I remember the first time it happened. I was in first grade, about to turn in my worksheet, when the girl who sat next to me stopped me. She insisted that I had the wrong answer on one of the problems.
So, I changed my answer.
And from that moment on, anytime in life that someone else spoke with confidence or conviction, I took them at their word. I gave all of those people, with their strong opinions, firm beliefs, and well-intentioned advice authority over me; over my own opinions and beliefs and desires.
I doubted myself.
I gave in.
I kept quiet.
I changed my answer.
And, over time, I completely lost confidence in my voice because what I was hearing when all those people spoke was that they were right, and I was wrong.
I had the correct answer on my paper…before I changed it. And, I can remember that Miss Hardy, seeing what had happened, addressed the class, suggesting that the greater mistake is to go with someone else’s answer.
I realize now that she was telling me that I have my own voice. If I had trusted it over the years, I could have spared myself so much wandering.
That sounds like regret, but it’s not. It’s relief in knowing that I had the right answers all along; that I can trust my inner voice.
You have a God-given voice. Trust it.
See you in class,