Sunday Stories…. What you can learn from a 14yr old

I have had the pleasure of working with numerous clients over the last 15+years and one thing that has always stood out, confidence.  The confidence to be yourself, to like the person you are, to value you.  Be that fitness, going for promotion, signing up for a challenge, eating good food, improving posture, coming back from illness, overcoming chronic illness, loss, change…. it’s confidence and courage people ‘need’ support, tools and guidance with.

For the last 10 years I have worked with Celina, since she was a tiny little girl to the funny, intelligent young lady she is becoming.  Celina has cerebral palsy, yet her level of intelligence is so high. I remember working with her when she was 7 years old and hoping she would not quizz me on maths equations whilst we were doing physical rehab, as she was so bright then, and I am truly tested in this area!!

Celina, and her parents Stella & Frederick have given me great pleasure working with her, enhancing my knowledge and skills to give her the best treatment possible to allow her to live and interact as easily as possible. The number of operations and hospital appointments, whilst she only notes one, is multiple yearly.

I am fortunate to work with many wonderful people from all walks of life, Celina is one of them.  She was reading about our Sunday Client Stories and asked if she could write something about confidence, of course I said yes.  Here, unedited are her words.  Have a read, it’s worth it.  Combined with this writing, she is exceptionally funny and quick witted.  Her desire is to help others with confidence, to get this published and shared in Bliss and a whole list of other things which I am more than sure she will achieve…

It’s a common question, but if you could advice your 14yr old self, what would you say and how would you start to act, right now? I think Celina give’s us some great advice at the end of her writings. Thank you for sharing, you wonderful young lady,

Love to know what you think, Head Coach Kim

“Confidence through secondary school”

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I’m a 14 -year old -girl who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one and a half. Since then I have tried to overcome any obstacles in my way, whether it is physically or socially challenging.

And the key of my personal development of this journey has been confidence and perseverance.

I started school at age five since my birthday was in September.

 

I went through two smaller private primary schools to begin with, once I reached secondary school in Year 7 I had to move to a different school much bigger than my previous school.

 

Since the secondary school I was planning to attend at the time could not accept me as a student despite having spent three years from Year 3 to Year 6 at the corresponding primary school beforehand.

 

This was simply because they couldn’t meet the needs of my disability such as having a lift to move between floors as I had a wheelchair and additionally found it difficult to walk up and down stairs while there were other students rushing around to get to their next class.

However since it was an old building, they were against renewing it and providing disabled access as private schools are surprisingly not obligated to provide basic disabled needs.

 

Due to this I moved to supposedly the “Best state school in Bristol” However once I arrived to this new school in Year 7 naturally I became very overwhelmed as the school was much bigger than I had ever been used to.

 

I was never used to that kind of crowded environment.  Honestly at first, secondary school was nothing to me but a nightmare.

 

Having never been used to the kind of environment I’d been put in, not knowing anybody made it very difficult for me to make new friends as I was quite shy when I was younger, this meant it could take me longer to make friends than others.

As a result of this, I felt very socially isolated.

IMG_1248I can’t generalise what it’s like at every secondary school nowadays.

 

However I’m writing from my own personal experience as I’m sure everyone has different experiences, some may be far more extreme than mine.

 

As everybody is bound to know the classic picture of a secondary or high school is that it always seems that people within the school are primarily divided into two groups: Often known as the “the nerds” and of course, “the popular people” or “cool kids” who are stereotypically known to create gossip and say mean things behind people’s back to create drama.

 

Despite the fact that I have occasionally seen this stereotype occur in my experience at secondary school so far I personally don’t believe in putting people in categories like this.

 

I never have, never will since in my opinion the only reason why these stereotypes mean anything to anybody is because that’s just what they assume and by assuming “the classic picture” the only thing person you end up intimidating is yourself, in my opinion that’s just being unfair to yourself.

 

I’m sure everyone going through secondary school like myself, or having finished secondary school would agree the transition between primary to secondary school is hard enough and the last thing anybody needs is the pressure of becoming socially accepted by your peers.

 

This is something that mattered to me a lot when starting secondary school even though most of the time I was the one who created most of the pressure without even realising it.

 

So for me, this made things exceptionally challenging not only having to overcome the social challenges but also dealing with the physical challenges.

 

About four years ago now I had an operation on my right leg to improve my mobility and although it was a long process it did help me a lot in the long run since recently I have overcome one very big physical obstacle in my life so far as I have decided to no longer use my wheelchair to help me get around school.

This was a huge achievement for me and one I was very happy about as it also massively improved my confidence.

 

Having said this, to be quite honest, confidence was definitely something that I struggled with and occasionally do sometimes struggle with at school in particular.

 

But of course, I’m also aware that this is something many people struggle with these days.

 

Everyone has different levels of confidence and specific areas they are most confident in.

 

Some people may struggle to have confidence when it comes to the academic work such as worrying about doing well in an exam or believing they are rubbish at a certain subject, but all you have to do is try.

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You can’t perform miracles, the only miracle you can do it’s to try your best in a subject.

Even though it may not seem worth it at the time, in the long run that will take you a long way.

 

In contrary to this other people may have less confidence when it comes to the social side of things, which I have been told by plenty of people; my friends at school included that this is a common issue with lots of kids.

 

In my experience this is down to people not being confident in their friendships as they may have arguments and fall out with their friends, which can then make them upset, and as a result they could end up feeling lonely,

 

But sometimes people don’t realise that this doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, as you are bound to look back and realise that it always helps to have a positive outlook than negative.

 

This may not instantly get rid of your problems, but in the long run when you have a positive outlook on something at least it’s a constructive way of fixing your problems.

 

Whether it may be a fallout with a friend, or a nasty comment someone has said about whether it be behind your back, directly in front of you or even on social media.

 

If this is the case, just keep in mind it’s not because you have a problem, it’s that that person is likely to have their own problems in their life and they simply need somebody to take it out on.

 

Therefore they pretend there is something wrong with you to make them feel important and obviously no matter what they might be going through in their life this doesn’t give anyone rights to upset other people.

 

So if this happens to you, always know there is a reason behind it and don’t let someone else’s problem become yours when you haven’t done anything wrong, letting someone bully or torment you and as a result hurting you isn’t helping you, so what’s the point in letting it bother you?

 

Also, remember you’re obviously not alone and there can be people you can talk to whether it be a teacher, parent or a friend.

 

For instance, if someone makes up lies or gossip about you, or says something hurtful, instead of showing them your vulnerability, which is essentially what they want from you by victimising you by undermining your confidence, so it can add to their own confidence.

 

Just ignore them and don’t let them get to you.

Also make sure to not stoop to their level by coming up with nasty comebacks as this will create more drama as well as more gossip and will just make the situation worse. Remember when words come out your mouth you can’t put them back in.

 

In addition, having spoken to many people around my age, both in and outside of school unfortunately still can go through bullying problems.

 

Except it seems people in this day and age people may not think it’s so prominent, because some people may say mean or hurtful things without realising they’re upsetting someone, simply because they are unaware of it or just don’t care which is their fault.

 

If you are going through something like this, as mentioned previously know it’s not your problem that someone else has a problem with you, after all it’s nobody’s right to judge anyone.

 

Being disabled people often say to me that disabled people don’t get bullied as it makes the person bullying them  “look bad.”

 

I still never understand this statement, even having been told it by countless people in my time at secondary school so far.

 

Because one question that goes through my mind when people tell me this is, “What exactly are you implying?”  That it’s acceptable to make other people feel helpless and unwanted as long as the person you’re victimising isn’t disabled because that makes you look bad?

 

In my opinion, I think bullying anybody no matter what their ethnicity is, whether they’re disabled or not, their appearance or anything that makes someone different, will make you look bad, whatever the situation is.

 

If you choose to make someone feel small, surely soon enough people will pick up on your actions and as a result you’ll regret it.

 

Because if someone’s different to you, being different isn’t a crime so don’t lock someone up because of it.

 

I myself have been bullied and being human of course it upset me but the thing was   that whenever I was upset about something like this, people around me whether in or outside of school, would always say don’t let other people around you bring you down or affect you negatively.

 

Because coming from personal experience I now know it’s not worth it, especially at the expense of bringing yourself down.

 

To be totally fair, I and as I’ve been told by a couple my friends over the years in fact consider me to be a huge “people pleaser.” (Hate that term but it’s true)

 

At the end of the day, you live for yourself, not for others, especially bullies whom to be blunt are NEVER worth you so why should they be worth your suffering?

 

Honestly trust me I learnt that the hard way, but all that matters is that I totally get it now and so should you.

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To use the feature, speak to Celina or For more information, group or 1;1 coaching contact us 07720845849 or email kim@energisedperformance.com

 

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