Don’t let other people define you.

Wherever you go or whatever you do it seems like there’s always someone who has something negative to say about you, even when you’ve done nothing but be yourself. Well, let me tell you now that their opinion is irrelevant and it does not define who you are as a person.

We often feel insecure about ourselves because of what someone else has said about us, either to our face or behind our backs. This is a common thing (especially in school or at work) and I’m sure you’ve experienced this at one point in your life. However, what normally happens is that these negative comments end up taking root in our minds and so we begin to believe them. Not only that, we begin to act like the comments are true.

In my case, when I was younger some kids used to comment on my skin colour saying that it was too dark. Along with the stares and the jokes, there were also a few names that some people used to call me that really got me down. Although it was just a small group of kids who would say things, I became so confused and it was enough for me to start questioning who I really was. I asked myself things like:

Am I too black? Why am I so dark? Why don’t I have lighter skin? Why are people bullying me? How can I make my skin lighter? What is wrong with having dark skin? Why is being light-skinned better than being dark-skinned?

Because this was all I could think about, I started to feel like the entire world thought my skin was too dark and that I was unattractive. Wherever I went I felt self-conscious and ugly, and these thoughts clouded my mind all the time and I kept this to myself. I remember when I used to take piano lessons in the evenings, I didn’t like leaving my house alone in the summer because strangers would be able to see my face in the sunlight, and so I preferred my mum dropping me in the car or going to lessons in the winter when it got dark quickly. Without a doubt it was super hard and a big challenge to see past the negativity, especially as I was really young. But deep down I knew I didn’t want to feel upset, insecure or inferior. I didn’t want what other people said about me to dictate what I thought about myself and how I felt each day. I didn’t want to feel afraid of what others’ might think of me. I didn’t want to be embarrassed when I looked in the mirror and I didn’t what to be ashamed of who I really was. So I decided to take control.

Everyday before leaving my house in the morning I would say in the mirror “You are beautiful, Akuc” over and over again. To be honest, I didn’t feel like it was the truth because the negative comments seemed to be controlling my mind. But I tried harder and harder each day to believe it and to really mean it. Everyday I became stronger and more determined to feel happy and positive about myself. Over time, I embraced my beauty and my complexion and even became grateful for my uniqueness. I know that because I committed to making myself feel confident and beautiful, today my confidence is so strong that it cannot be knocked by petty comments or insults. On top of that, I’m often described as beautiful, confidence and spicy (*whips hairs*)! I know for sure that the feeling I have of self-control and empowerment is something that no one can ever take away from me.

One this I’ve also learned is that people pick on others when they are feeling insecure or low about themselves. It’s easier to make fun of other people than have the courage to address your own problems and insecurities. And because all insecure people want to fit in, they copy their friends without thinking about the effect it has on other people.

So what I want you to understand right now is that we each have the power to control what we think about ourselves and we cannot give that power up to someone else. Decide today who you are and commit to that. Believe it, feel it and embrace it. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re not beautiful, amazing or wonderful! And, most importantly, every day commit to making yourself feel good, having a healthy self-image and doing what is best for you!

Let me know in the comment box below the things you are going to do to take control of your thinking and create a positive self-image. Who knows, maybe you might inspire someone else!

 

 

IF YOU, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW, IS BEING BULLYING, ABUSED OR HURT IN ANYWAY THEN YOU MUST TELL SOMEONE. SPEAK TO A RESPONSIBLE ADULT OR TALK TO CHILDLINE: 0800 1111 

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