When In Doubt, Try

I joined the field hockey team my senior year even though I'd never played before. It was a great experience.

Emmanuela Geneste

I joined the field hockey team my senior year even though I'd never played before. It was a great experience.

Emmanuela Geneste, Staff Writer

Have you ever really wanted to do something but there was a voice inside your head telling you that you couldn’t? Have you ever put your mind to something but let it slip away because of fear? 

Questioning one’s self is one of the ways  that we miss out on things in life. We do this because we feel as though something is holding us back. That feeling is called doubt. It’s important not to be doubtful of ourselves and know that we can work hard to gain the things we want. Being doubtful leads to a struggle with our  self-esteem, and makes us feel as though we are incapable of doing things, or trying something for the first time.

Many people struggle with their self- esteem levels when it comes to activities like trying out for a new sport, playing an instrument for the first time, giving a presentation, going on a job interview, or even building up the courage to talk to your crush. According to HealthOf Children, a website that provides information about how to deal with children’s physical, mental and emotional health issues, other factors that influence one’s level of self-esteem are age, gender, socioeconomic status and body image and school. Teenagers experience their lowest self-esteem when going through things like puberty, and dealing with school. The same site also notes that , girls tend to be more susceptible to having low self-esteem than boys, because of increased social pressure that emphasizes one’s appearance more than intelligence or athletic ability. Teens tend to feel as though they must look a certain way, convey certain characteristics, and internalize what they perceive as “perfect” or “hot”and try to emulate it. This can drastically affect self-confidence, which is reflected in teens’ struggles with wearing certain types of clothing, going to events, or deciding what they should and shouldn’t eat.

The environment teens live in and the content were exposed to have a major impact on the levels of self-esteem experienced by teenagers. When it comes to school, social media, television, music, or even magazines, teenagers have a high threshold as to what they consider to be popular, “insta worthy”, or worth retweeting. Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik-Tok are some of the social media sites  that teenagers are exposed to everyday on their phones. Whether it’s getting the most likes on Instagram, receiving over 500 views on your Snapchat story, or even reposting funny videos of your friends to the internet for comments, the exposure that teens have to social media may diminish or increase their levels of self-confidence within seconds of that post. The website Sageday,that talks about the impact of social media on teens  explains, “If teens feel they are coming up short in the social media world, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and self-image, and lead to anxiety and depression. Not only do they value the type of feedback they receive through social media, they also rely upon it to make decisions about what music they should listen to, what types of clothes they should be wearing, and more.”

Although many teens struggle with self-doubt or have very low-self esteem, there’s one sure fire way to get over that fear:  trying. Trying out for the basketball team or playing tennis for the first time won’t hurt. The worst thing that could happen is you don’t make the team, but you’ll never know if you  never try out. The same goes for talking to your crush or meeting someone new for the first time; you won’t know whether you’ll end up being best friends with that person or finding out that  your crush likes you too if you never talk to them. In life we must try new things in order to get over our fears and we must stop doubting ourselves believing that we can’t do it when we know we can!