Gaining Confidence

There are so many queens out there who don’t yet know they are themselves. Lack of confidence among teenage girls is a serious disease, so here are some tips to fight back!

“Ugh, she’s so ugly.”

“She’s so pretty, she must be conceited.”

“You’re too skinny, gain weight.”

“You’re too fat, lose weight.”

Nowadays it seems like teenagers, especially girls, can’t win for losing—the hate being spread among them is overwhelming. At this point, it seems like everyone focuses on everyone else, but no one does any self-reflection. In a world full of so much animosity, how could one possibly have confidence?

That’s a rhetorical question.

Confidence is very much attainable, I promise.

Once upon a time I was so dejected about myself, on both the inside and outside, I beat myself up about it every day. I even went as far as to write insults on my mirror and force myself to read the hateful messages before I left for school.

Now? You couldn’t tell me I’m not beautiful, not even on my worst day.

Here are the three biggest tips that have completely turned my confidence level around:

Confidence is very much attainable, I promise.

#1: Affirmations

Positive affirmations are super important, despite seeming super cheesy at first. It simply requires you to tell yourself, “I’m amazing” or, “Today’s gonna be a great day”. In the beginning, it might seem as if this technique doesn’t work, but over time I promise it will!

I began saying affirmations in the morning around the end of eighth grade. I had bad acne, natural afro-textured hair still wasn’t “in” yet, and I felt so ugly. I shed tears, I yelled, and even hit my pillow sometimes (because I’d get consequences for sure if I punched a hole in the wall), but nothing made me feel better. Nothing made me feel prettier.

It was my mother who suggested trying affirmations, and I’ve never stopped since. Every morning I tell myself, “I am beautiful, I am kind, I am deserving of good. I can do anything!”

And I am. I can. You are, and you can too.

#2: Take Care of Your Body

Self-care needs to be an absolute priority in your life. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and working out (I’m aware- it can suck) are all huge parts of feeling good about yourself. True beauty begins on the inside, not out! Eating good isn’t as hard as people make it seem. Don’t worry about finding a diet, or a new eating lifestyle. Simply start with having full meals that feature both meat and a vegetables (or just vegetables for my vegetarians/vegans, as long as you’re getting full); you don’t have to fast for half the day or have a diet limited to Brussel sprouts. Also, quick side note: it’s completely okay to cheat sometimes and eat something unhealthy. Treat yourself! If you have ice cream after dinner one night, but you’ve been eating healthy all day, it won’t hurt.

All of my meals include a meat and vegetable, and even my snacks are things like fresh fruits, carrots, pickles, etc. I still love my candy though! I do my best to balance everything out.

Sleep is important in ways that I can’t even describe—that’s what medical professionals are for. Your mind cannot fully function off four hours of sleep a night! Put up the phone, put on some Lofi Hip-Hop (highly recommend for sound sleeping), and try to get to bed before 11pm at least. Freshman year, I was sleeping around three hours a night. Long story short, I function much better in school now with around six hours (and that still isn’t enough I’ll admit), and I’m more at peace than I’ve ever been.

Working out is one of those things that you never want to do in the beginning, but as you start seeing results you can’t stop. It’s scientifically proven that getting physical boosts confidence. I’m not saying you must lose weight or gain muscle or anything! Even going for a walk is considered working out. All that matters is that you get your body moving. I’m one of the laziest people I know, but I have a dog, so I get my workout in whenever I take her on walks during the week; however, I do run every blue moon.

#3: Go Easy on Yourself

If you listen to nothing else in this article, the biggest thing I could say is go easy on yourself. We’re our own biggest critics, and have a bad habit of finding flaws where no one else does. Whether this means physical appearance, a mistake, setback, or whatever else, be kind to yourself. Moreover, putting yourself down won’t give you better results. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll see worse results.

According to a 2009 study, it’s proven that self-compassion boosts self-confidence. We’re human, we’re not perfect. Remind yourself of that! You’ll mess up plenty of times, but if you tell yourself “It’s fine, everyone makes mistakes. I’ll do better next time” you’ll see a better outcome in the future. If you think you’re seeing a physical flaw, remind yourself that, “It’s nothing, I’m seeing things that aren’t there. I’m being overly critical.” and smile your way out the door. Watch, over time you’ll lose sight of whatever it is you were making up in your head.

I understand that it can be hard to feel like the queen you are and treat yourself as such. Confidence won’t come immediately, but these tips surely will help you. I wish you luck on your journey of self-love, you got this!