One issue that is particularly important to me is self-confidence, especially as it applies to young people as they grow-up. I’m not talking about being over confident, cocky or disrespectful. Those are negative behaviors that will surely end with poor results. I’m talking about learning how to have self-confidence as a young person to help you lead versus follow and make good choices. I think understanding the concepts related to a healthy level of self-confidence in youth impact every aspect listed in the essay topic.

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Without self-confidence young people will struggle with school, relationships and most likely make many poor choices that can mold their personalities and outlook on life for years to come. First, how do you understand what self-confidence is, and how do you know if you have it? To me self-confidence is the voice in your head that says “I may be afraid, but I know I can do this, and I need to believe in myself not necessarily others”. Do we have fears of the unknown? Is it easy to take the road often traveled versus those less traveled?

Can we make the right choices in spite of them being perceived as unpopular by our peers? Am I a follower or leader? If the voice in your head says “I believe in myself and I’m going to do the right things at the right times for the right reasons in spite of what my friends may think”, you may have a healthy level of self-confidence. Now that we know what self-confidence is, what do we do with it? First, we try to consistently apply our own behaviors to the situations we find ourselves in everyday.

As my dad says “lead by example and don’t be a follower”. Second, we find the right opportunities to share our beliefs in self-confidence with friends with the intention of helping them generate a better thought process and view of the situation at hand. Look around; you can see people making poor choices and creating situations for themselves that could have been avoided. Perhaps if they had trust in themselves, and a healthy degree of self-confidence in their decision-making ability could the circumstances ended with a positive outcome?

My dad says “look in the mirror first when you want to know why things turned out the way they did”. I get that. Should self-confidence courses be taught in high school? I’m not sure. What do you call the class…. ”Character Building 101”? What about parents and family members; do they have a responsibility to understand and teach self-confidence to their children and siblings? These questions are hard to answer. But, we have to take a position at some point.

I think we should have more focus in school on character building and self-confidence development. While I don’t have the exact answers, I believe I have the right viewpoint. The problem is measurement. You can measure success in classes like math, where you pass or fail. How do we measure whether young people have learned to develop self-confidence? I’ve tried hard to develop self-confidence. I’m not there yet, but I won’t quit trying. I selected this topic as it helps me reinforce and reflect on my own level of developing self-confidence.

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