Nothing compares to you

By admin
28 July 2014

Put the brakes on negative self-talk before it knocks you down

Your brother has the coolest crew at school, plays for first team rugby, has good grades and a beautiful girlfriend. Your parents are so proud of him and you feel as if you’re constantly competing with him for their attention.

You feel invisible especially when they ask things like, “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” Sound familiar?

Our family and even teachers often compare us to our siblings and friends but falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others is nothing but poison to your soul. Ultimately the little voice in your head that asks “Why can’t I be as popular as he is?” or “Why can’t I be as smart as her?” will roar louder than any positive thoughts you may have of yourself, leaving you feeling inadequate and unworthy.

Self-esteem is all about how much you feel you’re worth and how much you feel you other people value you.Having a healthy self-image is important because feeling good about yourself affect your mental health and behaviour.

Things that affect your self-image 

Puberty: Teenagers’ bodies go through many changes which can be hard to adjust to. This happens at a time when it’s very important to feel accepted by your friends, so it’s not surprising if you end up comparing yourself to others. But it’s important to remember that not everyone grows or develops at the same time or in the same way.

Media pressure: Human beings are social creatures – we all want to belong and fit in so when we see a magazine with a very sexy Rihanna on the cover, we tend to compare ourselves to her and other hot celebs. Thing is, those pictures are often photo-shopped so as stunning as she may be, even Riri isn’t as picture perfect as the cover would have you believe.

Family: It’s no secret our parents only want what’s best for us but sometimes they can push us too hard to look, act or be the best. Usually talking to them about how you feel will make it clear that you need them to ease off. Be respectful when sharing your feelings and ask them to respect yours.

How to build a healthy self-image

  1. Stop thinking that everyone is better than you. They’re not. Remember that – no one is perfect.
  2. We’re all made differently and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Learn to love who you are. After all you’re stuck with you for a while . . .
  3. We’re all created for different purposes in life. Find out what yours is. Discover your strengths and focus on fulfilling your destiny.
  4. Focus on the value you give to those around you. You’re worthy in your own right.
  5. Always think and speak good things about yourself – even when things aren’t going well. What we think and say becomes our reality. Be positive!

Learn from your sibling

Instead of wallowing in self-pity or envy, learn from your over-achieving sib.

- Practice makes perfect. We bet your brother/sister didn’t make the rugby or netball team by sitting at home watching TV after school, right? Figure out what your passion is and follow their example by working hard at it.

- Be yourself. Don’t copy someone else doing something great – not everyone can be the fastest runner or a maths whizz. Perhaps you’re better at writing or singing. The world needs writers and singers too, you know!

- Get over past failures. No one gets everything right all the time. Don’t be scared to ask an older brother or sister for advice. They’ll secretly love the fact you trust them enough to ask!

By Tsakane Ndlovu

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