vanityprincess

Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

[ Edited ]

                    Ladies what has picked you up since the teen years in the esteem and confidence area? What makes you feel good about yourself physically and mentally. What makes you feel beautiful. I really want to hear some of your stories. I'm 16 and feel at my lowest. My mother isn't in the position to help me at  this time. So what advice could you give? ♥

 

 

Edit 6/27/11: You girls are helping a lot more than you probably realise. :')

shyvicki

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

My teen years were hard for me. I grew up lower-middle class. My parents couldn't afford much. I was teased and verbally bullied in junior high because I didn't wear name-brand clothing. It also didn't help that I was shy. High school wasn't much better despite my family moving to a rural town in another state the summer before my freshman year. While clothing brands didn't matter, I was still shy and I had gained weight. Never had a date for any of the school dances, including prom. Fortunately, everything started to change when I went to college. I lost weight, started coloring my hair, and was involved in a couple organizations that allowed me to make friends I still have today. Plus the guys finally started noticing me.

 

I'm 32 now. There are still some moments I still struggle with self esteem, but when I start to get down on what I don't like I then try to focus on what I do like about me. As far as confidence goes, I'm a lot braver about doing things I used to be too chicken to do. Traveling to nearby cities is something that used to terrify me because of worrying about getting lost. Thank God for the inventor of the GPS. I also went to college for a second time and graduated this past spring. I'm wanting to get as much out of life as I can.

 

 

vanityprincess

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

One consistent thing I keep hearing is that it actually does get better in college. It's making me  a lot hopeful for what is to come

katie1724

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

[ Edited ]

Yes! It truly does get better. I frequently kick myself for not having the perspective then that I do now (isn't that always how it is?) -- I cannot believe how much I was influenced by what others thought. I think the key, as  dayw and mermadelove mentioned, really *is* to fake it till you make it and try to do things that leave you as positive as possible and feeling as good about yourself as you can. Find something that really interests you and pursue it wholeheartedly -- think about what you would like to do in the future, and set goals (don't worry about setting too many rigid goals, though -- just flexible ones). The "mean girls" may have it coming to them (in a perfect world), but sometimes they may not -- and life may continue to be unfair. No matter what happens, you have to concentrate on yourself, on your relationships, and make the most out of (1) what you have and (2) what you can control. Your happiness with yourself -- and others -- can only come from you.

 

: )

dayw

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

i couldnt have said it better myself. wow... she really had a good question... look how many responses that have bn made. i keep asking myself, "if i died tomarrow, what would i regret?" and then i think, isnt the key to life not having regret? basiclly, if u have to ask urself, will i regret this?- uh, DONT DO IT!!! life is too short to worry about what others think of you, and i never really cared about that in high school. i went kinda backwards. its when i became an adult and had a child when i began to care. but it made me better. caring what others think to a degree is good, but letting it consume u into being something ur not, or it making u do things u wouldnt normally do, thats when it becomes an issue. every morning i suggest looking in the mirror and committing at least one thing to do for urself that day. wether its taking a loooong hot bath, or volinteering at a homeless shelter. whatever it is, just make sure its for u and u alone, to make u feel good about being u. no matter ur age, young, old, in between.

juliethc

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

I wish that Taylor Swifts song Mean would have come out when I was in high school.  She summarizes my thoughts perfectly.  All those people who made my life hell, well, they're only ever going to be mean. 

 

My mother swears I was beautiful when I was younger (I just turned 20, btw).  In a sense I was, but I needed more time to grow into my features.  I had to find my self-confidence in other ways in high school.  My nickname was smart chick (they thought it was an insult... *eye roll*), I was the most talented musician my school had seen in decades, and my art was pretty **bleep** good too.  I knew that I could do anything I wanted with my life, better than anyone that made fun of me.  It was the only thing that kept me going through those years.  My advice, find what you are good at and throw your whole being into it.  People can make fun of you, they can hit you and try to make you just as bitter as they are, but they can never take away what you have accomplished.

 

My life really started the night of Graduation.  Since starting University, I have really grown into myself.  Now, when I walk into a club, I'm the girl all the guys want.  Why, because I don't dress like a total **bleep**, nor do I wear disgusting amounts of makeup.  I love my glitter and eyeliner, don't get me wrong, but makeup is meant to enhance not obscure features.  I have found my self-confidence first in what I could do, and now in what I look like.  It's the best way I believe, you stay more real that way.  I don't get along with people who know their looks are their only selling point.  I would be amazing even if I was the most butt-ugly human on this planet because I'm smart, talented and very driven to succeed.  

 

For a long time, I was living only to do better than the people that have tormented me over the years.  Yes, it got me through, but I was still giving them power.  The past few months I've started living and working hard just for me, and my life has gotten better.

 

What makes me feel beautiful? Knowing that I don't look like everyone else.  I don't have french fake nails, nor blond streaks in my hair.  I'm comfortable going out with my hair undone and no makeup at all.  I'm me, and I don't apologize for it, nor do I shove it in anyones faces.

 

Be you, live well, work hard, have fun. 

 

 

beckpoppins

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

Being 16 is scientificly unfair. Your body is on the fact tract to becoming a woman while your kid-brain is swimming around in hormones and your whole future is staring you down. It's intense and you are sent 5 days a week to an school filled with your peers who are just as awkward and unsure as you are.

 

BUT.

 

always a but.

 

It gets better.

 

I have been 6 foot tall since about 5th grade, always chubby, pale as a sheet of paper with ruddy cheeks, odd voice and glasses. High school was tough and I never felt pretty or wanted. My dad constantly picked at my weight (once calling me a fat pig for eating a handful of grapes before dinner) and that I didn't dress girly.

 

then, college came and the changes were slow but I started to grow into my body, I met people who got me, I started to like how tall I was and how fair my skin was, I felt special.

 

I am still chubby, but trust me, one day soon you will have no f@*ks to give about your shape.

 

I may not know you, but trust me, your shape is flawless just the way you are.

 

I am so comfortable in my tall curvy frame that I model. No, not fashion.

 

I have been a life drawing model for art schools which means yep, I pose nude in the name of art. Nothing is more validating then watching people working so hard to try to replicate the magic that is your natural body.

 

While I can't recommend taking your pants of, I would recommend seeing if any portrait or drawing classes want clothed models, its fun and makes you notice how special you are.

 

 

you will grow into yourself, you just need time and of course, No one wants to be the girl who peaks in high school.

pocketvenus

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

@beckpoppins, that's so awesome you model for life drawing. It's models like you that have taught me how to see beauty in that magical way <3
mermadelove

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

you will grow into yourself, you just need time and of course, No one wants to be the girl who peaks in high school.

 

LOVE that line........ so true!!!!

6aad0801

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

[ Edited ]

One key thing to self esteem is to resist judging others and be compassionate when others act badly/hurtful.  I find that this is the first step to stop judging yourself so harshly and to be more compassionate and easy on yourself.  Do your best for the sake of practice and not necessarily the goal.  Work towards goals, but be easy-on/compassionate-towards  yourself when things don't come as easily or as quickly as you thought.  Life is not a race, but an experience and ultimately focus on what you would like to be, become, know, experience, and realize that what's important to others does not add or take away from what's important to you.  Sure special people in your life, their opinion matters, but all the decisions are yours and you have the right and it's ok to try, make mistakes, and learn and grow.  :smileywink:

 

With regards to outside beauty, which inside beauty and comfort and easy-relaxed-confidence only makes outside look more beautiful, is to embrace those special parts of your face that make you you.  Also, to play and learn from trial and error.  Try and imitate fashion and beauty techniques that you like for the sake of practice and don't take yourself and your beauty so seriously.  Makeup is fun and an accessory but it really doesn't transform you the way the beauty industry suggests.  It's just a way to accentuate and accessorize.  Everything takes practice, and realize that perfect and "the best" doesn't exist and is not constant for anyone. Again, this is about not taking yourself and your makeup too seriously. Practise, and learn through practise; loosen up, relax, and the confidence will follow.

pocketvenus

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

[ Edited ]

(((vanityprincess)))

 

Many of the aphorisms that I heard in my teens like "beauty is on the inside" - sounded totally hollow. We live in a hypocritical society when it comes to women, power and beauty. Some things that helped:

 

One of the best things I did was to get to know strong, intelligent women who didn't replicate the hypocrisy of mainstream society and especially in the media. Older women can give you so much perspective!

 

Also, I'd consider the friends you are with. Do your friends support you? In high school, I hung out with a group of rich and pretty girls who were usually nice, but was stressed out by all the gossip and focus on being fat/ugly. I stopped being friends with them and my self esteem improved.

 

For body image specifically, a little trick: life drawing class. I spent many years drawing nudes of all different shapes. You learn to see beauty in a different way - in a way that is alive and not just a series of artificial poses. You also will reprogram years of taking in images of beauty as defined by the media which is frankly, abnormal. It is one thing to look at a woman in a magazine and say to yourself that she has been digitally altered and to be able to feel that strangeness in your gut, to know as an artist, that something is wrong with that image.

 

I spent a great deal of time really thinking through what being a woman meant to me and picking through all the damaging ideas about women that I had been taught (e.g. white women are the most physically attractive and overweight women cannot be sexy, etc.). I was identifying where (or from whom) I had picked up these negative messages and deciding what I thought about them. I didn't just think about body image though, I thought through issues about women and power (e.g. Why are powerful women often called biatches when they behave in ways acceptable for men?), women and sexuality (e.g. Why are we taught that "nice" girls are less deserving of being assaulted than "slutty" girls?) I still think about these things, in a different way, years later.

 

Finally, I'd recommend volunteering somewhere that makes you feel connected to the people you're helping. Volunteering will help you gain skills to help build your confidence. There is much more to life than your own world and broadening your perspective by helping others is one of the best ways to branch out and gain self esteem.

 

Take care!! <3

dayw

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT...

thats what i was told, and u know what? it works. if ur not having such a great day, just pretend u are and eventually, you will honestly feel better. take urself OUT of ant negitive situations. that can take u down, trust me. try to laugh as much as possible, and dont forget the most important thing... BE YOURSELF.  faking to be happy when ur not doesnt mean ur trying to be someone else. it just means u care enough about urself to wanna be better.

mermadelove

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?


dayw wrote:

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT...

thats what i was told, and u know what? it works. if ur not having such a great day, just pretend u are and eventually, you will honestly feel better. take urself OUT of ant negitive situations. that can take u down, trust me. try to laugh as much as possible, and dont forget the most important thing... BE YOURSELF.  faking to be happy when ur not doesnt mean ur trying to be someone else. it just means u care enough about urself to wanna be better.



I had a teacher say this to me once and it REALLY helped!! This is probably the simplest and effective thing you can do!!! You can say "fake it 'til you make it" to yourself as a mantra whenever you are feeling stuck and then do it! You'd be amazed at how people start to treat you differently after a while!

 

@davyw: SO glad you posted this! It's timely advice and works pretty much no matter what your situation! :smileyvery-happy:

dayw

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

well, thank u. it seemed like the best thing to say at the time, and at this moment in my life, im doing my best to apply it to myself....

thecaramelapple

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

There are always going to be mean/ inappropriate people in this world, and it is unfortunate, but think of it this way, those people give the world variety. It would be  a boring world if everyone was the same. You just have to go through life being yourself and everything else will fall into place. I'm going to be 20 in the fall, and getting older I've learned exactly what I like, and exactly what I don't and this won't change for anybody. You come to realize in life that its better to surround yourself by positive people you connect with instead of spending your time with people just because of what they own, or anything like that. I don't like to drink or smoke and thats lost me a connection with a lot of people who I though were great, but in the end I found out they werent so great. You just have to go with your gut feeling, and stay true to yourself. It may feel like your losing, but in the end you are winning. Don't give up, I know it sounds corny, but honestly the best advice at this time is to do your own thing and try to be the best person you can be and practice good morales. People at school might think your stupid or lame, but in a few years they'll be out of your life anyways so just forget them.

jbyrne

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

During my teenage years, it was hard for me to have a lot of self confidence because I didn't feel best about myself. I am only 5 feet tall and I was on the chubby side and had a face full of acne that just wouldn't go away. It was a tough time for me, I didn't feel like I would ever escape that era, or that things would get better.   I tried so many different beauty skincare products and then finally one day I told my mom that I wanted to see a dermatologist about my skin and acne and that I didn't want to be a senior in highschool and go to Prom with a face full of acne. After trials and tribulations, I found the right skin product for me that would treat my acne and I was beginning to look up to the light that things were going to be better and that I would have better skin and that I would be a lot more happier and feel better about the way I looked.     The best part about getting rid of my acne was I felt a lot better about myself and that I was able to enhance my eyes and my new "skin" with makeup whereas before I always felt like I was trying to cover my acne up or trying to hid something.     After getting rid of my acne, I decided that I want to change my way of life and start eating healthy and exercising to lose weight. After 6 months, I lost 30  pounds and felt the best I have ever felt.. Since my teenage years, I have learned a lot about myself and have learned to love myself the way I am and to be happy with who I am. I can only be grateful for what I have been given and can only  try to enhance myself each and every day so that I  continue to have the confidence that I have now.  :smileyhappy:

emiliea

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

I went through and wrote a list of everything I liked about myself (even something as silly as "the way I remember punch lines to jokes"), and everything i hated (like acne). I then went through the list of things I hated, and wrote down ways to fix it (dermatologist), and how it would affect me in 10 years (probably be gone). Going through that really helped me not only to realize there were good things about me, but that the things that bothered me were not only fixable, but also temporary. Given, there are big unfixable things that are permanent (like sexual abuse or being abandoned by parents), but a psychotherapist has REALLY helped in that aspect. I went from being a real wreck of a 16 year old destroying my own life (I mean, think the movie "Thirteen") to being a medical school student who will soon be a doctor, saving lives. I can't stress how much having my therapist has helped. Getting things together, okay, more together because some things are still crazy, has tremendously helped my self-esteem and confidence. Its so important to sit down and look at what you are good at and what you like about yourself, not what everybody else seems to think is important or good about you. That way, you know that what you write on the list is yours, and nobody can ever take it from you. I find knowing some of those things about myself give me strength and happiness. Cinderella says it, "In dreams you will lose your heartaches, whatever you wish for, you keep". I find this to be so true. Best of luck in your future, whatever it may hold.

tarahbear

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

[ Edited ]

Hi vanityprincess,

If I could I would give a big hug and tell you it will be okay. I can totally understand where you are coming from. My high school years are best left forgotten. I had an extremely difficult time. I'm twenty eight and I think its taken all this time to become the woman I am today. One who is happy and confident. I know people can be cruel and it may seem like it will never get better, but it will. This happened to me. I'm trying to remember exactly what I wished someone would say. I think you are very lucky that you can come here and ask anything you want. If you want you may private message me. Life can be hard, but it can be amazing too. It won't always be as bad as it seems. Sometimes as people we have to go through rough times, but remember it only makes a you stronger and better person. I think even if I had to go through it again, I would, because I wouldn't be the person I am. I feel very blessed to have the life I do. My family and good friends who support me have been amazing. I try to always stay positive and keep my chin up!

Good luck!

Tarah:smileyhappy:

ohhenri

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

I may be one the few who loved their teens! I kept myself really busy (I was doing all sorts of sports, so I had practice like twice a day, plus competitions on weekend, so I was busy 7 days a week!!). If sports isn't your thing, like the others said, try finding your passion (painting, sports, scrapbooking, helping others, etc.). I wasn't the fact that I was popular or good looking that made that time of my life fun. I think I loved my teens because I thought I could do anything, nothing was stopping me. And to tell you the truth, life is a lot harder now that I'm a full grown woman (I'm now 27). I've realized I will never do certain things I wanted. And life didn't turned as I hoped it would, so I was pretty down at one point realizing that. I also realized that even if it didn't turned out as planned, maybe it's because some things are not meant to be.

 

Let me explain a little bit (well, it seems more likely to be quite a long explanation!!). I used to be a pretty good athlete, and I had a few injuries that ended my "career" and since then, I gain like 60 pounds, so my self-esteem isn't was is used to be. But I started training again. And like prettyinpa said, it helps me clear my mind, so I'm not as stress, or down.

 

I'm also so stressed right now, it's driving me crazy!! Work-related stress even keep me awake at night. Also, my work problems hurt some friendship I had since elementary school, because I know I'm not as fun to be around as I used to be. So, I had to do something to boost my self-esteem a little and it is similar to what tylermom said to you. I have a "comfort box" in which I put positive thoughts (mine or others). I started that at the beginning of my career (I'm a high school teacher... Well, the education system is a little different in Quebec than in the states, so I guess I'm more a middle school teacher. My students are between 12 and 17 years olds I know how harsh people can be at that age). So in that box, I can find my thoughts on a activity that went well or something one of my students said to me. I have one that told me he never thought he could understand history, and his grade went up by like 20% ever since I started teaching, so he was very thankful for the help I've given him...stuff like that are very useful when your self-esteem is pretty low!!!). 

 

Wow, it seems so depressing when written down!! So, if I can end it on a higher note, I recently found a new "project" to get my life back on track . And it does help a lot on my confidence and self-esteem. So, here's my final thoughts: we all are experiencing with difficult times once in our life. But what's important is finding something that will helped you be happy with who you are.

isayyall

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

Hi, vanityprincess! 

 

I got teased a lot in elementary and even middle school; I was smart (which, to a lot of my classmates, meant "nerdy"), slightly overweight, and shy. Right before sophomore year of high school, I learned how to apply makeup, do my hair in a more flattering style, dress in colors and styles that suited me, and be more outgoing (even though I had to fake it--like smiling, the more you do it, the more natural it seems). I saw people who knew me from middle school and freshman year responding to me differently, and that boosted my confidence so I didn't need to fake it so much. The rest of high school went much better--but honestly I too had my eyes on finishing and moving on to college.

 

Since then, I've found that, for me, things go in cycles. When I have downswings, what works best is working on whatever is stressing me out: maybe I need to get more organized, or work out more regularly, or learn a new skill that helps me feel more productive or accomplished. And I find that I need to get outside my own head--the more I turn inward, the darker things get. So I usually need to push myself to keep up with friends and to talk with my family.

 

One thing that I tried in grad school, and that helped in ways so subtle I didn't realize it till later, was creating a "treasure map" for my life. I cut out words, phrases, and pictures from magazines, all reflecting things I wanted to do or have (learning to play guitar, buying a house, having children), and pasted them on a piece of foamboard (easily available at craft stores or art-supply shops). I hung it on the wall right over my computer desk, so I could look up and be reminded of what I was working toward. Seeing images of what my life could be like helped immensely at a time when I didn't feel confident about my work or my career goals!

 

Whatever specific strategies you try, please remember to be good to yourself. I'm praying for you, and I wish you all the best!

mermadelove

Re: Ladies 20 and over: How has your self esteem / Self Confidence improved since the teenage years?

You've gotten great responses! I just wanted to add that for me, figuring out what my passions and life purpose were and doing something everyday that was a step towards it made a big difference for me. I also moved to a place where I felt a deep connection to the community. My desire had always been to help people. I started out by getting a degree in psychology, but that didn't quite feel right. Ihad always been interested in the spiritual side of life, but organized religion seemed to judgmental and fear based for me-- it felt like the opposite of love, which is what Iwas trying to share with people. Ultimately, I started taking spiritual classes and doing meditation, and eventually started teacing those things. I also went back to school and became a nurse, so that I could be a part of integrating spirituality with physical healing, because I believe that many physical illnesses are the end result of spiritual/emotional dis-ease. Being able to do something I love, in the way that I love, and truly helping people has boosted my self confidence and sense of self worth. I don't think it matters exactly WHAT you do, just that you do what makes your heart and soul sing--after all-- we all have different paths. That's what makes the world such a fascinating place!! You don't have to be just like everyone else to be awesome. If we were all the same, life would be boring! :smileyvery-happy:

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  • 22 replies
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  • 17 in conversation
    • katie1724
    • beckpoppins
    • vanityprincess
    • prettyinpa
    • ohhenri
    • shyvicki
    • mermadelove
    • tarahbear
    • emiliea
    • pocketvenus
    • isayyall
    • thecaramelapple
    • 6aad0801
    • tylermom
    • dayw
    • juliethc
    • jbyrne