Dear Daughter,

I know you will be horrified to read this because really, is there anything worse than being embarrassed by your mother? But as I watch you prepare for your first day of high school, there are a few things I want you to know.

You may be pressuring yourself to make sure that everything is perfect for that first day, but I want you to know that there's no such thing as perfect. I've said it before, but it bears repeating. There is no perfect. Ever. There is only good enough, but most important is believing you're good enough -- just as you are.

Also, remember that you're not in this boat alone. You're not the only one facing a new school, new classmates, new teachers, new expectations and new pressures. At some point, everyone else is -- or was -- where you are right now. I hope you find comfort in that.

There will never be a shortage of people who need to put others down to feel better about themselves. You will find those people not only in high school, but throughout your adult life. When you're reflecting on a nasty comment someone made to you or a withering glance that came your way, I hope you'll remember that these behaviors always say more about the giver than the receiver. Remember that, too, when you're tempted to be nasty to someone else.

As you go forward into this new chapter in your life, I hope you'll realize early that we are most often held back by the limitations we put on ourselves -- by the stories we tell ourselves about who and what we are. Whenever you're tempted to say, "I can't..." or "I'm not..." about something you really want to achieve, I hope you'll change that story.

Because you can and you are.



About the Author

Dara Chadwick

Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.

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