My Fight With Confidence

My Fight With Confidence

It all started in middle school, a normal age for teenagers to have feelings about themselves.

I would look at the lives of my classmates and wonder why I couldn’t have a life like them. I would watch my mother put on her makeup every morning and think to myself “I can’t wait to do that.” So I can be as beautiful as her.

I would watch the boys drool over my sister and think “Why can’t the boys look at me that way?” I would watch every boy I ever felt any attraction to turn me down and run to someone prettier. “Is it my hair?” “Is it my body?” “Is it the way I dress?” I would ask myself.

“Maybe I need to show more skin, or maybe I need to show less.”

I doubted who I was, who I was becoming, or who I could be.

When transiting to high school, I noticed that many students were living different lives and I realized that I was one of those students. It’s no secret today that I was living in a homeless shelter, at school I was able to be someone I wasn’t, anything to help boost my confidence. Growing up I was always the outcast so for once I just wanted to fit in, no matter what the cost was, I paid for it.

Honestly, trying to fit in just made it worse. The littlest things would shoot my confidence down again, and suddenly I was back at square one. I saw so much sadness when I looked at myself in the mirror, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I wanted to be prettier, skinnier, and happier.

I thought maybe I needed to lose weight, I would purge to get rid of the food I ate. Thankfully, I realized that it was unhealthy and stopped before it got serious. It wasn’t just confidence on the outside; it was confidence within. I was afraid to be my true self because I wanted people to notice me. Being myself never worked in middle school, I was invisible.

Many people thought I was someone confident with herself, outspoken and bubbly, but it was all an act, I think I deserve an Oscar for how much of an act I put up in high school.

Sometimes I wish I can go back and be proud of who I was at the time instead of forcing myself to change just to be liked, but without that, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

I wasn’t aware that I was too critical of myself, I would put myself down all the time. I was naïve and fragile; I didn’t know who to speak to. I compared myself to others, which later on led to depression.

It was difficult to accept responsibility and constructive criticism, which stopped me from opportunities and prevented me from taking on new challenges. I kept pushing people away; it ruined a lot of important relationships.

I had to get to know myself and become my own best friend. I needed to feel good about myself. I spent a lot of time alone and took some time to myself. It helped me gain a better appreciation of myself.

I also had to acknowledge where I needed to change.

We all have faults; and if I didn’t recognize and acknowledge where I needed to change, it would’ve kept me stuck in a rut of poor self-esteem, which would have only gotten worse the more I tried to run from it, so I stopped running from it. I accepted things for the way they were and understood that nothing will change if I just sit and complain about life not being fair all the time. Eventually, I could find where I wanted to change, and I slowly made progress with it.

One thing I learned from this experience is that you can’t train confidence, it’s an attitude. After years of struggling to accept myself, I learned that attitude, and now I walk with it proudly.

Love yourself first, you’re not selfish for putting your needs before others. Sometimes being selfish can be the most selfless thing you can do.