I vividly recall a time in my life where all I wanted was to ‘’belong’’ in the circle of other kids I considered ‘cool’ and popular. I would day-dream most of the time and then imagine how awesome it would be if I was liked by everyone, and be accepted by those I thought mattered at the time.. Let me tell you how badly I longed for this kind of acceptance – I spent the most part of my day day-dreaming I was this half-caste girl (half-Nigerian, Half-American.. precisely..hehe), who was the hottest girl in school! With long straight legs, long golden yellow hair with a very pretty face and figure – you know the super model look- :D. And guess what, I gave myself a name in my fantasy! O yes I had a name for my fantasy-self. And the name was….….**drum roll** … Jennifer Andserson.. I hear you laughing and I don’t care.. :D. Well, she lived only in my fantasy and this was my way of living out my desire – through my fantasy.
At the top of the list of things teens fear is ‘rejection”. You feel rejected because others think you are different and don’t fit in, or they think you are ‘not cool’ or not-in-thier-league; maybe they feel you are not pretty or handsome enough, and so do not welcome you within their circle. And often times as a result of this you may find yourself doing silly things just so you can “fit in”, be acknowledged, or be popular/famous…
Hmmm… Now the saddest part about the quest for acceptance is this that you may delve into things that are detrimental either to yourself (most of the time), or detrimental to others in your immediate sphere of influence and the society at large..
Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk. Dear Teen, at this stage of your life one of your foremost desires is to “belong”, to have your friends, classmates, and peers think you are the coolest, sleekest, hottest guy or babe (you feel especially good and on top of the world when the opposite sex thinks so about you *winks** :D). While this is a natural God-given and God-ordained feeling that cannot be erased out of your DNA, there is the need to restrain yourself from being lulled into doing things that have terrible immediate or future consequences.
The way to handle your self-induced pressure and external/peer pressure to belong is simple; ACCEPT and LOVE yourself just as you are! And how do you achieve this?
Say these words to yourself everyday – ”I am wonderfully made by God, I am beautiful/handsome, I am loved and favored by God so much that He gave His son to die for me. God loves and accepts me just as I am! And I love myself just as I am!” After you say this give yourself a hug..LOL.. I mean it though! (just make sure no one is hearing you or can see you when doing this. LOL.)
I promise you after you do this everyday for weeks – morning time as you say your morning prayers, say this also whenever you feel down during the day, and if you like as you say your bedtime prayers- you will start to feel good about yourself! When you start to feel good about yourself, that’s the first step towards victory over self-induced pressure and peer pressure. Above all, you will see that your peers will even begin to get attracted to you, and some may want to identify with you because you now ooze confidence! Almost everyone is attracted to a confident person. #pinkypromise