What does popularity mean to you? More friends, having people know your name, feeling more successful?
I often get asked how young adults can feel more popular. The desire for popularity is a tale as old as time, and impacts most teens in one way or another.
The most important thing to remember when thinking about popularity is that it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Wanting to feel appreciated and accepted by your peers can be healthy if it starts from within.
The secret that I have shared with my own kids and the teens I’ve coached over the years lies in the 10 simple steps below…
Step #1: Be Yourself, Not Someone or Something You’re Not
You hear people saying, “be yourself” all the time. What does that actually mean?
I’m sure you see everyone around you, in your school, trying to fit in so they can be well-liked.
They change who they are in order to become popular. They see a certain group and they want to be accepted by that group.
So they try to be like someone else and they see themselves through the eyes of others by worrying about what other people think of them.
Those things are just about the worst things you can do. That’s so much work and so much wasted energy, in addition to constantly being needy, inadequate and insecure.
Instead, find your great qualities.
Everyone has them. Appreciate yourself for precisely those great qualities and celebrate everything that makes you unique.
Once you’re in that space of loving who you are and what you’re about, stay focused there.
Stop the negativity and seeing what you think is wrong with you. Stay away from repeated thoughts of maybe what you don’t like about yourself. Do not sit there and wish that you had someone else’s great traits or gifts.
Hey, there’s always going to be someone who is faster, thinner, smarter, funnier or better looking than you.
Don’t yearn for their great qualities because I promise you that there are plenty of people who envy some of your great qualities or gifts. The key to happiness is to find what you love about yourself and be grateful for those things.
Be appreciative about those qualities and flood your mind with what you like about yourself.
Fitting in? Don’t give any thought to it.
Instead give all your thoughts to being happy and having good experiences. By doing so, you will magnetically attract people who feel the same way.
Keep appreciating yourself for your gifts and you will attract others who appreciate you, too.
Step #2: Focus on the Person You Want To Be
Take a moment to envision the kind of person you want to be. Put together as much detail as you can in your mind.
- How are you dressed?
- What do you stand for?
- What kind of values do you want to project?
Create a clear mental image of the person you want to be.
Will you be someone who is fun, outgoing and friendly? Will the future version of you be intelligent, assertive and someone who accomplishes many things?
Perhaps you’ll be someone who is helpful, kind and volunteers a lot. Maybe you’ll be a combination of all those things!
Whatever it is you decide to be, develop a direct mental picture of that person and keep your focus there.
Remember, we are all energy and that energy attracts back to us and delivers us our experiences in life. So someone who is needy, insecure and feeling inadequate will literally attract experiences to them so they can feel more of the same.
Someone who is happy, friendly and secure, on the other hand, will attract more of the same including friends to make them feel that the way.
Drop the neediness. Drop the insecurity.
Just stay laser-focused on the person you choose to be and everything will line up with that vision.
Step #3: Have Clearly Stated Goals
You’ve already got some incredible life experiences that you’ve lived.
Now set goals for what you want out of both your school experience and your overall childhood experience.
Think back to all the great things you’ve encountered that have made you who you are.
Think of all the people you’ve met and who have shaped you. Consider the role your family has played in giving you so many wonderful gifts.
Now find all the things you like about your life, and write down your goals based on those things.
Do you want to be happy? Fulfilled?
Do you want to make a lot of friends and have cool experiences and travels?
There are no limits to what you can accomplish, so make a plan!
Write these goals down, whatever they may be, and read them at least twice a day.
Stay focused on them whenever you can, as often as you can throughout your day. By continuing to stay focused on your goals and your vision for your life, you will bring your vision into your reality.
Look, it takes some mental discipline. Too many young people are focused on what they don’t have.
They look at what they can’t do or what their limitations are. Maybe they think of how tough or boring school can be for them, or other things that don’t make them feel good.
And then there’s technology and social media. These are important things that help our lives sometimes.
But when they become obsessions and remove you from staying in the moment, you can’t be focused on what you want from your life.
Basically, don’t get distracted by all the meaningless dribble in the world and don’t constantly regurgitate all the stuff you don’t like around you.
Stick to your great plan and getting to your great goals. Make your plan. Focus on that plan. Allow it to come into your reality.
Step #4: Get Involved with Extra-Curricular Activities
We all have passions in life.
These are the things that we love to experience and we can do these things all day long. They excite us and are a big part of who we are.
So now go out and find a group of like-minded people who share these passions.
Whether it’s sports, dancing, music, acting, technology, or any type of club, you can always find a group that’s devoted to that thing that you like to do.
Finding a place where you can do these activities instantly connects you with that passion, as well as other people who share the same passion as you.
Best of all, if your passion is a talent or activity, then you can make a commitment to seek the proper training and mentors in that field.
You’ll develop that talent and cultivate your passion because you’ll be an active part of how that activity becomes a part of you. The better you get at doing something, the more you’ll want to do it!
Figure out what you like to do and then search for a group that’s also as passionate as you are. Keep finding things you love to do in your life and keep doing them!
It’s easier than ever to find such groups, and if somehow there isn’t a group that’s devoted to your thing…start a group yourself!
Step #5: Be Open and Say “Yes” to Invitations
When we close ourselves off to others and the universe, it becomes very difficult to make connections and grow. P
eople and experiences are such a big part of how we develop as human beings. Think of any passion or experience in your life and chances are someone along the way introduced you to that.
So it’s important to develop an open mindset to capture potential things in this world that you may one day love.
Remain open to seeing those things. Having a mindset of being open to new experiences and saying yes to invitations will open up entire worlds for you.
You will meet and connect with people who are fun, exciting and want to share those experiences with you.
So when someone invites you to do something, no matter how familiar or unfamiliar it is, say “yes” whenever possible!
You never truly know where that yes will lead! It could lead to a new friendship, relationship or experience you will never forget.
Maybe it will lead to a new talent or coach who can mentor your development along. You won’t know unless you say yes!
Remember, you are an energy magnet pulling experiences into your life through your thoughts, emotions and expectations. So have that mindset ready to go.
Be open to exciting new experiences and have the expectation that great things are coming your way!
Step #6: See The Good in Everyone and Everything In Your Life
Everything is great in the beginning. You meet someone that you want to be your friend (or maybe more) and all you can see in that person are some really great qualities.
We find them funny. We connect with them. We admire their wonderful qualities.
We think to ourselves how great they are because of how great they make us feel. We feel like we’ve found a treasure.
Then time goes on.
We spend more time with someone and the effect starts to wear off. We start to see and focus on the qualities in the person that we don’t like.
Maybe it’s because as we interact with them, they disappoint us by not being exactly what we want them to be all of the time.
Now every little thing they do is magnified.
Maybe they are always late and that messes up your plans. Maybe they didn’t include you in something they planned and you’re hurt by that. Or maybe the arguments are getting sillier and more frequent.
Hey, it happens.
But getting caught in that endless loop of negativity where you only focus on the stuff you don’t like is literally magnetizing more of the same stuff to you.
You’re unable to get out because you’re not seeing the good in that person or the relationship.
Instead, always think about and focus on the reason you like the people in your life. This includes your parents!
Do this and you will constantly be attracting more of those nice things towards you, which will continually expand and attract even more people who want to be nicer to you!
When you think about them and come into contact with them, see what is good in them. Think about what you like in their personality and you will always be creating more of the same.
Step #7: Like Your School
You and your friends can probably give me a list of things that you don’t like about your school.
Your school experience, and how you live it, is so unique.
Your parents don’t know it (their schooling was probably different.) Your teachers experience it differently. Even your fellow students probably have a whole different set of subjects and experiences, so they too don’t see it like you.
But here’s the problem with not liking your school. It doesn’t do anything but make your life harder. Because what we focus on expands in our reality.
So focusing on what we don’t like only invites more of that negative energy back into our lives. That’s more of what we don’t like!
Instead try to examine and hold onto what you do like about your school. Find those things.
Whether it’s your friends, a particular class, or a favorite teacher, use your mind to stay focused on just those things. Let your negative feelings fall away.
It’s not worth it. I bet if you think about what you like, that list is bigger than you think.
By concentrating on the important things in your school that you like, you will be in a state of being of appreciation each day. Not only will your school year go by quickly, but things will be easier.
You’ll attract better grades and more fulfilling experiences that will help you in the long term.
Step #8: Don’t Gossip
What we put out in the universe quickly comes back to us. Gossiping and speaking negatively, whether in person or social media, is simply inviting that drama and negativity into your life.
Imagine someone hears the negative things you have to say. You’ve gotten it off your chest, but so what? Is it worth it?
What if it comes back to you in a way that you don’t expect. Maybe you’ve made someone feel bad. Now they want to get you back and…aargh! You had the power to prevent it all by not gossiping in the first place.
In reality, gossiping, complaining and retelling tired stories of victimhood are only creating more heartache for the person doing those things. So stop unless you’re looking to feel rotten all the time!
Social media has only made things worse.
Now people have more avenues to write and read gossip, in more public and anonymous ways.
So if you choose to use social media and technology, be selective in what you are reading and writing. Don’t assume that the technology puts you at a distance from what happens in the world around you.
Things on social media can come back to you just as easily as they can in the real world.
Think about the source of your actions. Anything that isn’t coming from love will mostly likely come from fear. So when you see someone else gossiping negatively about someone or something, it’s coming from a fear they have.
They’re afraid of something. Don’t go down that path.
You don’t have to like everyone and everything you encounter. You won’t connect with everyone you meet on the road of life.
So don’t give any negative mental energy to anyone or anything…ever.
Step #9: Be Helpful, Kind and Supportive
Everyone needs help from time to time, learn to recognize when someone in your world needs help and lend them a hand if you’re able.
There are opportunities for you to help out in all sorts of places. It can be a fellow student needing help with homework or a teacher that could use some assistance setting up a lesson or experiment.
You don’t even have to really know someone to make a positive impact.
One of the greatest feelings in the world comes from helping out a stranger or someone you barely know. Be willing to help out with anyone at any time.
You have an abundance in your life so share it.
Is there someone at your school who isn’t popular and has trouble getting through the day.
Often they just need someone to be nice to them. You can easily do that! What about paying it forward to a stranger by doing a nice little gesture, nothing big, to help them along in their day? That’s a snap!
Remember, you never know what other people are going through in their lives.
We tend to judge the challenges of other people but you don’t know what they’re really experiencing.
So make yourself available. Be kind and supportive. Don’t expect anything in return. Your helpfulness will come back to you in spades.
Step #10: Volunteer
Just like there are people in your community who may need help, there are also causes that you can easily get involved with. Many organizations seek young energetic help to keep their mission alive and you can be that spark!
Volunteering and giving back to your community is a tremendous way to help those less fortunate than you.
There are all sorts of organizations who would be thrilled to have your energy in their ranks. Then you, in turn, benefit greatly by seeing people who aren’t as fortunate as you.
That perspective shift is so important.
It will nurture that sense of gratitude that’s essential to remaining healthy and invigorated in your life. You get to see how lucky you are and maybe strip away that negative focus on what you don’t have.
You’re blessed with many amazing things and one of them is the ability to share your energy with others.
Those shared feelings of amazing energy will bring to you more experiences in your life that feel good!
Giving yourself purpose and making a difference in this world by helping others will create such an intense feeling of satisfaction, that you’ll crave it constantly.
Practice these tips and you will be a powerful force that many people will be attracted to.
This will also follow you into your adult life where the best minds and the brightest people will want to work with you and make the world a better place.
It’s an exciting time for all of these things to manifest, so let me know how it goes!