Looking within when without: Finding love in yourself rather than others


Ingrid Hofmann

Teens often search for approval in anyone but themselves, but only find true confidence when they stop and focus on who they alone want to be.

Beth Mooy, Infographic Manager

In today’s day and age, so many teenagers and young adults struggle with their body image and others’ perception of them. So many believe that feeling comfortable in their body is the only way to be confident and happy.

However, fighting everyday for the approval of others is mentally draining, and their approval is overall unimportant and it’s all too easy to lose grip of what matters. But fighting for oneself elicits self growth, genuine love and the confidence that every teen longs for.

Furthermore, seeking affirmation from others denies teens the ability to appreciate themselves on their own. The myth that receiving approval from one’s peers will give them the love for their body that they desire remains false. 

Maddie Staats, sophomore, shared her perspective. “Students should stop caring about others’ opinions, because you’re going to be so much happier and content with yourself instead of using someone else to change you.” The only thing comparison brings is confusion. How is one to know if they love who they are if they are constantly bending to the changes of the world?

“Teens would feel proud of themselves and happy with their accomplishments instead of comparing themselves to others’ achievements,” Staats continues. Focusing on how to improve oneself rather than how to become more like those around them allows for real love of self to prosper.

It is dangerous to wean off the sporadic compliments of others for the temporary feelings of inclusion. The consistency and security of turning to oneself for acceptance- rather than the world- is well worth the wait and the struggle. 

Jenni Levora, an English teacher at PV, advises, “I think what’s important for teens to do is to step back from social media more and find interests and hobbies that fuel creativity, self-care, and growth.” 

Confidence does not come from the number of comments someone gets on their instagram post, but rather the action of not needing those compliments at all to be satisfied. The most confident people are the ones who have the knowledge that nothing in the world can change their value. 

It is in the best interest of teens today to understand what gives them the most joy; the dreadful wait for approval of others to feel loved is so clearly not the answer. Rather improving oneself to meet their own standards and engaging in the things they love can truly bring confidence and happiness.