This is a hard one for teens but truly life changing when they can master it.
I tell the teens I work with all the time, the most liberating day of your life will be the day you learn not to give a crap about what others think and just be your authentic self.
This is not so easy with social and peer pressure, the competitiveness that school has become and access to information and social media.
It is important to teach your teens that having pride in who they are and accepting themselves as they are is vital to their mental health.
Often they may think they are alone, but we must remind them that there are other teens out there thinking the same thing and the only way to find them is to be their authentic selves.
What we put out in the world is what we attract back. If they put out a false sense of self, they will attract those who resonate with that false sense. Unfortunately, when they are not authentic, eventually they will be found out and end up alone and isolated in many cases.
Often, they are participating in something that feels uncomfortable because they know it’s wrong and violates their values, but the need to fit in overrides that and this also impacts their mental health.
True confidence is knowing who you are and not being afraid to live authentically despite what others may think or how you may be viewed by your peers.
When your teen is authentic, those who share their values will find them and this is how they can begin to build their tribe. Again, easier said than done, but the earlier we teach them the skills needed to believe in themselves and accept themselves so they can be authentic in their actions, the healthier a mindset they will have.