About confidence

Having confidence means we are generally happy with ourselves, our ability to do things and to achieve the things we want to. Sometimes, having a visible difference may mean that you don’t feel very confident. This might be because you are worried about what other people might say or do, and you then don’t feel confident to do things, like going out or seeing your friends. Or your condition might mean that you can’t do some things, for example, you struggle to move a part of your body, then you might not be confident about doing exercise at school.

What can affect confidence?

Lots of things that can affect confidence. These can be things that we think and do, or things that other people do, like:

People staring or making unkind comments

It can be difficult to feel confident if people are unkind to us. Sometimes we think over and over about what they have said, and feel sad, upset or angry. When someone is unkind, we might worry that other people will be unkind as well.

I just want to say to those people, ‘Don’t always judge a face by its cover, it’s fine to look because I know I look different, but please don’t keep on staring. Come and ask me if you really want to know why I look the way I do.’

Sam

Comparing yourself to other people

You might see other people and want to look or be like them. Everyone does this in one way or another. This can affect our confidence, as we might compare ourselves to someone we think is ‘better’ and then we don’t see our own achievements. Everyone is different. Not only do people look different, they can do different things and have different talents. Comparing yourself to someone else is a bit like comparing a giraffe to a crocodile, they just aren’t the same and can’t do the same things.
“Initially I associated my scars with being ugly and I struggled to feel good about myself. I never felt beautiful or accepted compliments about how I looked. I looked at magazines and read about celebrities and I wanted to look or be like them. They were beautiful. I have accepted my scars and wouldn’t want to change them now” Tulsi

Not seeing your good points

When we don’t feel very confident, we think about all the things we don’t like about ourselves. This might be not liking the way we look, or worrying about not being good at something, like maths or playing football. We often forget to think about all the things we are good at.

Thinking that no matter how hard you try, no one will like you

We might think that because we look different no one will like us or want to be our friend. Being friends with someone is about so much more than looks. Think about the people you like and love – what is it you like or love about them? It probably isn’t how they look! It’s about how they are – what you enjoy doing together, if they make you laugh, if they are nice, and whether they like the same things as you do. And guess what, other people think this way too and will look at all the different parts of you, not just the small part that is your appearance.

If you are feeling unconfident, you might like to take a look at the Confidence Tools – these can help you build confidence and to think about yourself as a whole, not just how you look – and help you to remember the good things about yourself.

Seeing my good points tool

Read

Smile tool

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