This I Believe

Ryan - Edison, New Jersey
Entered on February 22, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity

As a teenager, I am often faced with peer pressure; pressuring me to be like everyone else—to be cool.

But I believe in self-confidence. Conformity stems from insecurities. I believe being cool is being confident with yourself.

But self-confidence is hard to achieve, especially as a teenager in today’s society.

Where my confidence comes from is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it’s a misnomer, and my “confidence” is actually the desire to not conform. I would like to believe that I am self-confident, something passed down from my mother.

Whenever I had stories of peer pressure, or when I complained that I wasn’t cool enough, my mother would try to pacify me using logic and praise.

“…but you are smart, handsome, tall, athletic, responsible, kind…” She would remind me of my positive traits, but I wouldn’t feel any better. As I grew older, I came to realize my positive traits, and my confidence in myself grew.

I would not say that I am entirely self-confident, because that is far from the truth. There are times when I am not satisfied with myself, and wish I were cooler, smarter, or more popular. It is times like these where I have to remind myself to be self-confident.

Whenever I feel insecure, I remind myself of the words of Theodore Geisel, alias Dr. Seuss: “The people that mind don’t matter, and the people that matter don’t mind.” As long as you are confident with yourself, you are cool. This I believe.