As exaggerated and dramatic as it sounds, being a teenager is hard.
Although we don’t have to fret about bringing food onto the table or having your whole family’s life depending on you, there are a few challenging obstacles we teenagers have to face. For example: resisting procrastination, balancing work and play time, studying for IGCSE mocks and being nearly on the verge of tears due to the stress resulting from the previous examples. But, as a teenager myself, there is one issue that we all struggle in: Self- Acceptance.
Being a teenager makes me a lot of things. I’ve become more emotional, self-conscious and sensitive to other’s perspective of me. Though we preach about showcasing your own independent colours, we too are still judged harshly on whether our behaviour fits the ideology of being ‘normal’, and although we might say that some little hurtful criticism doesn't affect us, we can’t deny the fact that it glues itself to our mind, constantly gnawing at us.
There is no doubt, that there would be a time which someone’s harmless insult could actually pose a harmful threat to your own personal happiness, and when you actually reach out for some valuable advice, the only advice given to you is “Ignore them.” It sounds simple and logical, but is it as simple as actually doing it? Or is ignoring going to solve the problem at all?
Although I still am struggling with accepting myself for who I am, I’d like to share some notes that I have taken account of as the years go by that has made me think the way I do now.
I believe the first crucial step to accepting ourselves is acknowledging our flaws. Unless you are Beyonce, no one is perfect. By flaws, I don’t mean like that ugly mole on your finger, but rather flaws which could be your characteristics. Do you constantly find yourself in an argument? Maybe it’s because you have a short temper. Although these realisations could dampen your mood and make you less happy, it’s important to know that you possess these flaws, and that it’s okay to have them. I might sound harsh, but dwelling on the fact that you’re not perfect isn’t going to propel you further, so you might as well acknowledge them with an open mind and move on.
The second step is improving. Instead of ignoring peoples insult, I personally think that we should actually take a moment to consider it. If many different speakers are voicing out the same problem, it could be something you should take account of. You might say, “Why should I change myself to be what others want?” However, improvement does not mean fitting in into the ideologies of others, however means to improve yourself for the benefit of yourself. If constantly having to be condemned of the same thing is upsetting you, then why not change it so that both parties could be happy? Having a calm and composed chat with others regarding how to improve yourself could also strengthen your relationship with others. Furthermore, it will be rewarding and will make you feel more comfortable with your own body and character.
The last step is letting go. If you’re constantly stressed and pressure yourself to excel further, take a step back. I’ve seen many people break down in disappointment when they do not get the result desired, which makes them angry. It is natural for us to be disappointed once in a while, however to brood on it could damage your mental health. Even though the pressure placed upon yourself could serve as a drive to success, but be mindful of the amount of pressure being placed on you. When disappointed, remember that you’ve done the best that you could, and give yourself a word of encouragement instead of giving negative and critical thoughts.This could not only help us think more rationally, but also make us learn that making mistakes and not being the best is totally fine and normal.
So yeah, those are my tips to Self-Acceptance. Every person has their own individual way in dealing with this matter, but hopefully this article made you ponder for a while or could actually just be a casual read. Thanks for reading!