This is from an article I wrote for an Australian magazine aimed at teenage girls - DOLLY Magazine. Not all of it was printed, but this is what I wrote :)
WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU THINK THE TYPE OF GIRL THAT EVERYONE LOVES HAS? There are many qualities of a person that people will automatically love. People are drawn to individuals who: - have a passion and excitement for life, and live every moment - are friendly, welcoming & accepting of others - empathetic - optimistic - determined - non-judgemental - funny, love to laugh - ambitious - opinionated, not afraid to disagree with others but at the same time doesn’t force her opinions onto others - confident, but not conceited - a true individual, someone who knows who she is and is proud of who she is - laid-back, doesn’t worry about the petty things in life, such as gossip or what others think of her - independent - believes in herself, even when no-one else does - doesn’t follow the crowd or do things just because they’re friends are doing it These are just some of the qualities that people have that give them that inevitable charm that we all love! Some people have them all, others may only have one or two, but they are all easy to develop over time.
HOW DOES BEING CONFIDENT HELP? Confidence can help with many things, from speaking up in class or standing up to a bully, to performing in front of a large audience. But, having confidence doesn’t necessarily mean being the centre of attention, and it certainly doesn’t mean putting others down or making others feel small. It is simply believing so much in yourself that you know that you can handle absolutely anything that comes your way and that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to. Having confidence can help you move closer towards your goals, reach your potential, and achieve the happiness that you want and deserve. Confidence is the key to showing the world just how amazing you truly are!
HOW CAN I BOOST MY CONFIDENCE? A great way to boost your confidence is to move out of your comfort zone and face your fears. Once you know that you can overcome your worst fears, you will have the power to do almost anything. You will probably wonder why you were so worried in the first place! Remember, in order to discover where your boundaries are, you have to cross them! Creating a good self-image is another fantastic way to help yourself feel more confident. By simply reminding yourself everyday of how great you are, you can greatly affect the way you look at the world. You could do this by writing in your journal everyday, and it’s a great idea to make what I call a ‘Confidence Box’; buy or make a little box, then write a lot of notes to yourself, each one listing a quality about yourself that you love, such as ‘I love my smile’ or ‘I am a great friend’, or make lists of your favourite people/things to do, you could even draw pictures or place photographs in there too. If it makes you feel happy, then put in the box! Whenever you’re feeling a bit insecure, just open the box and let the confidence out! You can even put it in a special hiding place if you don’t want you friends or family to see it.
HOW CAN I BECOME MORE POSITIVE? The way we think affects not only how we feel mentally, but it also affects the way we feel emotionally and physically. Our thoughts create everything. What we think about, we bring about. And what you believe, you receive. The simple act of being grateful can make the transition from negative thinking to positive thinking much easier, and it also makes us feel so much better about our lives and ourselves. If you come across a difficult person or situation, being thankful for something can make it a lot easier to deal with. Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, sad, stressed, afraid, or angry, just pause, take a breath, and look around you. Take a close look at your surroundings, and be grateful for everything that you see, whether it be a bed, a roof over your head, food, or even a tree or animal. If you struggle with this, try simply being thankful that you have the eyes to see what surrounds you. The smallest thing can make everything look and feel so much better. Something good can always be found in a bad situation, all we have to do is look for it. Whenever you are faced with a challenge, ask yourself, ‘Where is the advantage in this situation?’ or ‘How can I turn this around so that something good can come from it?’ If you can find the power within yourself to see the gift in every single moment, and enjoy life just because you are living it, the opportunities that come your way will be endless! In talking about positive thinking with others, it has been said that it is not realistic to be positive. But how is it any more realistic to be negative? There is nothing wrong with feeling great about yourself and your life, regardless of the challenges you may face. Achieving a positive mind-set takes commitment and a lot of practice, but it is definitely worth it! If we have the power to create negative thoughts, which then create feelings of depression, self-hate, insecurity, and anxiety, then we must have the power to create positive, empowering thoughts in order to achieve feelings of joy, self-respect, confidence, and stability. Another fantastic way to transform your mind-set is to collect as much information that you can on people or things that inspire you. These can be inspiring quotes, stories of achievements or overcoming challenges, or just pictures of people that you admire. Put these on your wall or somewhere that you will see them everyday. If the first thing you see in the morning when you wake up or the last thing you see at night when you go to bed are quotes or people that inspire you, then your whole perception of the world will begin to transform for the better! Here’s a quick tip: when you’re feeling down, instead of closing up with your head down, just look up. The simple act of looking up when you’re feeling down can really make you feel just that little bit better!
WHAT EFFECT DOES BEING POSITIVE HAVE ON OTHER PEOPLE? People will start to see the transformation as you become more positive and confident, and you will also start to notice the positivity or negativity of others much more. You will find that most people will absolutely love your new way of thinking, and they may even adopt the same healthy and empowering attitude. I know many people who have thanked me for being so optimistic, because it affected them in such a way that they started to think differently and live better lives. Some people, however, may not react as well to the new, more happy you. This is because a lot of people don’t like change, in fact; they fear it. If this happens, just explain to them that you are still the same person; you just have a different outlook on life. You’ll just be a happier, more positive version of yourself! If they truly love you, then they will accept it. Remember, friends are supposed to support your growth and respect your opinions, even if they don’t agree with you. True friends love you for who you are. If they don’t do this, then do you really want to spend your time with them? If the negativity of other people starts to bother you, it is a good idea to avoid spending too much time with them, as they tend to bring others down. It is okay to express your opinion or show your positivity, but try not to force your way of thinking onto theirs. Instead, make the commitment to surround yourself with positive things and people that you love.