By Elizabeth Fedrick, PhD, LPC

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

The pressures of being a teenage girl have never been easy when considering the societal demands, constant comparisons, and frequent fear of rejection and not feeling good enough. And then, when you add in the present-day stressors of non-stop text messaging and social media alerts, the desire to be accepted not only in real life, but also in a virtual world, as well as the brainwashing advertisements you are exposed to about how to look and be better… boy, oh boy, of course this can feel stressful and overwhelming.

The bad news is social media and societal messages are not going away. The good news is you don’t have to let them control you. Let’s talk about some ways to take your power back:

  1. Boundaries: Boundaries are limits you get to put in place based on your comfort level about certain situations. Boundaries are really helpful when it comes to social media, and interactions with peers, because they let you choose often you engage and what you engage in. If something makes you feel icky or uncomfortable, it is your right to not engage.
  2. Assertiveness: While boundaries are a great idea in theory, they can sometimes be a bit difficult in practice. Sometimes it is hard to tell our friends “no” and sometimes it is even harder to tell ourselves “no” to things that might not be best for us. Assertiveness is the practice of clearly and directly expressing how we feel about something. Please note the word “practice” … assertiveness does not come easily nor naturally; but you can practice it to become better at it.
  3. Self-care: Another way to take our power back in this modern-day society is by choosing to take care of ourselves, even when it feels easier to focus on others. Don’t forget, you matter too, and also need to be taken care of. For some people this might be pampering or physical exercise, while for others it might be naps and alone time. Whatever it is that helps you feel like the best version of you, make time for it.
  4. Self-confidence: When we combine boundary setting, assertiveness, and self-care, we get the perfect recipe for self-confidence and self-respect. The more we are willing to say no to things that make us uncomfortable, openly express ourselves, and engage in activities that allow us to also be a priority… we are sending a message to our brain that we matter and are important. What a powerful feeling!

Being a teenage girl in 2022 can be a lot of work. You are living in an age of non-stop messages about how you should look, feel, and behave. These messages can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming… not to mention, wildly detrimental to your self-esteem and overall mental health; but only if you let them! Keep in mind, you get to choose which of these messages you listen to and you get to choose what you say “no” to. Setting boundaries, being assertive, and taking care of yourself… is how you take your power back.


Dr. Elizabeth Fedrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owns a private practice, Evolve Counseling, in Gilbert, Arizona. She specializes in various areas, including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, and personal improvement. In addition to providing therapeutic services, Elizabeth also teaches Behavioral Health courses for Grand Canyon University.