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Navjot Kaur





My name is Navjot Kaur and I am 23 years old. I was born in Nawanshahr, India and I currently reside in Carteret, New Jersey.

Confidence is a substantial trait in our character; it’s a cause in the many effects that occur in our life. Self-esteem is the most delicate feature in us humans that can easily be manipulated and altered. A strong confidence within has a positive change overall, believe it or not. There are many stories of people crediting the confidence they exude to parental support and to loved ones. It can be seen that their self-esteem, as well, is quite high because the positive mindset they possess only adds to make them more certain of their actions. Self-esteem can easily be destroyed in those that do not have as strong pillars of support as others. It’s not easy to maintain self-esteem all throughout the process of growing up while experiencing vast environments and people.

If self-confidence is low, self-esteem is surely right alongside it. One of the most effective and major reasons as to why it’s where it is, could very well be bullying. I remember being of just five years of age when I was harassed in school. I suppose I was just “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Now imagine going to middle school all freaked out at all the movements going on around you; and making friends was strange, especially after all happened in the past. This fear - a fear of acceptance - continued with me as I grew. It was with me as I spoke to people, with me during interviews, with me even while I lived in my very own community. The vivid memory of that one incident has repeated in my head for many years; it’s ruined my self-esteem and has accompanied me with anxiety at every turn. Even today, I hesitate before applying myself to anything because in my mind, the outcome will always be a failure.

Being accepted among anyone these days is truly hard. People will pass judgment upon the way you appear, the way you converse and interact with others, your choice of attire, the way you carry yourself, and even go as far as the way you laugh; it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t necessarily just stop there. Everyone’s aware of judgment based on skin color (aka racism), but surprisingly the kind of foods you eat is also on the list. Dealing with all this, and that too in a Desi community, has been a hassle and a battle. In light of all this darkness, I mustered up the courage to at least befriend people who I’ve come to blindly trust. It’s something that I would never before have done, but it is also something that I am entirely too proud of myself for actually doing. To be able to trust someone with your vulnerability and secrets requires immense self-esteem and confidence, and I got it, even if it’s a work in progress.

Being accepted in this world, starts with accepting who you are first; self-confidence and self-esteem can be increased because of others, but ultimately accepting it falls on your shoulders. If you don’t fall in love with yourself, others will be hesitant to believe if you’re worth loving. Show them the strong character that resides within, the one that is capable of finding the flaws in herself. They’re a part of you; work on them, love them, and flaunt them. I’ve worked up enough courage to follow my dreams to becoming a successful optometrist. I was able to get through so many interviews that I never thought I had the ability to do. We just need the right people to keep rooting for us. You need self confidence that you will gain by facing your fears. Be true to yourself. Destroy your haters with a smile on your face. Kindness kills it all.

My name is Navjot Kaur and this is my Project Why.

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