By Jerome Baker
Everyone has an opinion and most young people are not shy about voicing their opinions about other people amongst their peers or on cyberspace. Sadly, some words even from the closets friends can be harsh and quite harmful. With that in mind in is vital to be a young person that develops a strong and stable mental and emotional perspective about him or herself; especially since most teens want to be liked, followed, and accepted by their peers. Here are three quick ways teens can strengthen their self-confidence and remain assured of who they are despite what others may say or do.
1. Realize That God Made You Different
You are the only you! There will never be another person totally like you. When God made you He did not ask anyone else for assistance. You may look like your parents or even act like them at times, but you are you. Never waste time and energy trying to be what someone else wants you to be in order to be happy. Simply be who God made you to be according to His Word. If you don’t fit in with a certain group, it’s their lost. Be strong and realize no one can beat you at being you. Psalms 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
2. Realize That You Are Not Perfect
If you don’t like your size, skin color, facial features, or family…hey welcome to the club. Some issues that you have are not your fault. Some things you can correct with the right effort. And some shortcomings you just have to give to God and allow Him to help you to overcome them. There’s no need to get depressed, try to smoke or drink away your problems, or even pity yourself; everyone has imperfections.
So, if you or someone else tries to harp on what is wrong with you, learn to flip it and tell them what’s right with you…or just ignore them. As a teen (even now) people would constantly talk about my big feet. Then one day my grandmother said, “Jerome, if you didn’t have big feet, how would you stand up?” My confidence went through the roof because I thought, “I sure would be talked about if I had some small feet as tall as I am.” Nobody could tell me anything from that day on!
3. Disconnect From Pessimistic Peers
If you constantly hang around people that are always negative and seemingly have little to say that is edify or encouraging, it may be time to cut them loose. Sadly, some people only feel good about themselves when they disgrace and “diss” other people. If someone keeps “killing your vibe” it’s time to tell them “see-ya-bye”.
Words are powerful. What someones says will either cause death or life. Friends that are pessimistic are deadly. And whether you believe it or not some friends would rather see you “be down” with them instead seeing you excel as high as you can in life. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
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© Copyright 2014 Jerome Baker. Jerome Baker is the author of “Success Killers” and “Watch Who Hang With”, and the youth pastor of his locate church in Carrollton, Georgia.
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