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Staying True To Yourself

As part of the Voice Of A Fairsian Programme, Ashley Tan from Secondary 4B noticed an increasing number of teenagers developing insecurities because of societal pressure. She empathised with them and felt that this is an important subject that has not been addressed for a long time. The advice that she gave in her speech was from her personal experiences, which have shaped her into the person she is today. She hopes that her speech will spur fellow students to become more confident and accepting of themselves. As Ashley said, "As long as you believe in yourself, nothing will faze you!" (This speech was delivered in April 2020 during morning assembly.)

Ashley’s Speech

Good morning Ms Chen, Vice-Principals, teachers and fellow schoolmates! I am Ashley Tan from Secondary 4B and I am here to share with you about the importance of accepting yourself.

If you do not already know, we have been labelled as a narcissistic generation. We are told that technology and social media give us an inflated ego. However, most of us don’t walk around feeling like we are really that great. In fact, there is something underlying that overwhelmingly shapes our self-image and influences our behaviour. That is insecurity.

I think all of us have experienced a sense of insecurity, be it being nervous before a presentation, feeling hesitant to start a conversation with someone, or even just being conscious of our own dressing. All of these are negative perceptions of ourselves that might not even be true! If these thoughts are not handled properly, they could soon create self-doubt, fear and negativity.

So, if you want to know how to combat such feelings, then listen up! Firstly, embrace your individuality. You can find hobbies that suit you, wear clothing that fits your personal style or even decorate your room! Your outward appearances may demonstrate your individuality to other people and help to express your interests and style, but you need to feel confident enough to speak up for yourself so as to stay true to who you are. Secondly, learn to remove unsupportive and toxic people from your life. While it is important to accept constructive criticism from others, you should learn how to identify bad company. If they are constantly tearing down your confidence or have no respect for your boundaries, you should probably distance yourself from them. If you discover that you are much happier without these people, then you should make a firm decision to not have anything to do with them. Find and treasure people who can inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself.

In conclusion, you shouldn’t let what others say about you as well as your insecurities define you. All of us have struggled with accepting something about ourselves, but that shouldn’t hold us back from being the people that we were created to be. As Ralph Emerson, a famous poet, once said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Once you find yourself, love yourself and accept yourself, you won't care about what others have to say about you.

Thank you for listening.