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07.10.2018

HOW TO: GROW WITH CONFIDENCE

In celebration of Mental Health Week, we, at BYOS, are highlighting and tackling the challenge of understanding how young people really feel in order to support them.

We are introducing the NEW SUCCESS GENDERLESS COLLECTION. We know confidence is a major key to success.

Everyone needs to possess high self-esteem to maintain a healthy mental state. Our Blue Little Bar of Strength is a blissful reminder that everyone deserves to understand and appreciate ourselves fully— flaws and all.

“Confidence means to be honest with yourself, knowing who you really are” –

Tissam wears Confidence represented by the color blue.

 

BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF

The importance of being honest with ourselves is that it leads to self awareness and confidence in our personal identity and our in relationships with others.

Let’s not confuse confidence with arrogance or self-pride. To bring it back to basics, confidence is defined as the “feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something”. So to be confident, we would have to feel assured and optimistic about ourselves.

It seems pretty simple now doesn’t it? We all know the saying: “Honesty is the best policy”, it is also the best quality to possess in order to be self-assured.

Being honest with ourselves about our feelings, lesser and better qualities  and interests is the way forward.

We live in a paradoxical world, where on on hand there is a surge in publicity about the importance of speaking out and sharing feelings for positive mental health, but in contrast there is also a lot of critique targeted at millennials and the younger generations about being too easily offended or triggered, being mocked because of our plea for safe spaces and told to toughen up. Perhaps because of this, oftentimes young people are reluctant about revealing their feelings publicly. But at least we can be honest with ourselves about how we feel, so we are not bottling up difficult feelings that can become toxic for our mental health.

Whenever we feel able to reach out with those feelings, there are places to go online and offline to help us understand, address and cope with those feelings. Charities such as Jigsaw provides plenty of resources to assist young people with being honest about their feelings.

Lists come in highly recommended for being honest with ourselves about our flaws and strengths in our journey to self-confidence.

Lots of people find lists helpful in planning out their daily/weekly routines. Lists are also great resources for decision making. Splitting a page in half, separating and comparing the pros and cons of an action can help us feel more confident about making a choice.

The same technique can be used to affirm ourselves of the balance of our flaws, qualities and abilities. This can be quite fun, we can involve our family, friends, teachers, coach and followers in the activity and they can provide some constructive insight into our characters and capabilities. It is also a great way to interact and connect more with our communities.

The benefits of honesty for developing a concrete and clearer sense of identity extend further into the realm of being transparent and proud about our interests.

Feeling ashamed about the way we spend our time and money; the foods, books, music, places we enjoy often makes us hide a large part of our personality.

Sometimes we can feel pressure to hide our interests solely because they are different from the majority and the norm for our age group (not because they are harmful, degrading, or offensive). But everyone is different, and that can be a cause of celebration. When we appreciate and share our unique tastes, we give other people a chance to get to know us better and to also expand their own interests. We can take pride in our personalities and continue to develop our tastes with confidence. We can be assured that the world is full of difference and similarities. And go about our days and lives with a sense of optimism and awe knowing that we are unlike anyone else that has ever existed in the history of humanity.

 

(RE) DEFINING WHO YOU ARE

Growing up is a difficult and confusing task, and growing with confidence is an additional but highly beneficial add-on to the task. 

In a society that puts pressure on young people to be the best at everything (ie. leaving cert points system, social media ‘likes’ rating, competitive graduate job/internship market), alot of us struggle with low self-esteem.

Over exposure to information and overconsumption of (social) media can result in feeling confused, overwhelmed, and apathetic towards our interests, abilities and personal goals.

A good way to avoid disorientation or heal from feelings of disenfranchise is to learn what activities and experiences are best for you, practice and continually enforcing or pursue them.

Find out the things you enjoy doing doing. Join a sports team. Take up debating in school. Start the blog/vlog you’re always talking about. Volunteer for a great charity. Go to local libraries and galleries. Read the books at the top and bottom of the Man Booker/New Yorker and Sunday Times book lists. Travel as much as you can to learn about other cultures.

Take small but practical steps towards the life you want for yourself. And if you’re not quite sure what that is, then experiment. Try several hobbies, jobs, internships, make connections with different types of people with various interests. Be open to many types of experiences. Begin to narrow down what you enjoy, what you’re are good at, and what you’re passionate about.

Do not let the posts and pics of people living their ‘best lives’ online discourage you from pursuing your own passion. The strongest bonds, greatest inventions and most successful enterprises are made through trial and error. The same goes for self confidence.

Success requires trusting in the mechanism of trying, failing and being able to try again.

We can all grow by taking risks and trying things with confidence. We succeed when we approach challenges and opportunities with a clear memory of a recent/past failure, and importantly by having a sense of pride in our ability to try our best.

 

BE DISCERNING

We need to be careful about the environments we put ourselves in while we are still forming a concrete sense of identity.

We spend our whole lives discovering who we are and working on ourselves, and we don’t always have the luxury of solitude in which to do this is work.

But it is specially important for a young person to be able to be discerning about the people we choose to be our companions and the places we choose to spend our time.

There are some clear tell tale signs of people who are toxic for our self development, 3 main red flags to be mindful of are people with highly judgemental character, egotistical character and a tendency towards self victimization without accountability.

These displays of character are not just frustrating but, more so, dangerous for our well being. Being around an individual who is uncompassionate, disrespectful, emotionally abusive and who does not take responsibility for their actions can have a significant negative impact on our self-esteem and a barrier to forming a concrete and confident sense of self.

We should surround ourselves with people who can encourage us in failure and celebrate our success, and motivate us towards becoming our better selves. If our environments are lacking quality companions to hold us accountable to our goals and partners in spreading positivity, we can always seek out better suited people to join and support us in our journey to confident and healthy living.

We all face challenging situations in our everyday lives.

We can overcome them by learning to prioritize and practise honesty, optimism and self-care with as much regularity as we check our social media feeds.

 

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CHIAMAKA ENYI-AMADI

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