Confidence: Find It

February 14, 2011
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Teenage girls today are lacking one thing more than anything else-confidence. Real confidence that comes from within, not from praise and accolades, is endangered amongst teenagers, particularly girls. Amongst my group of friends I have seen the devastation caused by the utter lack of confidence that girls, including me, have. 

Since I was in first grade I have been inseparable from my best friend, Lauren. We were essentially the same person in two bodies, even though our family lives were completely different. She grew up in a perfect loving family with a mom and dad who rarely argue, and siblings that never tore her down. I grew up with a single mom who loved me, but spent most of her weekdays working so we could make it through. Through Lauren's family I got an image and experience of what I thought a "real" family should be. Lauren and I grew up and our lives started to change. As we entered high school Lauren began to pine for guys attention. She felt that she was nothing unless a guy liked her. I watched her go through guy after guy, heartbreak after heartbreak until she felt like she had finally found "the one." He seemed to legitimately care for her and I know she really liked him. After a few months of dating Lauren came to me with a problem. She was pregnant. 

Lauren told me that she had agreed to have not just sex, but unprotected sex because she was afraid that her boyfriend would not lover her if she didn't have sex with him. Her self image was based completely around what a boy thought about her. Lauren recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and gave her to an amazing family. When I asked her why she picked adoption she told me, "How am I supposed to raise a baby to be a strong, successful, confident adult when I still need to find my own confidence within myself." 

And that is not all. I have had friends who are recovering from drug addiction, manic depression and STD's. All of them told me the same thing, "If only I had been more confident in who I was I would not be here now." 

I know that it is hard. I struggle every single day to hold my head up and believe in myself, but I know it is possible. To all the girls out there who feel they are nothing without friends or a boyfriend or an addiction, you are beautiful and amazing without those things. You can be whoever you want to be, but you have to believe in yourself first. Confidence comes from within, go find it.

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