Stop trying so hard, little girl. Stop working so hard to make people like you. Stop following the crowd. Stop becoming someone you were never meant to become.
Stop wasting so much time looking perfect. Stop wishing you were someone else. Stop crying those tears over the group that doesn’t want you.
Stop looking at that magazine. Stop sucking in your stomach. Stop apologizing just for being. Stop worrying so much about what everyone else thinks.
Stop pleasing everyone. Stop ignoring your own truth. Stop rejecting your weirdness and your awkwardness and your special, little quirks. Stop blending in. Stop being afraid to stand out.
Stop waiting around for someone to be a good friend to you and just be a good friend to someone in need. Stop hiding in your closet. Stop burying your feelings.
Stop looking to your left and to your right. Stop competing. Stop comparing. Stop copycatting. Stop getting hung up on what everyone else is doing, on what everyone else has, on who everyone else is.
Stop allowing other people’s opinions to blow you back and forth like a leaf in the wind. Stop thinking you’re not pretty enough. Stop thinking a boy will solve all your problems. Stop thinking invitations from the cool kids will make you feel complete. Stop giving in to other people’s exhausting expectations.
Live your life.
Find your truth.
Stand by the ones you love.
Choose the friends who are choosing you.
Be stubborn in your gratitude.
See the beauty in everyone around you.
Refuse to give up.
Know you create your own happiness. Know perspective is such a huge part of life. Know you’ll never have it all, and even if you did, you couldn’t carry it all around anyways. Know you deserve grace. Know others deserve it from you as well. Know kindness counts and goodness matters, and love comes before all else.
Most of all — know who you are. Know you are strong. Know you are more than the number on the scale, the number on your report card, the number in your bank account, or the color of your hair. Know you are smart. Know you have a voice. Know you are a force. Know you have a story. Know you are capable. Know you are worthy. Know you’re never ever alone.
Know you are a daughter of the King. Own it. Etch those words in your heart. Live in that promise all the days of your life, little girl.
**This story was written by Amy Weatherly and originally appeared on her Facebook page.