What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem means having a good opinion of yourself and feeling good about yourself as a person.
It’s completely normal to feel a bit down about yourself every now and then, but when these feelings start to hang around all the time it’s usually an indication of low self-esteem.
If you have low self-esteem it means that you have negative ideas about your worth and value as a person. There are various signs of low self-esteem, including:
- Being really critical of yourself
- Focusing on the negatives and ignoring your accomplishments
- Comparing yourself to others
- Not accepting any compliments that you receive
- Negative self-talk
Steps to improve low self-esteem
Australian organisation ReachOut have identified ten ways to boost self esteem:
- Positive self-talk - The way that you think about yourself has a huge influence on your self-esteem. If you keep telling yourself that you’re no good, you might just start to believe it even though it’s not true. If you notice that you practice negative self-talk often, check out some ways that you can challenge your negative thinking and build your confidence levels.
- Don’t compare yourself to others - It can be really tempting to measure our own worth against other people. So what if your friend is awesome at table tennis and gets great marks? You just need to figure out what your niche is. Everyone is great at something - what are your strengths?
- Exercise - Exercise helps to improve your mood. End of story.
- Don’t strive for perfection - It’s really great if you want to do things well, but keep in mind that perfection isn’t possible.
- Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake - Everyone on the planet makes mistakes – it’s in our basic human nature. Why should you be any different? When you stuff up, don’t stress, just learn from it and move on.
- Focus on the things you can change - There’s no point wasting all your energy thinking about things that you can’t change. Why don’t you have a think about some of the things that are in your power to control and see what you can do about those?
- Do things that you enjoy - If you’re doing things that you enjoy you’re more likely to be thinking positively. Schedule time for fun and relaxation into every day.
- Celebrate the small stuff - Start small and work your way up – you can’t expect any huge progress to be made overnight.
- Be helpful and considerate - Not only is helping people a great way to boost the moods of others, but you might find that you feel better about yourself after doing something particularly excellent.
- Surround yourself with supportive people - Don’t hang around people who bring you down. Find a group of people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those who tend to trigger your negative thinking.
Not All Right?
If trying these tips don’t help you feel better about yourself it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust about it, like a friend or member of your whānau.
You can also ring the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846 who can put you in contact with the right support for you.