Today, I’m going to open up a little more than I usually do. I’m not writing all of this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I’m writing it because I want you to know that I am a real person. I have faults and failures. I have had struggles in the past. But I want you to know that, in time, we can overcome those faults and move on.
Growing up, I was always made fun of. I was bullied and I let it get to me. Honestly, people made fun of me for what I wore and for how my hair looked. They mocked me for being smart and getting good grades and for being the “teacher’s pet”. They would make fun of me because I was quiet and I didn’t talk much. That affected me a lot in middle school and junior high. Kids are mean. I never quite understood why people would say such mean things about me. I was never mean to anyone else. In fact, my mom always taught me to be kind to everyone, even when they weren’t nice to me. This all happened during a time in my life when peer pressure overwhelming and the desire to fit in was the strongest feeling in my life.
That all changed when I decided that I wasn’t going to let other people get me down. I chose to not let other people define me. I found my identity in Christ.
I wasn’t going to let people tell me that I was ugly. I wasn’t going to let media tell me that I had to have poker straight hair, designer clothes, and have all the expensive makeup just to make me feel beautiful. I was already beautiful in God’s eyes because He made me.
I also want to let you know that sometimes I still feel inferior. The feelings of self-worthlessness would creep back into my life on a whim and I would be upset for days because of it. That’s when I had to keep reminding myself that God made me the way I am for a reason and that He will always love me no matter what I looked like or what I wore or how I styled my hair.
Over the past couple years I started to do things differently in my life. I started doing things to make me feel better about myself. I was determined that even if no one else liked me (which wasn’t true) that I would at least like me.
If you are feeling the same way I did, I want you to know that it is possible to feel confident about yourself again. If you haven’t noticed already, but I like making lists of things. So, here is a list of 10 ways to help you boost your confidence and your self-esteem.
1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else: You aren’t supposed to be like them or look like them and that is perfectly fine. You are supposed to be you! Embrace it. You are beautiful no matter what.
2. Smile and laugh often: Not only will laughing and smiling lift your mood, but they make everyone else around you happy, too. Every girl looks radiant when she is smiling!
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”-Proverbs 17:22
3. Try to be a better person today then you were yesterday: Instead of trying to be better then someone else or living up to the standards of another person, try being better then yourself! Challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday. You can do it!
4. Encourage someone else: Why not? If you see someone is having a rough day or having a hard time, encourage them. Making other people happy makes me happy.
5. Go without makeup (or use minimal makeup) for a day: Be comfortable in your own skin. It’s okay if your skin isn’t flawless because, honestly, most people don’t have perfect skin. Wash your face and just embrace a clean, bare, refreshed face.
6. Listen to happy music: Listen to upbeat, encouraging music and sing at the top of your lungs. I don’t care if you’re completely tone-deaf. Sing loud!
7. Work at developing your talents: You have special talents that you can only get better at the more you practice. Besides, doing things you love is awesome anyway!
8. Wear comfortable clothes: Wear an outfit that you feel comfortable because you like it, not to impress anyone else. Also, wear something that actually feels comfortable. If you can’t move in your jeans because they are too tight, don’t wear them just because that is the style. If you can’t sit comfortably in your clothes then you will probably be miserable.
9. Eat something healthy: If you normally don’t eat extremely healthy food, eating fresh veggies or a bunch of fresh fruit will make you feel more refreshed. I noticed that if I eat something healthy, I will want to continue eating healthy food throughout the day and week.
10: Don’t put others down: Putting other people down won’t make you look stronger. Those people who get their “power” from making someone else feel small are actually the weak and insecure ones. Be strong and be kind.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”-Eleanor Roosevelt