By Stephanie Elliot —

In today’s world, sometimes it’s hard to have a good self-image. Teens are constantly bombarded with messages telling them they are not good enough as they are. Instagram models, social media outlets, billboards, commercials, movie stars, even filters on Snapchat that hide imperfections can distort a person’s self-image and make them feel less than they are.

How do teens feel good about themselves when there is so much outside noise coming from Hollywood, social media, peers, the clothing and beauty industry? These outlets are constantly saying that teens need to have the perfect face, long eyelashes, a beautifully sloped nose, the Kardashian/Jenner lip pout, the best clothes, and a slim body with a booty that has just the right amount of perk!

Being less than what the ideal expectations are does not help with self-image. But here’s the thing: You are already perfect.

The trick to feeling the power of a positive self-image is to let go of all that outside noise. Look within yourself! Here are some tips to continue to have a positive self-image when the world is telling you that you are not enough or that you need to change who you are and how you behave.

  1. Focus on what makes you unique. Are you kind? Are you helpful? Are you funny? What makes you different from everyone else? Capture that feeling and run with it. Sometimes, a mantra helps if you’re feeling down. Repeating to yourself something like, “I am kind” or “I am unique” really will reinforce a positive self-image.
  1. Acknowledge your positive traits. We all have something we don’t like about ourselves, but you definitely do have some aspects you appreciate about yourself, whether it’s your infectious smile or the way you make others feel when they’re around you. So what if your skin isn’t as clear as you wish it was? In the long run, that’s not what makes you you. That’s just more of the outside noise you’ve been conditioned to hear.
  1. Do something that makes you feel good. Exercise is an immediate booster to the self-image. Sure, you might look like a sweaty rat after you go for a run, but how do you feel? Amazing, right!? Bottle up that feeling and know that you are doing great things for your body, your mental health, and yes, your self-image as well.
  1. If you’re not into exercising, focus on something that you love to do, whether it’s drawing, writing, playing music, singing, or acting/performing. If you participate in activities that you enjoy and excel at, and do things that you love, you’ll bring on the natural feel-good endorphins.
  1. Eat well. It’s a proven fact that when you eat better, you feel better. Sugars and saturated fats can make you feel sluggish and slow. By choosing more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and oils, and whole grains, you are doing your body a world of good. It may take some time to get into the habit of healthy eating, but when you do, your skin will glow, you will have more energy, and you will be motivated to do more!
  1. Know that you are not alone. It’s normal to feel the feelings you’re having. But if you change your mindset – fake it till you make it – you can live a life with a positive self-image.

The changes start with you, within you. Believe that you are talented, smart, beautiful, and worthy of all that you desire and you will begin to see the changes, not only inside of you, but on the outside as well!