When traced back practically all my insecurities come from childhood, I didn’t have the strength or confidence to tolerate bullying so it permanently hindered my self esteem. I really struggled with reading and writing when I was younger. At 10 my grade 2 reading buddy was significantly better than me and people would constantly tease me for my skills. While trying to protect myself from embarrassment I became exhausted constantly trying to avoid situations that would bring light to my weaknesses.
This really impacted my ability to take on leadership roles in my personal and school life, because I didn’t feel worthy of having influence. Even after my writing/reading began to improve I had extreme anxiety surrounding the topic but over time I was able to cope and overcome the fear. I know how hard it can be trying to grow up in an environment where you don’t feel safe to learn and explore and I’ve learnt a lot from it so maybe I can help.
Since then I’ve realized a hand full of things that helped me get my confidence back. I know that most of us experience some form of bullying in our lifetime, it’s just about how you cope with it that determines how it affects you. By far the most crucial realization I had was that we’re all on our own path, we reach milestones at different times and we have a very unique trail to personal success.
The idea that everyone should progress at the same time puts a lot of stress on the youth. It leaves grey area for those who don’t fit in the box and it can lead to us feeling less than. I felt horrible that I couldn’t read as well as everyone else could, but instead of using that as motivation to improve, I ran from it for a long time. The most helpful coping mechanism I learnt for my anxiety was getting perspective. It’s kinda like taking a step back and looking at how important the issue is in the grand scheme of your life. This encouraged me to improve by experiencing short term discomfort of a lifetime of benefit.
Don’t feel ashamed for not fitting in the box instead, figure out what’s gonna help you achieve your own personal success. The most influential people are the ones who do things differently. As Christopher Paolini put it “Without fear there cannot be courage” so carry your head high even in uncertainty. You deserve to be surrounded by people who support you, and if they’re dragging you down, then that is not the kind of support system you need.
No matter how daunting fear makes your obstacles look, it’s always possible to overcome them, I mean, why not try? I never would have thought I’d write a blog, so what are you really capable of overcoming?
Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately