When I was growing up, I knew I was different than the other kids around me. I had dyslexia and a faint lisp/stutter. And I was passionate about TV shows like Xena: Warrior Princess and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
I didn’t let my differences stop me from being confident, though. When others made fun of me, it just made me more passionate about my interests—out of sheer rebellion.
I’m going to share three tips about confidence I’ve followed over the years. I think they can work well for a lot of people, and I hope they work for you.
1. Take pride in what you can do.
Please, be proud of yourself and what you do. Be kind to yourself.
If you got an A on an essay, or beat a video game, or cooked a new dish for yourself, be proud. You created something. It may sound small, but I compliment myself all the time when I accomplish something in the video game Animal Crossing.
Sometimes the hardest thing is just starting to feel better about yourself. Get the ball rolling by taking pride in your accomplishments.
2. Embrace what makes you happy.
I’ve always been a fan of a lot of different things, like comics and Dungeons & Dragons. In middle school and high school, I didn’t really embrace it as much as I could or should have.
When I reached my freshman year of college, I realized that no one cared that I was interested in so many different things. That’s when something clicked in my head. It’s such an overused saying, but no one’s opinion matters but your own.
I allowed myself to embrace all the things that made me happy. These days, you can even find me coming up with new Dungeons & Dragons characters. I’m comfortable with myself and thus, more confident.
Join a club, use the chat app Discord, or go to a convention for something that interests you!
I’ve made some of my best friends at conventions. New York Comic Con is one of my favorites. And it’s helped build my confidence.
When I’m surrounded by people who are interested in the same things that I am, I feel a certain kind of peace. I love that feeling of being at a convention (or in a Discord chat nowadays) and knowing that I’m among people who get me.