“On the night you were born, the moon smiled with such wonder that the stars peeked in to see you and the night wind whispered, ‘Life will never be the same.’ Because there had never been anyone like you… ever in the world.” – Nancy Tillman
My mother-in-law bought this book for my daughter and I find myself tearing up whenever I read it. My whole world changed the day Isabelle was born and there never was, nor ever will be, someone exactly like her on planet Earth.
So many of her books have such sweet, confidence-building messages. And I laugh because I think I’m reading them more for me than her sometimes. At 16 months old, she has confidence in spades. She smooches my phone every time she sees a picture of herself, and her own name, “Izzy,” is among her top three favorite words. It’s me who needs these loving reminders as I battle my own feelings of insecurity and impostor syndrome.
Growing up, I was a competitive dancer and for a couple of years, I did a trio with two other young women. Two of us had very similar builds and skillsets as dancers. The third was about six inches shorter than we were and had a completely different style and set of skills. She was frustrated one day as we were learning the routine and said to our choreographer, “I’m never going to be like Nicole and Dana. I can’t do that.” He replied, “No you won’t.”
We froze. Until he continued, “You’re Becky. You only need to worry about what Becky can do.”
She ended up having solo portions of the dance, which really showcased her talents, while Dana and I did the same steps. Ultimately, we all had sections to uniquely shine.
This moment has always stayed with me and I dig it up from my mental archives whenever I get sucked into the comparison game or find myself feeling less than. We’re social creatures so it’s impossible not to see how you stack up against those around you. But it’s so pointless because I’m never going to be like anyone else. I’m Nicole. I only need to worry about what Nicole can do.
To think that in a world of 7+ billion people, no one else is quite like you… it feels almost miraculous. Focus on what you can do, what makes you unique, and do THAT the best that you can. And when all else fails, ask a toddler for a pep talk.
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