Am I ugly? Is a question most of us have asked ourselves at least once? A few years ago there was a YouTube explosion as teens around the world were filming themselves and asking the opinion of public viewers. Some say it was an attempt to get attention, others say it comes from low self-esteem, and others suggest that it’s due to lacking knowledge of what’s shareable. After all, today’s social media has made it easy to share everything.
It’s important to consider that adolescence is a trying time of self-learning and figuring out where one fits into society. Therefore, it is crucial to direct adolescent’s attention away from what others think, and move them to focus on their own beliefs, knowledge, and values.
To do this, an adolescent may need to explore “What they are” (for example, “I am lovable and capable”), list the reasons why they think this is true or untrue about themselves and challenge any mistaken beliefs. They need to learn to question whether or not their thoughts of themselves are useful or not. If their thoughts are not helping them reach a positive goal, then it is not useful. Therefore, it should be disregarded, and the adolescent should re-focus on a task that helps them reach a productive goal.
Jessica D. Cleveland, M.S.
National Certified Counselor