This comparison leads to jealousy which is a huge part of the issue. We compare our wealth, we compare our grades, we compare our abilities and most popularly, we compare our looks. Just because someone has something you don’t, doesn't take away everything you do have; all your achievements, wins, losses, struggles and successes.
I’ve battled for a long time with not feeling content with who I am. I am someone who was scared to shine because I was afraid to be outshined or for my light to be taken out all together. I've had to realize that only I could control how bright I wanted to shine. No one had that control over me. I gave others the power to dictate how I would be perceived. I am still today on the road to becoming satisfied with who I am and am honestly so proud of the progress I’ve made over the years, even more in the past few months.
My life has been easy. My family have always provided everything I possibly needed, literally and emotionally. Even born with all this luck, I was still insecure. I believe that the lack of confidence in my case did not root from outside issues but rather internal ones. I had all the tools given to be confident. It took me a lot of self reflection to understand what caused this self-doubt.
As some of you may know, I have moved around quite a bit in my life, went through many challenges and heartbreaks. In the long run all this change gave me strength, adaptability and resilience but in the short term it gave me anxiety, sadness and insecurities. An example of a tough time that sunk my confidence was my first year at Stanstead College in tenth grade. Coming to Stanstead was my decision, I begged my parents for weeks to come here. As a person that had been through deceptions in my past school, I was excited for a brand new start but not ready to be myself. I had put up a front for so many years that I had forgotten who I was. By trying to be somebody I wasn’t, others could feel I was not being authentic so I understand why people would not want to be associated with me. I was always on the defensive in my responses to others and my self-doubt could be seen from a mile away, which would make it easier for me to get picked on. I simply was not being myself.
Since then, to become more confident I have done a lot of introspection on my own time and have spent countless hours talking about my feelings, struggles and insecurities with family and friends. This lengthy process was tough but so rewarding. I am now capable of continuously showing my true self by still working on becoming a better version of who I am; an ambitious, open-minded, and enthusiastic young woman. I am satisfied with this ongoing process.
The key to satisfaction within yourself consists of confidence. You don’t just build confidence overnight, it takes time. “Be confident” sounds so much easier than it truly is to accomplish. Confidence is built through achieving goals, trusting in your abilities, finding out and knowing your worth, and having a support system who encourages you to be the best version of yourself. All these criterias can be seen as challenges of their own but you have to take them on one by one to become confident.
In today’s age of social media, people have become more prone to being judged or judging others. This can often be related to seeing pictures of something you wish you had or someone you wished you looked like. If you find yourself in this situation, I encourage you to do like me and ask yourself the following question: “Are they happier than I am?” My answer is always no. I am always so happy which reminds me of how grateful and blessed I am. I remind myself that I am wholesome, I have an incredible family, I have supportive friends, I am getting an amazing education, and I am healthy. I am so lucky, how could I not be satisfied?
In the moment we can forget all that we do have because it is not what someone else has. It can be tricky to switch into that I am content with who I am and what I have made, when you see someone else having what you want. I am definitely guilty of some jealousy myself, but I believe that we have to remain accountable by reminding ourselves of everything that we do have. Confidence is the work of a lifetime and the earlier you start working on yourself the easier your life will be later on. I feel thankful to have started working on this self awareness journey at such a young age and know I will be thankful for my hard work later on. Being satisfied with yourself makes you happier and that is why we should try to do our best to focus on us and less on others. I truly believe that by doing so we will create a more positive, inclusive society and that people will dream to be happy.