Adolescence is perhaps the most exciting and beautiful stage in a person’s life. Some people look back and remember their first kiss, first dance, first love.
And yet it is also this stage where adolescents feel the most confused. It is this stage where young people struggle with tons of issues that they more often than not they cannot handle by themselves.
One of the most challenging issues adolescents face is their search for identity. Young people in this particular age group find themselves seeking their peers’ approval and longing for acceptance in certain groups. They easily get affected by what other people their age think of them and so they find it very tempting to tailor-suit their personalities to match other people’s expectations of them, often at the expense of their individuality. Little do they realize that pretending to be someone else and not being true to themselves just to please other people results in unhappiness and lowered self-esteem.
The question is, if you are a teenager, do you really need to be somebody else other than yourself just to be liked and accepted?
HOW TO BE GENUINELY HAPPY IN YOUR OWN SKIN
The answer is obviously NO, but to an adolescent, this is easier said than done. Below are 5 simple tips that may help adolescents deal with their search for identity and even learn how to be genuinely happy and comfortable in their own skin.
Tip No. 1 Recognize your values. Some may value the importance of being obedient, others the importance of making your own decisions. Learning to make your own choices is very important for your happiness and sometimes adolescents feel they have very limited choices. There is no rule that says you cannot speak your mind and discuss things with your parents. As long as the choices you intend to make are not illegal, not self-destructive or harmful to yourself or others, they are worth talking about and should be respected.
Tip No. 2 Set personal goals that can help improve your well-being and draw up steps to achieve them. Sometimes the reason why we feel empty and lost is because we lack direction. I’ve been a career coach to high school students for over seven years now and in this place where I work, rarely have I met 15-year-olds who have a clear vision of their future (unfortunately, even us adults get confused with or visions sometimes). But like they say, great things start from small beginnings. Perhaps you can begin by looking for things you wish to improve about yourself. It could be your health or your memory. You can begin by choosing the right food groups to eat, or reading about ways to improve your memory and score better in tests. Knowing that there is one thing or two you can do better than others can do wonders to your happiness and self-esteem.
Tip No. 3 Know that embracing your individuality is essential in becoming happy. Hiding who truly are or attempting to change who you are in order to please other people or fit someone else’s idea of who you should be can tremendously lessen your sense of self-worth and this is where insecurities set in.
“Always be a first version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
Tip No. 4 Discover your talents and unique gifts, develop them and share them with the world. Know that they were not given to you for nothing. No one else has those gifts and no one else can quite offer them to the world like you can. The world would be a tremendously boring place if everyone looked and acted the same way. No guitar or musical instrument has the same parts and sounded the same. Every orchestra has various components that offer unique sounds in order to produce lovely melodies. Your uniqueness and your being different has a special place in the universe and you serve a purpose like no one else can.
Tip No. 5 Know that it is perfectly okay to look different and be unique. You as a teenager might not realize it yet, but being confident and proud of your individuality is actually more attractive and interesting.
So here’s to your uniqueness and being YOU!
Sending you all my love and best wishes.
You are most welcome to share your thoughts or ask me questions. Feel free to leave them in the comments section below.