Dear American Girl,
My brother and sister are good at everything—they get straight A's, they earn lots of sports awards, and everyone likes them. Whenever I'm with them, I feel invisible. I'm just not as talented as they are, and I feel left out. How can I boost my confidence when I'm around them and shine in my own way?
-Not the best
Here's your advice:
I have a brother who is great at soccer and wins art contests. I felt bad about myself, so I decided to try new things to find my own talent. I joined a running club and discovered that I shine when I run. Be open to new opportunities, and you'll find something to boost your confidence.
-Victoria, age 13, Arkansas
You might not share your brother and sister's same talents, but you are talented in other ways. Maybe you're not the best at sports, but you might be a great singer. Discover what you're good at, and do your best.
-Maggie, age 10, Pennsylvania
Make a list of the things you like about yourself. When you feel down, look at the list to remind yourself that you're awesome.
-Madison, age 13, Tennessee
Keep a journal of your accomplishments. When you get an A on a test, write a story that you like, or teach your dog a new trick, write about it in your journal. It'll make you feel good about yourself.
-Emily, age 12, California
Instead of trying to compete with your siblings, look up to them instead. Could you work harder to get good grades? Practice more to be better at sports? You grow up with brothers and sisters, but you can learn things from them, too.
-Janelle, age 11, North Carolina
Don't compare yourself to your siblings. If you go off your own path, you'll wind up living someone else's life instead of enjoying your own adventures.
-Carsyn, age 12, Nevada
Make an inspiration board for your room. Select pictures of people you admire and quotes, too. Hang up the board to look at whenever you're upset.
-Emily, age 13, Indiana
Talk to your parents about how you feel. Maybe they can help you think of ways to develop your talents and shine in your own way.
-Sarah, age 12, Missouri
It's OK if you can't do all of the things that your brother and sister do. When you're around your siblings and they're sharing their accomplishments, just say, "Great job!" Let them know that you're proud of them, and don't be afraid to share things you feel good about, too.
-Sabrina, age 8, Ohio
Talents don't always involve sports, smarts, or popularity. You could be known for being a great friend, your kindness to animals, or helping around the house. There's a lot more to talent than what's on the outside.
-Kayla, age 12, Alabama
Don't copy your siblings. Be yourself, and don't pretend to be someone you're not. Try things that make you feel happy and good about yourself.
-Anna, age 11, Tennessee
Your brother and sister can't be good at everything. Maybe you're a crafting queen and taught your sister how to make a friendship bracelet. Your brother might not be a great swimmer, so you showed him how to do the backstroke. Not everyone shares the same talents. If we did, the world would be a boring place!
-Lindsey, age 10, California
Do things that you love to do, and not just because your siblings do them. When you're happy with a hobby or activity, it means that you're being yourself, and that's when you really shine.
-Mira, age 12, Massachusetts
Remember that you're an original, special girl. You're amazing in your own way, and that alone should give you confidence.
-Hallie, age 11, Washington
Don't feel average just cause your siblings have found their talents. Your talent is probably hidden in your heart—you just need to look inside to find it. Always believe in yourself!
-Katherine, age 10, Texas
Every day, look in the mirror and remind yourself of the things you like about yourself. If you think, I don't play sports as well as my sister, replace that thought with something such as, I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world.
-Brooklyn, age 12, Utah
Try to look at things differently. Instead of worrying about being as talented as they are, think about how great it is that your brother and sister are such awesome people. Be proud of them!
-An American Girl fan, age 13, Florida
No one truly goes unnoticed, even though it might feel that way. You might catch people's attention by doing things you don't even think about, such as putting discarded library books back on the shelves, holding a door open for someone, or doing a chore without being asked. These are the things that make people see the shining star you are. Sometimes the little things are better than certificates and trophies.
-Anna, age 12, Nebraska