This I Believe

Alexa - Sterling, North Dakota
Entered on January 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Throughout my life I have spent a significant amount of time worrying about what others think of what I wear, my personality, what I say, and almost every other aspect of my life. Spending so much time thinking about people’s opinions of me caused me to be a very shy person with little confidence throughout most of my elementary and middle school experience. I tried to seclude myself as much as I could, knowing that if I did not go to sporting events, school dances, or other activities I would not have to worry about what my peers though about me at least for a little while. I now regret missing out on many school events that most kids look forward to attending.

It wasn’t until the beginning of my junior year in high school that I came to the realization that I should not care about what others think of me as long as I am happy with the person I am. This came to my attention after noticing how confident many of my classmates were. I soon found out that the reason they had such high confidence was because they did not care what others though of them. Because I wanted to have the same confidence my peers did, I slowly started to make the transition from always worrying about what others though about me to caring only about my level of happiness and how I felt about myself. Not only did I gain a higher self-esteem, but I became more likeable, easy-going and less stressed as well. However, the process of change was not as easy as it may sound. I lost a few friends because of it, but I realized that if my friends did not like who I became, they were not my true friends. I believe the only person’s opinion of yourself that matters is your own. People should not have to pretend they are someone they are not to impress others. Feel free to act crazy in public or wear clothes that nobody else would even think about wearing. The only thing that matters is that you are content with who you are.