Teenagers Have a Self-Love Problem
October 30, 2018
Lately, teenagers have been more self-critical in everyday life. When you are at school, you may overhear a student talking about how little they think of their work. They may say “mine is terrible” and “yours is so much better”, feeling insecure about their own work and comparing themselves to others. Often, you will hear people comparing their looks to a friend, saying “I’m so ugly” and “why is she prettier than me?” These kinds of comments may seem frivolous and unimportant since we hear them so frequently in high school, but insecurities have become so deeply embedded in our everyday conversations that hating yourself has become an unconscious behavior.
Teens are becoming critics of themselves without even trying to. Instead of writing belittling reviews of ourselves in our heads, we should learn to love those imperfections and wear them proudly. This is how we turn those negative thoughts into something positive.
Articles addressing how to practice self-love often offer magical solutions and propose plans that are terribly uncomfortable that may not be appealing to those struggling with confidence issues. Suggestions such as talking to yourself in a mirror in a positive manner may work for some but may make others feel awkward. It takes time to find what works, and what your personal solution is. Even though it may be tedious in the beginning, learning to love yourself should be a priority.
We all need to find what makes us happy and do it. Teenagers need to respect their own talents more than anyone — whether that is being the star on the football team or the lead in a school play. Taking part in activities that will build up your self-esteem is crucial to how you view yourself. It is not hard to understand yourself when you are surrounded by people that share your energy and interests. Just being around positive people can improve your confidence level. Doing something you are passionate about can help you remember how wonderful you are and not lose track of what you are good at. Positivity is the one true solution to overcome negativity.
In our less developed teenage brains, we tend to think negatively about our accomplishments — big or small. The first step to fixing the pessimistic view of ourselves comes down to comparisons. It is more than okay to admire others accomplishments, but do not let them overshadow your own. We need to take ownership of our accomplishments, instead placing others on a pedestal. Thinking of yourself as inferior to someone else is never healthy. You are your own person and have your own accomplishments to be proud of.
Identifying these harsh words that we say to yourself is a powerful step that one needs to take on the path to self-love. These thoughts exist in everyone, and it can be hard to stop them. Altering one’s internal dialogue is challenging, but overall rewarding. Catching those negative thought spirals early can help you gain the self-confidence. You cannot give those negative thoughts the power to control who you are.
There is no better time than the present to learn how to love and respect yourself. High school is the time where we struggle to learn who we are, and who we want to become. Loving yourself is a skill that will actually become useful to you once you’re out of high school. It will solidify your personal transition from critic to cheerleader. It is something you should keep with you because you never know when you will need a little light in your life.