6 Lies You Tell Yourself

  • girl yelling into her own ear

    You, the Critic

    It's easy to be hard on yourself. But when you tell yourself a lot of negative things, you can start to believe them. Chances are they're not true at all. So don't give in! Instead, choose a better way to handle those thoughts. That will help you see the best in you.

  • teen frustrated with schoolwork

    Lie #1: I'm not attractive.

    Try: Doing a reality check. 

    It's hard to see perfect-looking models and stars on Instagram all day without thinking you don't measure up. Just remember: it's not real. Stylists and photo editing help them look that way. Next, take a good look at yourself. Find specific features that you like. Maybe you have great eyes or an incredible smile. Focus on the positives.

  • girl pinching waist in mirror

    Lie #2: I'm fat.

    Try: Questioning your belief.

    First, there's more to you than how you look. Plus, we often believe the bad things we think of ourselves without proof. Worried you're overweight? Make an appointment with your doctor. She can let you know if you really do need to slim down. (You could also use a teen BMI (body mass index) calculator to get an idea of where you stand.) If you do need to lose weight, work together. Come up with a plan to get healthier and feel better.

  • teen boy celebrating with teammates

    Lie #3: I'm bad at sports.

    Try: Shifting your focus. 

    Feeling less than athletic? You can work on getting better -- practice your skills when you have downtime. In the meantime, focus on what you like about sports. Maybe you like your teammates or being outside. Being active is also a great way to burn off stress.

  • teen frustrated with schoolwork

    Lie #4: I'm not smart.

    Try:  Figuring out what you can control. 

    Nobody's good at everything, but you can work on the subjects or skills that don't come easy. Ask yourself, "Have I gone to my teacher or parents for help?" When things are tough, think about your past successes for inspiration. What did you do then to make things better?

  • teen volunteers planting a tree

    Lie #5: I don't have any friends.

    Try:  Checking your perspective. 

    Friendship isn't about how many likes you get on Facebook. It's about having good friends. Feeling lonely? Try branching out to meet new people. Join clubs or teams, volunteer, or take classes to find others who like the same things you do. Having something in common can help you have an instant bond with people.

  • teen girls of varying height

    Lie #6: I'm too short or too tall.

    Try: Letting go. 

    Height isn't something you can control. Wishing you'd grow taller? Or that you didn't stand out so much? The answer is the same -- stand up straight. Good posture makes you look better and more confident. Then, to keep that confidence going strong, tell yourself something good -- like how kind or funny you are.

  • girl drawing heart on mirror

    Positive Self-Talk

    Think about something positive when you're feeling bad. If you do this long enough, you can change your brain for the better. Here's how. Step 1: Realize when you put yourself down. Step 2: Choose to say something nice to yourself instead. Step 3: Repeat.

  • teen ballerina practicing in studio

    Practice Makes Perfect

    Saying to yourself that you're pretty or smart just once won't work. You believe negative thoughts because you hear them over and over. It's going to take some work and time to replace them, but you can do it.

  • teens laughing together

    Help From Your Friends

    Don't suffer in silence when you're having a hard time. Talk to a parent, coach, or counselor -- especially if you've been feeling bad for more than a couple of weeks. For a boost when you're just feeling blah, hang out with friends. They can help you remember your best qualities and feel better.

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