I have had the priveledge of working with teenagers for about 10 years, and I must say it has brought me great joy. It is such an honor to work with young people, shape their minds and encourage them to be their best, as they prepare to enter into adulthood.
One of my best facilitation experiences with the young people I work with is discussing the topic of self-confidence. It amazes me that almost all of them feel confident but struggle to share their strengths or what makes them unique. Others simply just can’t speak, as the fear of speaking in a small or larger group setting paralyzes their vocal chords. But what’s even more amazing is sharing with them just how shy I was when I was in elementary and junior high school. Completely flabbergasted of course, I continue to explain to them how building my self-esteem and working to improve my presentation skills has helped shaped me into the person I am today and the person that I am becoming.
As I took some time to reflect on the role I play in the lives of young people, I had to appreciate all of the people who were instrumental in me becoming who I am today. So it got me thinking, we don’t do enough for ourselves in building our self-confidence. Even though we are adults, we should continue to build our self-esteem and confidence and work to maintain it. We shouldn’t depend solely on the encouragement from others but let it supplement our self-esteem boosting that which we do for ourselves. This is crucial in working at becoming the best version of yourself. To attain all your goals and continue to climb the ladder of success, however you define it, your self-confidence will help propel you much further than trying to elevate yourself without it.
I was so drawn to the character Pauletta “Mary Jane Paul” Patterson on the show Being Mary Jane because of her character’s use of post-its all over her apartment. The post-its were affirming quotes that she placed all over her home to help keep her encouraged, inspired, motivated and boost her self-confidence. I love how this was portrayed, showing a woman who was doing well in her profession but still had her daily challenges that life threw her way. Not sure if she overcame all obstacles, but she surely didn’t allow the obstacles to keep her from pushing forward towards the better version of herself that she saw in the future.
I never tried placing post-its filled with affirmations around my home but I like to refer to quotes that encourage me to keep pushing towards what I want to accomplish. There is such an exhilarating feeling of believing that you can do anything, and I believe that is possible to achieve that “anything” as you work towards recognizing your potential and greatness.
You are capable. Capable of being the best version of yourself possible. Life may throw so many obstacles your way, but take your stance and be ready to fight. Fight for your voice to be heard and fight to be seen as a strong, progressive individual. Let the lion in you begin to roar, and roar loudly. Take time to build your self-confidence, irrespective of whether or not people encourage you. Change people’s personal perspective of you so that they no longer focus on the you of your past, but force them to see the you that you are becoming… the better version of yourself.