When I was about eight years old, one of my primary school teachers told me she'd hate to ever be lost anywhere with me.
She was referring to my poor performance in a lesson about reading maps.
I've never forgotten what she said. It hurt at the time, you know? In the way things do when you're a highly sensitive eight year old girl.
But as it turns out, I actually have a really pretty good sense of direction, and my map-reading skills aren't too shabby. Put me in a city I've never been to before and I'll instinctively remember all the streets I've walked down and know exactly how to get back to where I started.
I admit, my hill, mountain and country map-reading skills could probably do with a little more work.
Another teacher once wrote in my maths book, "By George, she's finally got it!"
I'd correctly completed a maths exercise I'd been struggling with.
It stuck with me and sank deeper. I must be bad at numbers. I must be rubbish at maths. I must be stupid when it comes to reading maps.
It never occurred to me that maybe my maths teacher wasn't good at explaining the problem. Or that my primary school teacher might be wrong. I automatically assumed I was the problem.
And that's something I took into my adult life, the assumption that I was always the problem.
If that's something you know you've carried with you too, today's message is for you:
No one has the right to tell you what you are and are not capable of.
Only you know what you have inside you.
Only you know whether or not you're capable of something.
Only you know whether you're living up to your current potential or not.
So if anyone has ever in the past, or is now in the present, or ever does in the future tell you that you're not good at X or that you'll never be able to do Y - feel free to thank them politely and then proceed to put their words in the fire to burn.
The world is full of people who've achieved remarkable things. Things that others said weren't possible.
Those are average people with average thinking. And they haven't understood that you, my friend, are far from average.
Always turn inward instead of outward when looking to understand what's possible for you. For no one else will ever understand the power you hold inside.
Love and courage,