Sunday, 1 May 2016

Teen Talk: Becoming Confident

Within today's society, most young people struggle with confidence and feeling comfortable within their own skin. I also experience this myself and seeing as most of my readers are teenagers, I figured that this topic would be something that the majority of you can relate to in one way or another. If you can tell by the title, it's a 'Teen Talk' post. I actually had high hopes of starting a series relating to teen topics, hence why I chose the name specifically, but at that time, I had so many other series' going on, so I decided against that idea. If this post is received well and it gets positive feedback, then I shall consider continuing this series on, but I will also vary the topics, so that there is something for everyone to take from at least one post.
The first thing that I wanted to talk about is my own personal journey with confidence.
If you have met me before in real life, then you will know that I've always been quite a shy, reserved person. Ever since I was little, I'd always hide away at family parties or social occasions and I'd literally just isolate myself away from the world as much as I could. I didn't have very many friends at all in primary school, because I couldn't find it in myself to pluck up the courage and go over to people that I didn't typically talk to. Some people are just naturally confident and outgoing. I'm not sure if it's down to the way they have been since birth, but I just know that I wasn't born that way. I could never do presentations, I could never speak in front of the class, I could never get involved in group conversations and I could never really do anything without going as red as a tomato.
I'm now 15 and I feel as though I have changed a lot throughout the past few months. Various family members have also commented on this change and I strongly believe that it's a positive one. Growing up is incredibly difficult and it's a challenge that goes on for a number of years, but it's something that all of us go through, so it just needs to be accepted. There are, however, a couple of small things that you can do, which may help you to become more confident a little quicker. I'm just taking them from personal experience and so they may not work for you, but they certainly have worked for me.
1. Think of what you could be turning down if you were to say 'no' - This is something that I often think about a lot. Let's say that you're also a fellow blogger and you have built yourself up quite a following. You could potentially have opened yourself up to a whole new side of blogging. You could now have the opportunity to attend events, meet-ups, see other bloggers, travel to places you have never been to before and so much more. There is a whole other world of opportunities waiting for you. If you say 'no' all of the time, then you could be turning down life-changing experiences that you may never get the chance to have again. Just imagine that! I understand that you may get nervous and you may find social situations challenging, but just think of all the good that could come out of saying yes. It's worth a shot, don't you think? Give it a go and see where it leads!
2. Fake it 'till you make it - I'm sure that the majority of you have heard of this catchphrase by now, because it's something that's always continuously repeated whenever the topic of confidence comes up into conversation, but it really is so true. I actually try to do it myself sometimes and I feel like it does genuinely work. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of shy, anxious people within the word - probably more than you realise in fact. It can be very difficult to actually break out of that shell of comfort, but it's something that really does need to be done eventually. You may think of the phrase 'fake it 'till you make it' and you may argue that you could never do such a thing. The only reason you think that is because you have simply never tried it yourself. You are what you think. You are pretty much capable of anything, but you just need to put your mind to it. You have to convince yourself that you are confident before you can actually be confident, if that makes sense. Hold your head up high, try your best to approach people, even if you have never spoken to them before in your life, always greet passers-by with a smile, be as bold as you can with your actions and your choices. Try not to be afraid of what others think. Their opinion is irrelevant, regardless of whether it's good or bad.
You have one life. You are the one who can make all of the choices and ultimately decide the outcome of it. The more you practise being confident, the quicker you will become just that.
3. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent - The fact is, nothing holds you back more than your own insecurities do. There is no need to worry about what other people think. I'm the first to admit that I often take the opinions of others to heart, but then once I've spoken to a few of my loved ones, I realise that I shouldn't bother getting so worked up about it. We all have different passions and different ambitions, which is completely okay. That's what makes us all unique. People won't always agree with you on everything and people won't always like you either. That's a given and that's something that you just need to try your hardest to accept. You are your own person and you get to decide who enters your life and who exits your life. It's your choice to decide whether you let people make you feel bad about the things that you say or do. If they don't like that, then it doesn't matter! It's completely okay. You don't live your life to please others all of the time. You live your life to fulfil your ambitions and make your dreams a reality.
I really hope this post has helped some of you. Let me know if it has! Do you have any tips on becoming confident? Share them in the comments below, as you never know how many other people you may inspire.
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

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