You Ask, We Answer Advising teenagers struggling with insecurities

“Dear Evelyn and Eliza,

Lately I have had no self confidence. I find flaws in myself that no one else sees but I often can’t get them off my mind. I want to be confident and love myself like I see so many other girls do. Any advice on how I can gain confidence in myself?”

Dear self-conscious anonymous,

Life consists of friends coming and going, but one person will always remain: you. And since you’ll be with yourself for a long time, you might as well learn to like yourself. Comparing yourself to others is the cruelest punishment we can give ourselves, but since it’s almost impossible not to, we might as well learn how to do so in a healthy way. Instead of using comparison to tear yourself down, try to look at someone and acknowledge their beauty without questioning your own. Not all beauty is comparable; for example Christmas lights and flowers are both pretty, but you wouldn’t say they look the same. A crucial part of loving yourself is believing that someone else’s beauty does not have to invalidate your own. This state of mind won’t happen overnight; learning to love yourself [again] is like learning to ride a bike. Start with the little things. Tell yourself what you like about yourself, rather than focusing on all the little things that tear you down. With all of this being said, realize that you aren’t alone. The person you’re comparing yourself to is most likely struggling with the same insecurities as you are. If you take anything away from this, remember that even though your self confidence may fall apart, it can always be rebuilt.

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