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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

There comes a point in life where you have to recognize what you deserve. For me, the moment I realized I needed to value my self-worth over anything was the moment that my life changed for the better. Once I started implementing changes in my life that catered to finding my self-worth, my happiness, self-confidence and my perspective on life all improved. 

But before I tell the secret to my success, I want to share a snippet of my life. In grade school, middle school and high school, I never felt as though I had a solid group of friends. It was me on the outside looking into friendships I wished so badly that I could partake in. I would allow myself to be mistreated in all my friendships because I was afraid that if I stood up for myself, I would simply have no friends. That mindset made me a person who was insecure, jealous and scared. I never learned how to set healthy boundaries for the friendships in my life and allowed myself to be walked over by my “friends.” The thought of facing loneliness scared me into staying in friendships that did not benefit me.
It was an endless cycle that seemingly had no end, until one day I decided that I had enough. It had gotten to the point that I realized that I only have myself to rely on, so it was time to care about myself before giving myself to others. I removed all the “friends” from my life that were hurting me, and was left with two people. It was incredibly hard but I knew that I did not deserve to be treated the way my supposed “friends” were treating me. I finally was putting myself first. I learned how to set boundaries for others, which led me to figure out how to have respect for myself and eventually I learned to love myself completely for who I am.
I learned that it was better to be by myself rather than be walked all over. I accepted that if people didn’t want me for who I am, they weren’t worth my time. My inner healing is an experience I will always be thankful for. Even though it was prompted through hurt, it led to something beautiful and life-changing.

 If I could tell my younger self one thing, I would tell her that she is making the right decision and that life would show her what she deserved. If I didn’t take that step toward finding my self-worth, I absolutely would not be the person I am today. I wouldn’t have the amazing friends I have now and I wouldn’t have learned to love myself for who I am. It’s cliche to say but don’t change yourself for others, because the essence of your being will attract the right people—it just takes time. I am proud of my younger self for being able to recognize when enough was enough, and decide to finally discover my self-worth. To anyone struggling with this journey, the most important thing to remember is that finding your self-worth is not linear, it takes time. 

Hi my name is Lily Dang and I am from Omaha, NE! I'm here to keep it raw and real, I'm an open book! (or you could say open article). I hope what I write resonates with you and just know, you are not alone in your experiences! I'm your friend, your advice columnist, and food for thought. Enjoy :)))