When I was younger, I was constantly told that I wasn't pretty, I wasn't smart, I couldn't do this or that because I wasn't good at it.   I was never really accepted into any little cliques or groups…I was just the lonely little girl who, unfortunately, was the outcast.   Throughout elementary and middle school and even into my sophomore year of high school, I was teased and picked on for what I didn't have or what I didn't know or do.   I was the girl who kept quiet and sat in the back of the classroom off in a corner by myself if I could.   I faded into the background and continued to be the invisible girl who nobody even knew existed.  One day, however, I decided that I wasn't going to sit back and watch life happen for everyone but me.  I said hello to a few people and eventually made a few friends.  I didn't sit in the back of the classroom anymore and I wasn't the invisible girl.  I was still somewhat of an outcast, I hung out with all the other people who didn't really have any friends and made their life a little easier, at least their life at school.  I wish I could say that everything turned out okay for me in the end, but I can't.  See, being told what I couldn't do or that I wasn't smart or wasn't pretty for so many years, I started to believe it…I told myself that all those cruel things that people said about me were true because I never really heard "you're beautiful" or "you're smart and I believe in you"…as a result of believing everyone else and the things they said about me, I became depressed.  I know some of you could relate to this at least partially, and here's what I have to say to all of you…everyone has their own opinions…but your opinions about yourself are the ones that really matter.   The way you see yourself is the most important thing.   Look in the mirror, take off all the makeup, look deep within yourself and tell yourself that you're beautiful.   Whenever someone makes a comment and says you're ugly, shake it off and keep going.  Let all of the negative opinions and comments go in one ear and right out the other ear.  The more you think positively about yourself, the more other people will compliment you rather than throw rude insults and negative comments at you.  It's hard to do, thinking positively about yourself…it will probably be one of the biggest challenges in your life, but in the end it's worth it…I'm making the effort myself.  So to all of you who are like me and need reassurance and help raising our self esteem…..i'll be the rock you can lean against as long as you will return the favor.

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