My journey to loving myself

A long but very rewarding road

My journey to loving myself

My name is Pearl, I’m 17 years old and loving myself has been a struggle since I was 10 years old. My struggle actually started in grade 3 when the boys in my class teased me about the birthmark on my face.

I became a joke. Some of the kids in my class called me Patch Adams. The joke spread to other classes and other grades. I dreaded going to school and every day I begged my mom to homeschool me. My mom couldn’t homeschool me - she was a single parent working 2 jobs.

I avoided mirrors, I didn’t take any photos and started hating myself. I remember I once took a scrubbing brush to my face - I scrubbed my face till it was raw. My mom found me on the bathroom floor, crying, with the scrubbing brush clutched in my hand. I just wanted it gone - I wanted to be beautiful. Mostly, I wanted to fit in.

What I remember most about my primary and high school years is feeling ugly, incredibly low, anxious and insecure. Those years were a dark time in my life. I couldn’t keep any friendships or relationships going because I frustrated the people in my life with my the way that I always talked down to myself. I never took advantage of any opportunities that came my way because I always assumed that I wouldn’t get chosen because I was ugly.

Then one day I was on Facebook and I came across a post by a woman who had a birthmark on her face just like me. She wrote about how she never let her birthmark hold her back and how her mark made her unique and different.

I started to seriously think about how I had been treating myself for the past couple of years. I had been living in darkness for so long… and I was done with it.

That’s how my journey of self-love began. I started with the thing that I had struggled with the most, which was looking at the mirror. Now, every morning I look at the mirror and say, “You are beautiful, you are capable and you are unique.”

It isn’t always easy and there are definitely days when still feel low. But now I have accepted that my birthmark is a part of me. And I don’t need to change myself for anyone.

Tips to help you build your self confidence:

Step out of your comfort zone: Face your fears by taking chances everyday and doing things that your ordinarily wouldn’t feel confident enough to. Set goals: Set small goals for yourself that you can achieve easily. Keep that list of goals to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved and what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Say no: Saying no will teach people to respect your boundaries. It will also help you feel in control and be more assertive.

What are some of the things you do to improve your self-confidence? Tell us in the comment section