11/11/2014 06:46 pm ET Updated Jan 11, 2015

A Letter to the One Person I Will Never Impress

Dougal Waters via Getty Images

Dear Person,

I am almost completely certain you will never read these words. I don't think you've ever read anything I have ever written. I don't think you would read this if someone sent it your way with the sneaking suspicion that the words were directed towards you. I don't think you would read it if I printed this article out and drove it to your front door. This letter is written not with the intent that you receive these words, but rather to show everyone, including myself, that it really doesn't matter either way.

In life, we all are faced with individuals we will never be good enough for. We will always be faced with people whose mere existence make us feel inadequate and insignificant. For me, it is you. In many ways, I take fault for it, but it has been you for years. For others, it may be many people. This existence represents a certain achievement complex that is unattainable. We all want others to think we are worthy of their acknowledgement. We all want others to find us capable and impressive. We all want others to be proud of us.

It can be that superior at work. It can be a friend or lover. It can be a coach, family member, educator, parent or peer that never stopped being critical. The truth is that despite the best of efforts, there will always be people we just aren't meant to win over. Some people will never see past our mistakes. Some people will never stop doubting us. Some people will never be happy with us, and that's OK.

As for you, you were never the bully. You were never the enemy. You were my best friend. You were more than that. Striving for you to be proud of me and for your acceptance is a quest I have been on for close to six years of my life. My tireless efforts to be your friend and to gain your approval exist as the single most pathetic blow to my pride that I live with. After I was unworthy of any kind of friendship with you, I just wanted you to want to know who I was. I wanted you to see the woman I have become. We don't even speak. It's sad for me to admit that every time I have made an accomplishment in the past few years, I have wondered for a second if you would be proud of me. I have wondered if maybe that time, I would have done it. Maybe that time, I could finally feel proud of myself, because the one person who thinks I am worthless will see me as someone special. I will then have finally impressed everyone, as I have been relentlessly striving for my whole life. Finally, I realized how wrong I was.

This is a battle that is all too familiar to many of us, trying to be "good enough" for everyone else. We, as people in this world, shouldn't need others to be proud of ourselves. We can't let the acceptance of the people in our lives lay heavy on our ability to accept ourselves. Even in the eyes of our least likely fans, we need to be able to see the beauty and power that we possess.

I don't need you to read what I write. I have had millions of people read my work, which has been translated into over 16 different languages and in more countries than I can count. It's been amazing. I have stepped out of my comfort zone in my different professional lives and in my personal life as well. I have met so many incredible people. I have traveled. I have learned. I have worked very hard and slept very little. I have grown. I am still growing into a young woman I hope to never stop being proud of. Though it pains me that my friendship with you will never exist again, it no longer pains me that you don't think I am an adequate human being, because I am far more than adequate. We all are.

This is for every person reading this and envisioning those who made them feel small. This is for every person who has felt like they weren't worth knowing. This is for the people who wanted to be proud, but kept telling themselves they had to do better and better in order to finally achieve acceptance from those that would never truly give it to them, anyway. This is for the people-pleasers, the over-achievers, the full-hearted, the go-getters and the soft-skinned. We want to believe we can achieve anything, including the love of all people. However, if there is one thing I have learned, it is that we can achieve everything, but the things that require us to force others against their will. And why would we want to, anyway? Achieve for one's self, and share those experiences with the people that choose to see us, not the ones we have to tirelessly convince to do so.

So, here is a message to my least likely fan, and to all of the readers' as well:

I don't need your approval. I don't need you to want to know who I am. That is your choice, and your loss. I know I will be able to accomplish my dream, and fulfill every unique purpose I have in this world. I don't need you to prove that to me. I am flawed, but I am proud of who I am. I know in my heart that no matter what I do in this life, I will never be seen by you. There will be others who will choose not to see me either, but finally, I just don't give a damn. I don't give a damn because I see me, and I like what I see.


This Remarkably Proud "Unimpressive" Woman