For people of diverse sexuality and gender, courage can often be undermined by self-hatred and the fear of being rejected amongst our closest families and friends. We take on board this catastrophic mentality, focusing only on the negatives in any situation. By doing so, we become detached from reality, depriving ourselves from happiness and familiarising ourselves with confusion.

Seeking validation by pretending that I’m something I’m not is like a sugar rush. From the instant that someone acknowledged my presence, I felt like I’m on an all-time high. But once that energy reserve is depleted, I entered a period of misery because I was not true to myself. I firmly held onto the belief that somehow my sexuality was wrong, so would do anything that I could to supress it.

I have a close friend who has the most ridiculous sense of fashion. It was never a dull moment with her around. From the hot pink lipstick to the pastel coloured hairdo. I’ve always admired her sense of bravery to stand out and I love hanging around with her because I felt complete. There was no need to act differently or to worry. And it is through her presence, where I remove that unneeded stress, that I began liking myself much more.

However, I found it a challenge to maintain that happiness I had with my friend. The minute that I am alone, the negativity and that notion that I am being constantly judged comes rushing back into my consciousness. I would often get so annoyed at myself because no one was physically judging me but rather I was building up little untrue scenarios in my head.

It takes a lot of courage to break this chain of habit because it’s a risk. It’s a risk in the fact that there are those that will judge you and it’s not like those people don’t exist. But it takes more courage to overcome that barrier when confronted with that situation.

Courage is much more complicated than simply listening to your own voice when people may say otherwise. Rather it is about never forgetting who you are when on the brink of giving up. The temptation of self-doubt is inevitable. But we all control our own thoughts, and have the option to separate ourselves from emotional dependence.

Having belief that we can do all things is important. Silencing the doubt and harnessing the positivity allow us to not only grow as a person, but to attract like-minded people that will appreciate what you have to offer. A small negative thought can snowball into ugliness, while a positive thought can flourish into beauty.

Everyone deserves to be happy, but it starts off with a little courage and having faith in yourself that you can do all things. Our mind is our refuge and it should be a place where we feel most comfortable. Be strong. Be bold. Be awesome.