By Katelyn Pyfer
Distinguished Young Woman of Colorado for 2013
Life sucks sometimes. It really does. And in the moments that life sucks, I can bet that you’re not feeling super great about yourself. Whether you broke up with your boyfriend and you don’t feel lovable, or a close family member is sick and you feel like you’re not strong enough to fix things, or even when you’re at midterms and you feel like at any point you’re going to curl up in a ball and break from all of the stress…sometimes you just feel inadequate, boring, ugly, or hopeless.
Well let me tell you something! Life may be awful, but YOU’RE NOT!!! And the fact that you’re even reading this on a hard day means that you’re strong enough to look for something that will cheer you up – and that needs to be celebrated. And so many other things do too! In fact, I’ve been trying to implement this new thing in my life where I give myself what I call “Deep Meaningful Compliments.” It’s where you describe an action you did today and what that reveals about your inner character. Here are a few that I’ve tried out:
“Katelyn, you got four hours of sleep last night because you were studying, and even though you could have slept all day, you rolled out of bed this morning to get to class. That really shows dedication to your studies. Good job on being hardworking and diligent!
“Katelyn, you had something really exciting to tell your friends, but you made sure to ask them about their day before you talked about yourself. What a great friend you are to make sure others feel important!
“Katelyn, you had the worst day in the world today. Everything that could have gone wrong most definitely did. But on your way home from school, you smiled and said hello to the person that was crossing the street with you. That really exemplifies the love you have for other people and your ability to look outside yourself to show warmth to a stranger.”
Now, I know that may seem a little foreign and silly to you, but this process forces you to think deeper than your actions or your feelings and to define your character. Actions speak louder than words, yes, but realize what those actions are saying! Realize that you are a good, genuine, interesting, and desirable human being. Because YOU ARE!!! And the small things you do and the simple things you say show a divine influence in your very spirit that makes you infinitely wonderful.
So, this week I have a goal for you. Celebrate yourself! Give yourself those “Deep Meaningful Compliments!” Let your subconscious feel loved and valued…I mean we all know that it goes through a whole heck of a lot in life. And when life sucks (as it is very much prone to) keep on pushing through all the bad to find the good – because it is there, maybe even just because you are. In the words of Aibileen Clark (Kathryn Stockett): “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” So strut your stuff, girl. And celebrate the person who is you!
Katelyn Pyfer is a college freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah majoring in Social Sciences Education and minoring in Math Education. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, Katelyn was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Colorado for 2013. Learn more about Katelyn here!