1. It starts with a decision – a decision to live your own life, and be your own person. That is, respect and value who you are. Believe in your personal choices and decisions. Don’t live your life to please somebody else.
2. Try and grasp the fact that we’re all very different and we all want and value different things. It’s perfectly OK to be someone who’s athletic, or someone who wants to do well in school, or someone who wants to have a great career, or someone who is noticed for their beauty and style. Just don’t be swayed by the opinions of others, or give up your dreams because they’re criticised.
3. Understand that we all have different beginnings, and different advantages, and life experiences. You can’t compare your journey with anybody else’s - your path and your journey is specific to you. (Also, you may have overcome enormous obstacles to get to the place you are at today.)
4. Take the time and effort to find out what you like, enjoy, get a kick from, or are passionate about. It may help if you travel, or try spending time with people who are different from your current social group. (That may help you discover other parts of who you are – which you weren’t aware of till you left your group behind.)
5. Think about the people you tend to hang around. Do they tend to pass comments, or be highly critical? If they do, it may be hard for you to simply be yourself (as you know that they will judge you, and talk about you, too). If that is the case, you may want to change your group, or try to develop some other, different, friends.