kindness. Compassion. Authenticity. Integrity.
What I am against: Prejudice of any kind. Unkindness. Oppression. Inauthenticity.
And that is why I matter.
My lesson? You matter.
Now it’s your turn... make your list….