23 Jun Gain confidence as a teenager
What springs to mind when I say that you have a bright spark inside you?
You may have a real passion for something – a subject you’ve studied or a hobby that you excel at. Thinking about this activity makes you feel excited and participating in it gives you happy emotions. If this is you then you’ve already found your spark.
But perhaps you’re feeling a bit urgh about this question, have no idea what this bright spark is all about and, quite frankly, couldn’t care less! Maybe you doubt there is such a thing and the thought is just alien to you…
What is the spark to your success?
Everyone has a spark that lights them up inside and feels incredible. This spark exudes energy and can even make others feel incredible around you. It can be a true gift.
That said, finding your spark can take time and as a teenager you have to deal with many tough situations that can erode your confidence, cause you to question right from wrong and, in extreme circumstances, navigate you away from your true vocation because your purpose is lost or hasn’t yet been found.
You are far from alone and I encourage you to read on to understand how to gain confidence, self-worth and resilience.
How can success be stunted?
Success is a journey and it starts as soon as you’re born. Childhood is a breeze but as soon as you reach your age in double figures you start to notice more challenging situations.
You may be living an easy life but most teenagers feel turmoil, confusion and anxiety over situations beyond their control or may be worried about parental, sibling, peer and authority relationships. You may suffer issues with confidence, self-worth, resilience, anxiety, depression, sadness, fear, coping with loss or exam stress yourself. I want you to know that it’s OK and that it’s absolutely normal.
Perhaps you have been the subject of bullying or maybe you’ve been or still are the bully. Maybe you have addiction habits to gaming, social networks or screen time and possibly you’ve started to experiment with substances that you know aren’t right but somehow they make you feel like a better version of you?
Negative actions and thoughts are often coping mechanisms and responses to elements that you feel you have no control over and can be due to your own low self-esteem. Again, this is normal and there are easy steps to help you rise above the negativity and find that spark I mentioned.
Success is inhibited by different factors, which also include a lack of nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration and positive role models.
“The only people who may be judging me, are the people who are most afraid of being judged.”
When can you find success as a teenager?
The good news is, that if you feel at a loss about finding your spark or the thought of it seems ridiculous, it is possible to discover it. And there’s no time like the present.
How do you interpret ‘confidence’? What does it mean to you?
Confidence is a huge when it comes to being in tune with your thoughts, your body, your desires. Without being cocky or dismissive to the opinions of others, confidence from within is empowering and it will serve you well as you grow into a unique and happy individual.
At school you don’t get taught how to appreciate your own abilities and qualities. Often this sense of self-worth can be quashed by the smallest comment or misinterpretation. You often hear young children cry ‘look at me mum aren’t I strong, aren’t I courageous, look at me dad I’m the superhero, I’m beautiful’ And of course, parents always reply with encouragement and ‘oh yes you are, look at you, how brave you are, how beautiful you are, how courageous you are, you little superhero.’
Somehow it’s OK to sing your own praises and recognise your gifts at a young age but then somewhere along the way this appreciation disappears, probably not long after you start school.
All of a sudden it’s NOT OK anymore and you are accused of boasting and being big-headed. The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and your feelings take a turn for the worse, frequently fuelled by your inner voice. When was the last time you heard yourself complain about ‘uh look at me, I’m so ugly, I’m so fat, I’m so lazy, I’m so stupid?’
Every time you say those ‘I ams’ to yourself it knocks your confidence. Imagine a great big boot stamping on you or a boxing glove punching you. It’s no wonder a lack of confidence develops and it feels painful too. But it’s OK and it’s normal to have these feelings as a teenager. What I need you to understand is not to dwell on these thoughts. Stay strong, stay positive, you are amazing.
Build your confidence – it’s your personal protective shield.
Why do you need confidence?
Confidence or self-confidence is a feeling of being sure about yourself, an inner knowledge that you’re capable– it’s feeling happy in your own skin.
It’s not about being arrogant or superior. In fact, overconfidence can send people around you running a mile.
Confidence is a quiet reassuring inner voice that allows you to feel secure rather than insecure and calm rather than nervous.
Build trust in your abilities and stretch yourself to see what you can really achieve. Confidence is to build your inner belief, inner trust and inner faith. Staying in your comfort zone without ever challenging yourself leads to low self-belief and that’s not where you want to be.
Be the best and most confident version of yourself [the who]
The first step is to stop comparing yourself to others. If you do this you are likely to feel inferior and judged by others and this is where anxiousness and self-loathing can set in.
Believe it or not, confident people still feel negative emotions but the difference is they choose to ignore them, rise above them and move on.
You are unique and not a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Each day, focus on feeling a little better about yourself than you did yesterday.
Picture an x-ray. Everyone is the same on the inside but layers get added as you compare yourself to others and this distorts reality.
“I am completely unique and therefore, there are no rules to what I am and am not.”
The choice is yours
You DO have a choice.
You may be thinking ‘TeeJay that’s easy for you to say because you ooze confidence.’ And yes I do, but believe me, my childhood and teenage years were completely different. I suffered from severe anxiety and low self-esteem so I know exactly how you feel because I’ve lived through the turmoil and darkness.
I had so many regrets, always felt second best and constantly compared myself to others who were, in actual fact, nothing like me. I was a slow learner too. I carried this damaging behaviour into my early forties until I had a pivotal ‘realisation’ moment and never looked back. You don’t need to take that long. You can switch your thoughts and behaviours quickly and you can start today.
It’s not easy. It takes courage. But most importantly it takes desire.
How can you build confidence?
Imagine a recent situation where you felt insecure, scared and had no confidence. This could be in a school lesson, at a party, during a conflict at home.
Close your eyes and visualise yourself rising above the scene only to return an hour later. Feel how calm the situation is now and how positive the outcome is. See and hear people, friends and family congratulate you or share praise for what you’ve achieved. Are they smiling, clapping, and giving you the thumbs up?
You feel proud, happy, content. Your confidence is glowing. You see how easy it is to think positively?
Remember, mute the little voice inside, the inner critic and turn down the volume on those negative thoughts. Soon the scared voice will become a whisper in the background. Take a deep breath and grab a hold of your dreams.
What next steps can you take?
Please do share your thoughts, experiences and challenges and ask any questions or leave comments.
Connect with me:
Be confident and explore imagination continuously. Hopefully, you have picked up the inspiration needed to make a positive change in your life if that’s what you need. If not, then I’m here to work with you, share with you and coach you on what you need to help invigorate your self-confidence and find your spark.