Illuminating The Beauty-FULL in You

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli


For the audio version of this post, listen here:

In a post called “Beautiful” in On Wings & Whimsy: Finding The Extraordinary Within The Ordinary, I remember a story wherein my then-three-year-old daughter ponders whether or not she is “beautiful.” Whether or not she is “anything.” It made me shudder, even back then, how prevalent the culture of comparison is, and how from such a young age we judge our worth against the approval or disapproval of others.  

And I was thinking about it again recently because I saw a funny-true meme that reminds us to “stop trying to be liked by everybody” because we “don’t even like everybody.”  

liked by everybody

Touché, random wall art. Touché.  

Because we do get caught up in that need for approval, don’t we? I don’t care how old you are, or where you live, or how you spend your days… chances are you’ve fallen prey to this need for validation.

We ask our parents, then our friends, then our teachers, then our romantic partners, then social media, then strangers at the store:

Am I pretty?

Am I smart?

Am I funny?

Am I strong?

Am I sexy?

Am I interesting?

Have I made something of myself?

Are you impressed by my house/car/job/body/money?

Do you like me? Do you like me? Do you like me?

It’s of endless fascination to me to watch smart, magical, beautiful, talented, funny, remarkable people—people that I love and would write songs and poems about if I could; people who deserve statues in their likeness—quiver under the weight of their own personal “Am I Enough?”s

I recently stumbled across this question:

“And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”

And thought to myself Holy Hell.

So, this is your Wednesday STOP IT.   This is your momentary antidote… your shot of YES OF COURSE YOU ARE ENOUGH, DAMMIT.

Listen. You are full of beauty. You are beauty-full.  

Oh, beautiful, beauty-full, beauty-full, beauty-FULL you….   how can you claim (or re-claim) your beauty today?


Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.