I’ve always prided myself on being a high achiever, a proficient multitasker, and an ambitious entrepreneur. So every year when the New Year comes around, I diligently do an organized recap of my past year – the highs, lows, important lessons learned – followed by a list of big lofty goals that I want to achieve.

I’ve noticed that each year, these goals become bigger and bigger, but along with it, comes more pressure, more anxiety, and more stress.

From an outside perspective, anyone looking at my past year might say that my greatest achievement was the successful sale of my startup, SheWorx; however, I realized that what I was most proud of had nothing to do with external goals. After three decades of struggling through imposter syndrome and a secret all-consuming lack of confidence, I finally achieved an internal state of “Enoughness.” I learned to truly love myself, and for the first time, I could look at myself in the mirror and honestly say, “I am enough.”

I can’t explain how life-changing this perspective has been for me – a diehard perfectionist who has spent her whole life poking at her flaws rather than celebrating her strengths. Self-love has taught me how to finally set strong boundaries and say “No,” it has helped remove any lingering self-doubt, shame, and limiting beliefs, and it has given me an ability to face life with a courage and confidence I never thought possible.

So this year, instead of a list of goals, I decided to start the new decade with a firm recommitment to self-love by writing a love letter to the woman I see in the mirror every single day. I hope this inspires you to do the same for yourself.

Dear Woman in The Mirror,

I know I haven’t been that nice to you in the past. I criticized you, I shamed you, I neglected you. Sometimes I looked at you and secretly wished you were someone else altogether. In my worst moments, I even tried to purposely hurt you.

I called you names like “stupid bitch,” and “fat whore,” names that I would never call even my worst enemies, but I said them to you, repeatedly. Sometimes I whispered these insults under my breath, other times I said it directly to your face.

I’m not sure where this need to put you down came from. Perhaps it was some masochistic urge to feel like I was in control of you. In some twisted way it made me feel like I had power. I’ve always had this thing about needing to be in control… I’m a perfectionist… but you knew that.

I drove you like a slave, overworked you, and didn’t give you enough time to recover. You’ve been obedient to all of my commands, without any complaints, so I ended up taking advantage of you. I’ve made you physically sick from stress, anxiety, and constant pressure. In those rare instances when you’ve been working so much and are about to fall off a cliff, I had no choice but to give you a break. But otherwise, I was merciless.

I’ve put you as the lowest priority on my list more times than I can remember. But you never complained. You just kept showing up. Day after day after day. No matter what, you were always there.

I’ve put you through a lot. Like a whole fucking lot.

And I know I can’t take back what I’ve done, but I just want to say, I’m so sorry. You never deserved to be treated like that.

We often take for granted the people that love us. Probably because we think their love is unconditional, that they’ll be around forever… but in reality, they won’t. And sometimes, by the time we realize we want to do better, it’s too late.

I did that to you. I took you for granted. I’m so sorry.

I don’t need you to forgive me, I just want you to know that I love you. And I’m not just saying it, I really do.

I love you.

I commit to loving you through thick and thin.

I commit to loving you till death do us part.

You’re the only one I ever needed.

Love always,