This week I came across Muhammad Ali’s famous quote, “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” I’ve seen this quote repeatedly, but somehow it hit me a different way this time. Most of us have heard we are born with greatness, but how many of us actually believe it? Or better yet, how many of us actually feel it?
Photo of Me by Fun
From an intellectual standpoint, it isn’t difficult to grasp the concept that God made us all special with unique gifts to offer the world. But so many of us still live in insecurity, being other validated and looking for someone else to co-sign our worthiness. We may not recognize our insecurity until we’re faced with challenges that rattle our core sense of self, and beliefs about our abilities. You know that feeling you get when you’re doing something outside of your comfort zone, and anxiety creeps in? It is during those challenging moments that we have an opportunity to learn what it really means to feel SECURE. A real sense of security means that no matter how inept or unqualified we feel, we know deep down that it does not diminish our greatness or the gifts we were born with. It means that even if no one validates or recognizes what we do, we are convinced it does not change how fierce we are. And although we may feel like we’re missing out when we are dismissed or overlooked, we get that it is actually others who miss out because we get to keep our gifts with us.
Photo by Sarah Seung
So in case you have had a hard time feeling it or have just forgotten, let me remind you that there is absolutely no one like you on this earth—who does it the way you do it—who has the unique compilation of gifts and quirks packaged in such a way that makes you, you. And when we really feel that, then we can all be like Muhammad Ali and say with the same level of conviction that we too are great, whether or not anyone validates it. So with that in mind, I say to you, Baby, you’re the greatest.