It's not until you visit the past that you are able to move ahead towards a brighter future. Within the past two and a half months I was coerced to bring forth memories that lay amongst cobwebs in the back of my mind. Of the many recollections, I learned a lot of my insecurities and strive for perfectionism began around fourth grade. At nine years old I persuaded myself that something was wrong with me, that I wasn't smart enough nor capable of succeeding on my own without medications and extra, "special" attention. I struggled through the academic years, leading up to and including college, with feelings of low self worth and lack of competence. To be honest, I've been so hard on myself and self-critical that I doubt I'll ever feel competent. I make excuses for everything. For instance, as social-action chair on Pitt's Student Board for Hillel, I brought in speakers and planned a plethora of events. Despite the number of attendance, compliments or quality of the program I never failed to think, "It was ok, but I could have or should have done this to make it better". That thought comes without hesitance in everything I do. Through therapy I've been taught to catch myself when that 'but' or 'should have' thought surfaces; However, when I try to challenge it, many times I convince myself that there really was something I could have done. I can't take in and own compliments-- though I am genuinely appreciative for such comments. My goal for today is to not let a compliment be dismissed; Instead, I'll internalize it. My challenge for you is to own it. Tell yourself one thing you're proud of, and when you feel the urge to let that 'could have' or 'should have' thought surface, push it away. I could probably conjure up an endless list of compliments and accomplishments for every single individual reading this right now. But the crucial question is-- can you?