“The biggest challenge of your life is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.” — Anonymous.

We all have a need for acceptance. Sometimes, so much so, that we find ourselves conforming to the so called norm. If acceptance comes at the cost of compromising our uniqueness, who we were created to be, then we are setting ourselves up for a huge disappointment. The desired acceptance won’t bring us any level of fulfillment if we have to be anyone other than ourselves to obtain it. If others don’t accept us for who we are they will never genuinely accept us no matter how much we give in to their demands. Nothing we do will ever be enough anyway.

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” —Maya Angelou.

The sad truth is that the more we change to make others happy, and gain their acceptance, the more we will be making ourselves unhappy and we may even lose our ability to accept ourselves. Self-acceptance is something we cannot afford to relinquish. We need to not only accept who we are but truly like ourselves, embracing our uniqueness.

“Being different isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re brave enough to be yourself.” — Luna Lovegood (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter).

The truth of the matter is, that there is nothing wrong with being different. Life would be terribly boring if we were all the same. Our strengths or talents are often born out of our differences. When we stay true to ourselves we are able to grow and to fulfill our highest potential.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” — Winnie The Pooh

If we focus more on self-acceptance we will find ourselves developing into well-rounded, healthy, happy and confident individuals. The irony is the happier we are with ourselves the more likely we are to attract others to us. You cannot please everyone all the time that I am afraid is a fool’s errand, an elusive pursuit. What you can do is be the best you that you can be, even if that means being seen as different. When you do this you will not only achieve real, lasting, self-acceptance but you will attract the right people into your life. People whose acceptance of you is sincere and unconditional.

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” — Dr. Seuss

Children are still discovering their own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. They are vulnerable to peer pressure with the false hope of fitting in. Children desperately seek approval and long to be liked. A child should never be made to feel inadequate. Sadly, rejection is a very real part of an often terribly cruel world.

I wrote “The little grey horse who loves to run” to show children that there is nothing wrong with being different. I hope it will encourage little ones to celebrate their uniqueness and to always be true to themselves. It is my humble prayer that every child will love themselves and experience the unconditional love of others. Stories with morals are a wonderful medium through which valuable lessons can be taught and for sowing seeds of virtue into little hearts.

“The little grey horse who loved to run” is available from Amazon and various other leading online retailers. I hope this story will bless children and parents alike. If you have read and enjoyed this story would you please be so kind and show your support by leaving a review.

Any blog or book related feedback and questions are always welcome. I would love to hear from you. Please share photographs of your children enjoying my books by posting them on my website and/or my Jacqui Shepherd Children’s Author Facebook Page.

Make story time a special time. Happy reading!

“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are.” — Mandy Hale.


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