Gaining Confidence
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Gaining Confidence

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.

Gaining Confidence

"What you think of yourself is much more important than what people think of you."

This is a quote that I think many people are told, and it is easy to tell it. I have told it, and I have been told it. When it comes to actually being on the receiving end of it, it is hard to actually take the words seriously, and to believe it, and to not care about other people. It is even harder when you realize that the way you think about yourself is not always very fond.

Many people, especially young people, myself included, struggle with this concept, especially during the rough pre-teen and teen years. High school in particular, is a trying time, where it is very difficult to love yourself, especially if the others around you do not.

I have always been very lucky. I have always had a lot of friends, and a lot of support and amazing people around me. Even so, I have struggled with my own confidence. I started wearing makeup in seventh grade, and all throughout the rest of middle school into early high school, I would not show up to school without makeup on.

For all of my freshman and sophomore year, I would wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure to pick out the perfect outfit, make sure my hair was pin-straight, and to apply a full face of makeup. I was afraid to show up to school without this "shield". It became a security blanket.

If I heard anything negative about me, my intelligence, my appearance, it really bothered me. I have always been the type of person that wants to be liked, no matter how hard I try to pretend like I do not. That is something many of us struggle with. It is human nature to want to be liked by people, and to make a good impression.

It is also human nature to compare ourselves to others that seem like they have everything together, and appear to be better looking or more successful, and to let it bring you down.

As I have gotten a little bit older, starting somewhat my senior year, and especially now as my freshman year of college winds down, I have started to notice a newfound confidence in myself that did not exist before.

Now, things are different.

No longer do I need a full face of makeup to go out into the world. In fact, I rarely wore much makeup at all now. Sometimes, I actually feel better without it. Shocking, I know. The other day I looked in the mirror. My hair was pulled back, and I had just a few spots of concealer on, covering some blemishes. In that moment, I realized that I actually did not despise my reflection that day, and I snapped a picture of myself. This was a big moment for me because I would have never liked what I saw in that picture a couple of years ago. I also never would have shared that picture, no eye makeup, no hair done, just me. So, here it is. Here is me, with a little bit of a brightened effect, fine, but still a vulnerable, raw, me nevertheless.

Besides physical differences, I started doing the things that I love, and that I want to do, without fear of people making fun of me.

I get involved in doing things that I am passionate about because I am not afraid to put myself out there the way that I once was.

For so long I would write in private, stories and essays, and my feelings on subjects on my laptop, or scribbled in a notebook, for no one but me, and occasionally a teacher for an assignment. Besides that, many people close to me did not even know that I really liked to write. I was too afraid to put my words on display for others to read, in fear of a possible rejection. In reality, I have received more positivity from friends, family, and even from strangers that I would have never even dreamt of. That alone proved to me that I need to be confident in myself, and realize that the majority of the time, the only person who is holding me back is not a peer, but rather, myself. What a thought that is.

I entered college fearing I was not intelligent enough to be here. I thought that I was not cut out for it, and that surely others would think so too. To my surprise, I ended up receiving the best grades I have ever gotten in school, my first semester of college, just further proving my point, with so many opportunities I have been given.

What I have come to find, is that our mind tends to play tricks on us. It tells us we are not attractive enough, smart enough, or just enough in general. For too long I let these thoughts dictate the way I was living my life, thinking that if I did not think I was able to do something, or if I was not pretty enough, then surely no one else will think so either.

Each year as I have gotten older, I notice a new step in the right direction of being okay with myself. I am not going to lie and say that I am always the most confident person in the world, or that I do not always feel unbothered by someone not liking me. What I am saying, is each year I become more secure in the person I am, and the person I am becoming.

That is one of the most powerful feelings in the world, getting a bit older and year by year growing, realizing you do not actually hate yourself, and you know, most of the people around you do not hate you either.

I am still not 100% confident in the person I am, the way I look, or the intelligence I possess, but I am inching closer to that every day, every year, and it is freeing. One day, I will be okay posting that selfie with no filter, and it is okay if that day is not today, but it will come.

It is important to remember everyone is trying the best that they can, and many are struggling with their own confidence, far more concerned about themselves, and the way that people perceive them, to even notice you. No one is perfect, not even the ones that seem like they have their whole life completely together. So, with that said, "What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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