In my experience in South Africa many young girls struggle with low self-esteem.  When I do talks for them I make them stand up and say: “I am a magnificent creation of God” and I remind them not to base their worth on the opinions of people who do not matter but rather to source their self-worth from inside.

Recently I have been training young girls in a local high school in public speaking.  I asked the girls to make a speech on the best advice someone had given them.  One of the girls who oozes confidence said the following. “The best and advice my mother gave me is…love yourself.” She went on to describe how every night her mother would sit on her bed and lovingly caress her face and remind her that her face represented a five point star. Touching her forehead she would say; “you are beautiful” touching her left cheek, she would say. “You are clever”, touching her chin, “you are brave” touching her right cheek “you are strong.” Then lastly touching her nose she would say: “You are good.”

What an incredible gift this mother gave to this young girl.  The young lady went on to describe what she loved about herself.  Her black skin, her glasses, her curvy body her mind and her smile. What touched me deeply was that her love for herself was unconditional just like her mother’s.  It was not based on societies perceptions or on others opinions but on a deep knowing that she is perfect just the way she is.

When we ensure that young people recognise their strength, beauty, wisdom and courage, we empower them to have the confidence to achieve a happy, productive life.

I have no doubt this young lady will do just that, thanks to her inspiring Mom who, recognising herself as  a beautiful, wise, brave, strong and good person, was able to see and acknowledge these traits in her daughter.