Your teenage years are the time in your life where you can be at your lowest, where your deception of yourself can be so negative and low that it really effects you mentally and physically. Some people take their teen years in their stride, and feel like it’s the best times of their lives but for people who are like I was and hated the changes occurring to my body and had very low self esteem it was a hard and rocky time.
Sometimes things continuously seem like they’re not going your way, sometimes you feel like no matter what you do it is never good enough, that you’re not good enough. And as easy as it is for someone to tell you you are good enough, the hard part is believing and practicing it. Insecurity is one of life’s hardest obstacles to over come, whether you have trust issues, abandonment issues or any form of anxiety it can seem to take over your whole life. It seems too bloody hard to separate yourself from these issues. Being able to do so is not easy but god it is one of the most rewarding things you could ever try to do.
The changes that occur in your body during your teens can feel scary, limiting and stressful, the fact that your hormones change you into an angry crying mess once a month can seem so horrific. My self esteem issues started when I was about 13 years old when I started my period, my body was changing and my cute puppy fat was going to places I felt were unflattering. My hips got bigger and I hated the way they stuck out more than my legs. I hated the fact I was getting boobs, but that wasn’t because I didn’t feel good having them but because of the unwanted attention and comments from the testosterone-filled gawky boys in my year. Until about 14, I hid my body away and just kept myself to myself, until I met a boy who seemed to take my heart away. At the time I thought I felt better about myself because I had to make an effort to change myself for him, but now I know that he didn’t help me in any way shape or form with my self confidence. I felt like my tummy was too big and my bum wasn’t big enough so I cut out breakfast and most of my lunch, I would just spend my evenings just doing about a million squats because I knew nothing about actual fitness. When this relationship ended two years later I realised that my mental state was so much worse than my physical. (This was more due to the fact that my hormone imbalance was at a crazy level which I had never realised which caused me to have these tendencies and thoughts which I will talk about another day)
When I turned 17 I decided to take better care of my mental health, I got rid of all toxic people in my life and surrounded myself with so many incredible people that I felt myself feeling mentally lighter every day. I established somebody to confide in regardless of the situation, and someone who would take me out of any situation which might have ruined my progress. I took care of my skin, started eating properly and doing light exercise. I surrounded myself with them Pinterest inspirational print outs and remind myself everyday what I am grateful for, these are just small simple steps to get your head back on track.
I am not saying I am perfect, and I am definitely not saying that I think I’m perfect but god I don’t think I’m half as awful as I once did. I realised that this life is all I have, and all I ever will have and I need to maximise everything positive and remove anything negative so I have no regrets when I reach the end of this journey. I am currently taking some big steps to get myself feeling mentally and physically confident, I am attempting to do the couchto5k fitness challenge, I am trying to refind peace in God and all other powers that act upon the world and I am trying to not let myself be completely dependant on anyone ever again.
My top tips for gaining self confidence:
1. Tell yourself what you are grateful for and what is good about you and your life. I’m serious, look in the mirror everytime you wash your face or brush your teeth and tell yourself that you have really nice teeth or your legs look really good in them pants. Shout it to yourself. I promise it’ll feel good.
2. Take time to yourself. Regardless whether you’re in a relationship or use a social life as a way of avoiding your problems, just take a night a week for you. Give yourself an evening where you cook yourself your favourite food, run a bath with some bubbles and maybe a bath bomb, get a good book and a nice drink and relax yourself. Take time to wash your hair and face properly and really tend to your own needs. Put some freshly washed sheets on your bed, put on some cosy pyjamas and relax yourself.
3. Surround yourself with positivity whether that be people who make you ridiculously happy, deleting all your sad songs off spotify or leaving that toxic relationship that’s been bringing you down
4. Decorate your own space in a way which will keep your mood light and happy. Print out pictures of family and friends, put inspirational quotes on the walls and have some nice smelling candles. It’ll give you a sense of control that will make you feel like you’re in charge of your life.
5. Face your fears. If you have travel anxiety, get on a bus or a train for two stops. Start small but face up to it. Don’t throw yourself into the deep end but push yourself out of your comfort zone. Face up to why you feel this why. Ask yourself why am I afraid to do x, y and z? Why do I hate this about myself? Why do I feel like I can’t do something? Question it, and it’ll all unravel.