Mikaela Shiffrin is here to remind everyone that self-acceptance is a powerful tool.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist has partnered with The Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign to help end the stigma of mental health and learning disorders by sharing her own experience as a self-described introvert.
Shiffrin, 23, recalls a “phase” in her life where she “didn’t want to be the center of attention” and struggled socially. As an alpine skier, Mikaela said she was “forced into situations where I had to become more personable and go outside of myself and break open the shell a little bit,” an experience she called “helpful” in the process of discovering her identity.
If given the chance, Shiffrin said she would tell her younger self, “‘You’re shy and it’s OK. You can be shy. You can love being with your best friend and your family. You can love being by yourself. That’s fine.”
She continued, “That transition to becoming a little bit more social will be natural. It’s OK to be shy. You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room. You don’t have to be the one that tells all the funniest jokes. Just be there and appreciate being there.”
Throughout the month of May, which marks National Mental Health Awareness Month, celebrities like Kristen Bell, Gabrielle Union, James Van Der Beek, Brittany Snow, Sarah Silvermanand more have shared personal videos offering words of encouragement to their younger selves.
Check out the entirety of Shiffrin’s heartfelt message by pressing play on the video above.
Learn more about The Child Mind Institute and how you can help by visiting their website today.