What You Can Do To Love Yourself
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What You Can Do To Love Yourself

Here is how you can discover who you are.

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What You Can Do To Love Yourself
Patrick Brinksma

Walking into my fourth-grade classroom, I was excited. With my Bratz lunchbox in hand and a bright pink backpack, my first day at a new school was going to be great! When I walked into my classroom, I took a look around to find out that I was one of two black kids in the classroom and one of three in the entire grade. I did not realize it at the time, but I would spend several years trying to identify with those around me instead of trying to find myself.

Being yourself can be a difficult thing to do when everyone around you can't relate to you in any way. At first, impressionable, nine-year-old I didn't worry about being myself. However, I soon realized that if I didn't fit in any of the cliques' personalities, I wouldn't fit in at all. The threat of being an outcast became closer and closer until I started to act differently around different types of people so that I could fit all the cliques' personalities. So yeah. I learned all of the words to Taylor Swift's songs, and I started to say, "I hate school," just because everyone else said it. However, I honestly didn't care for Taylor Swift's music, and I loved school. Despite that, I continued to change more things about myself and went as far as changing my hairstyle to gain acceptance.

Now, let's take a look at why plenty of kids don't feel comfortable being themselves. Then, we'll see how we can stop being afraid to be ourselves, and finally, we'll accept ourselves for who we are.

So, why are some kids afraid to be themselves? Of course, people want social acceptance. However, there is the chance they will receive the total opposite: rejection. It's not a good feeling when you show someone who you really are, and they don't like you back or hold you as an object of ridicule. Being rejected can even take a toll on your physical health, which you can read more about on Psychological Science's website.

What can kids do to stop being so afraid of showing who they really are to others? First, you need to know that you're not alone. There are so many other people out in the world going through the same struggle you are. Find someone to talk to about your problem. You can always talk to God. Give your problems to the Lord, let go, and live a meaningful life. Secondly, you need to confront your fears. Stop caring what other people think of you and do your own thing. You need to focus on your goals. Finally, stop worrying about what other people are going to think of you. If you're thinking that other people are talking about you, they're not. They're too busy thinking about what other people think of them. Fearing what others think about you limits you to a cage. Once you step out of that cage, your confidence will build, and you will turn into the person you were meant to be.

Lastly, how do we take the final steps to accepting ourselves? Remember that you're an incredible human being no matter what anybody says. Sometimes we make the mistake of letting others define who we are, but from now on we will control what we think of ourselves and be strong enough to be ourselves even when it's difficult. For more information on what steps you can take to finally be yourself, check out Psych Central's 12 Ways to Accept Yourself.

As amazing as the fourth grade was, I realized for the first time that there is the risk of rejection when I show who I really am to other kids. At the time, I wasn't brave enough to stand up for who I was. I spent years trying to bury myself beneath society's expectations for me. Now I'm re-discovering who I am, and I'm living up to my own goals instead of societies. I thank God that I have the support system and courage to be myself. Remember to love who you are!

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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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