How To Gain Confidence

My name is Jenna, I'm 20 years old, and up until I graduated high school, I had absolutely no confidence in myself.

I always thought of myself as average. I had pretty good, but not Ivy League grades, I was decent looking, but I wouldn't consider myself stunning, I was good at sports, but by no means was I the star athlete, I had friends, but I wasn't the most popular girl, and pretty much everything about me was awkward. I had an awkward laugh, awkward smile, awkward looking body, and awkward personality. I was the definition of goofy in all aspects.

Senior year changed my life for the better. I focused on myself, I settled down with my best friends, and I started the relationship with my current fiancé! I completely transformed from an awkward teenager to someone who loved herself. I felt good about myself for probably the first time in my life. Who and what I surrounded myself with completely changed me. To break it down, here are just a few of the many things that made me and can make you feel confident.

1. You

You are the most important thing. People always say to focus on yourself first and things will start coming to you, but typically we don't listen. Well, we should. High school is filled with constantly trying to impress other people. I felt pretty lost in high school, and it took me awhile to find myself. I started to focus on myself and things I wanted to do, and better things naturally started to happen. I was a follower, and I became a leader. I started going to the gym and lost almost 30 pounds. My skin, which has always been an issue for me, cleared up. I no longer wore Sperrys and Hollister clothing like everyone else, and I started to develop my own style. I discovered my love for writing and decided to pursue it (and look at me now). I worked my butt off at work and at school, and I was getting recognition for my hard work. I stopped trying to impress everyone, and discovered that when I'm not even trying, I'm pretty awesome.

2. Friends

I think we can all agree that high school girls suck and they're pretty mean. I can admit, I was the absolute worst and a lot of the things I did were just plain cruel. It is so difficult to find good girl friends. Throughout high school, I hung out on and off with a group of really mean girls. They constantly made me feel like I had to prove myself and that I was never good enough. Finally, I started to surround myself with two girls, Clare and Sakina, and they made me feel like I was hot shit even when I was acting silly. I no longer felt the need to pretend to be cool or try to fit in. I felt comfortable being myself because they thought the 'real' me was cool, if not cooler, than who I was trying to be. They taught me to embrace my goofiness, which for my whole life I was ashamed of. These two make me feel whole every time I'm around them. They taught me that I must be pretty great to have as great of friends as they are.

3. Dating

Before you even think about dating anyone, you need to first find happiness within yourself and your surroundings. This is in no way telling you that you need to have someone to be confident, but if you do want to date, make sure to be with someone who makes you feel confident with yourself. Do not be with anyone that makes you feel that you aren't good enough. I was in an on-again off-again relationship throughout high school with a guy who one day wanted to just be friends, the next day wanted to be my boyfriend, and the day after that he was dating someone else. It was horrible, and I tolerated it. I continually fought for his attention and I never felt good enough. Jared, my fiancé, came into my life after the start of my confidence boost, and he only fueled it. From the start, he acted as if everything I did was great. Three and a half years later, we live together and see the absolute worst sides of one another. Even when I'm sick with the stomach flu at my lowest, ugliest point, he still makes me feel like I am the most beautiful girl. His treatment of me makes me feel like I am always beautiful.

The point is that who you are is shaped by who you surround yourself with. Do not ever settle for people who never make you feel good enough. Do not be influenced by negative people. Do not surround yourself with toxic people because you will become a toxic person. Find yourself a Clare, Sakina, and Jared, and you will feel like the most beautiful person in the world.

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