The Strength Within: Tips on building Self Esteem

All posts by Akilah C. Thompson

The Strength Within: Tips on building Self Esteem

Create a list of words that describe you. Some of them should be unique, beautiful, and strong. Low self- esteem is one of the major challenges people face every day, especially young women. Images projected through television, music, social media and magazines have caused us to glorify celebrities and want to imitate them. Unfortunately, we fail to realize that, a lot of what we see is not reality and does not reflect true beauty. Technology has made it possible for celebrities to look perfect using Adobe Photoshop, cosmetic surgery, and professional makeup. But why would you want to be a copy when you can be an original? We are all made with differences ranging from the color of our skin, to the shape and size of our body. No matter where you are from or what you look like, take pride in who you are and fall in love with everything about you. True beauty lies within.


Here are a few tips that will help you build your inner confidence.


Daily Affirmations

“I am ambitious and can achieve all things.” Start every day by saying something positive about yourself. Affirm how great you are! Positive reinforcement is important. By telling yourself this, you are creating a mentality and atmosphere that will allow you to be productive and seek goodness in anything you do. There is power in words. Speak life to your future.


Reward Yourself

Celebrate your success! It takes hard work and dedication to set goals and accomplish them. Whether you passed an exam with a good grade or received a scholastic award, take time out to celebrate. Grab some friends and head out for a night on the town or have a dinner and a movie at home. Either way sit back relax and enjoy your achievements. Remember it is not easy to stay focused and complete a goal. So give yourself a pat on the back!


Break Barriers!

One of the biggest obstacles faced when building self-confidence is fear. Fear is mental! It is defined as F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal in your mind of failure. The best way to overcome your fears is to step outside your comfort zone and not be afraid to fail. If you are terrified of public speaking, the only way to overcome that fear is to push yourself to walk up on a stage, stand behind the podium and speak! And keep doing it until you feel comfortable! Simply volunteering as a host in a school production, joining a Toastmasters club or even being on the debate team, can help you begin to build inner confidence. You will wake up one day and realize that an area you used to be afraid of has become one of your greatest strengths. Sometimes, overcoming our fears can lead us to future passions and ultimately our purpose. Never limit yourself. Tackling your fears could lead you to your greatest achievements.



Life will undoubtedly, have its ups and downs and mistakes will happen. However, dealing with disappointment is being able to tell yourself everything will be okay. Self-motivation is essential. You have to be able to encourage yourself even when there is no one around to motivate you. Positive self-talks will help you push through any obstacle you are faced with. When your conscious tells you “I can’t do this”, you must say loud and proud “Yes I CAN”. Consistently, speak great things and life will give you extraordinary rewards. In addition, keep a circle of positive people that give off good vibes, keep you motivated and want to see you succeed. With an “I CAN” attitude and supportive friends, you will be equipped to overcome any obstacle in your path.


Treating your body right

Eating healthy and exercising is another way to boost your self -confidence. Feeling good about the person in the mirror starts of by exercising and eating right. If you look better, you will feel better about yourself. Eating fruits, vegetables, good carbs and a variety of lean meats allows your body to maintain strong bones and gain energy. Exercising keeps the body actively working to the best of its ability. When talking about exercising, that does not necessarily mean getting a gym membership. You can go for bike rides, jog around in your neighborhood, go swimming or even pull up a Zumba video on YouTube. No matter what activity you do, looking and feeling good will be the end rewards. Taking the pledge to make healthy eating choices while staying active, will boost your confidence as people continuously compliment you on how great you look.


Loving You

BE YOU! Nobody’s perfect, we all have flaws and faults and that’s what makes us human. Your ideas, gifts, perspectives, voice and physical features make you one of a kind. Let your voice be heard and showcase your talents. Don’t let anyone define you. Embrace the person in the mirror because you are the way you are for a reason. Laugh louder and smile wider because you have something to offer the world. Be comfortable in your own skin and accept both your external and internal beauty.

Confidence brings light to your inner self. Define what makes you different and create your own personal brand. Remember, there is no one like you and you should love being who you are. Live life and be grateful for each day, continue to see the beauty in yourself and shine the light on others.


8 Tips to get Celeb Fit and Fine!

  1. Make sweat a habit!! –   Commit to doing a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio daily at least 5 times a week. Set a time to do it daily and stick to it to make sure it gets done. Grab a Zumba video, take a kickboxing class, go for a run or hop on the Stairmaster and sweat those pounds away. Sweating consistently by doing cardio daily is key to weight loss!

  2. Abs are made in the kitchen!– If you want sexy abs , then you have to watch what you eat. Adapt a clean eating regiment with lean protein ( fish, chicken, ground turkey breast) , lots of vegetables, fruit, protein shakes and keep your carbs low. Aim to eat 5-6 small meals a day to speed up your metabolism and break down fat quickly. Be sure to keep cheating to a minimum. You won’t be able to fix a bad diet with exercise. Eat clean!

  3. Stay Hydrated!– You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Avoid sugary and high-calorie drinks such as juice, sodas and alcoholic beverages.

  4. Squat, Squat, squat! – Although many celebrities are enhancing their backside with injections you can do it the natural way with SQUATS! At least 2-3 times of week , you should work your buns by doing 3-4 sets of squats, lunges, dead lifts and leg presses with 12-15 reps each set. Do this consistently and you will have the booty of your dreams.

  5. Lift like a BEAST – Find a gym partner and hit the weights. You should engage in weightlifting 3-4 times a week to build muscle as you lean out from your daily cardio. Work a different part of the body each session. Be sure to stretch after each workout.

  6. Make Smart Subsitutions – Skip the ice cream and grab a yogurt or substitute a club soda for your usual Coke. Small substitutions make big gradual changes. Be smart with your eating choices.

  7. Invest in a Heart Rate Monitor – Push yourself daily in your workouts by monitoring how much you burn. If you have a heart rate monitor it allows you to see how hard you are working so that you can challenge yourself to get the best results. Aim to burn 300-500 calories per workout.

  8. Stay Inspired – Remain motivated to achieve your goals by following fitness gurus on social media and find inspiration for workouts in fitness magazines and Youtube. Take advantage of the online resources available. There is a lot of free information on the web that you can use as training materials and to become more educated about appropriate exercises to target your problem areas.


Now let’s work!!! Keep your goals in mind as you work on your celebrity body. Remain focused and consistent. You will be looking like a super star in no time!

Turning a hobby into a business for Teens!

News Flash! It’s never too early to become an entrepreneur. Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a business? Are you good at drawing, painting, sewing, lawn care, graphic design or fixing things? Or have you had dreams of modeling, acting , singing or becoming an author? Is there something you enjoy doing so much you currently do it for free? Have you ever thought about how much income you could earn from your hobbies? Well, if you haven’t …the time is now! Let’s explore what it will take to turn your hobby into a business. With the appropriate planning and an entrepreneurial mindset, you can be on your way to starting a successful business bringing in more cash than any allowance your parents could ever give you.


Tip One: Do you homework!

In order to start a business, you want to make sure you do plenty of research to understand what it will take to be successful in your field.   Start by determining the following:

  • How much start-up funds do I need?

  • How should I set up the business? ( Ie. Sole proprietorship, Independent contractor, Corporation , Partnership etc. )

  • Do I need any training or licenses?

  • How much can I charge?

  • Will I need to pay sales taxes?

  • How much time can I commit weekly to the business?

  • Will I need my parents assistance to set-up my business?




Tip Two: Save…save to Invest!

You want to make sure you can appropriately fund your business with the start up funds needed to get your business off the ground. Start putting money to the side to invest as capital in your business. You may also want to see if you can get your family to assist you with start up funds as investors with a small return on their investment. Open a separate account for your business to start managing your business funds appropriately.

Tip Three: Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a snapshot that potential investors and banks look at in order to predict where your business is headed and what it will look like in the future. “If you Fail to plan, you Plan to fail”. Most businesses are unsuccessful because their business plans were incomplete or ineffective. In addition, your business plan sets the strategic plan and direction for your business to help you make appropriate decisions with the end goals in mind.

The Main Components of a Business Plan are:

  • Mission Statement – articulate the purpose of the company’s existence, their target audience as well as the products and services.

  • Vision Statement –focuses on the values, aims and the future direction of the company.

  • Organizational Plan– is a description of your business, products and services and the long-term goals of the company.

  • Competition refers to researching other businesses that offer similar services and products within market. This is comparing prices and other marketing techniques.

  • Market Analysis – is the study of the market in its entirety that relates to the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that may arise when launching your business.

  • Market Plan– this is where you develop strategies on how to solicit consumers and business. Use all public relation resources and social media to market your brand.

  • Financial Plan– is a blue print of your business’ current and future financial state. It captures how much money is needed to start the business including all start up expenses. In addition, the financial plan will forecast proposed revenue for years to come to assess growth potential.

  • Executive Summary– summarizes all the sections of your business plan by extracting the main points. Prospective investors determine whether your business is profitable based upon this section of the document.

Tip Four: Mange your money wisely

From day one, you need to make sure that you are recording all financial information pertaining to your business. Exceptional book and record keeping skills is essential. Avoid commingling business funds with personal funds. As your business becomes more profitable hire an accountant to help you with tax planning and other services.

Tip Five: Get to work!

Take all the tips that you have been given above and get to work! Businesses are built based on creative and innovative ideas that were given wings to fly. Let your passion, ideas, skills and hobbies allow you to become a successful teen entrepreneur. Being your own boss as a teen is super cool! Good for you!

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