Have you ever looked at yourself and felt like you have no right to live? Your opinion doesn’t matter and whatever you do, it’s never good enough? Are you afraid of making new friends? You feel that society has disowned you.
Today low self-esteem is common in all ages. Teens especially find it difficult to identify the root cause of their feelings and how to adequately respond to those feelings. And nor do they understand that feelings are temporary. Adults may struggle with this, too; however, for a teen, these experiences of emotional turmoil are much more intense.
What is Self-Esteem?
You may already have a good idea probably, but let’s start from the beginning anyway: what exactly is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is how we see ourselves. How we feel about ourselves. How much we value, appreciate
, love and like ourselves. In other words, it’s our favorable or unfavorable perception of ourselves.
Key Factors That Influence Self Esteem
Various factors take part in building our Self Esteem including –
- Society Standards
- People in your life and their reactions
- Getting appropriate attention and affectation
- Comparing yourself to others
- Past Experiences
The most important influential factor to your self-esteem is YOURSELF. Remember that Self Esteem is malleable, not fixed which means that you can improve it with time and practice.
Perks of Having Healthy Self Esteem
When you have a high self-esteem, you believe in yourself,you have effective communication skills, you celebrate your own success and others too. You look forward to failures as a way to grow, you are able to dig deep inside yourself and identify your creativity. You own your decisions and you see the world in realistic terms.
Low Self Esteem Characteristics
If you have low self-esteem, you start comparing yourself with others, you cannot make a decision, you doubt your capabilities, you find it difficult to say no, you are highly sensitive to other opinions about you, highly affected by others attitudes, you feel your opinion is not important, and you’re unable to create boundaries.
Some of the Root Causes of Low Self Esteem in Teens
Many of today’s teens are victims of low self-esteem. Teens feel unable to share their feelings for fear of being criticized or invalidated. Self-esteem develops in early childhood. It can be enhanced or crushed by our parents. We take on underlying beliefs about ourselves that we aren’t good enough in particular areas of ourselves. i.e, not smart enough, not loveable enough, not beautiful enough, not as good as.., not capable enough, creative enough and so on.
Once you learn how to identify those underlying beliefs, question the truth of them, see how they’ve been creating patterns in your life they begin to fade away and life becomes very different in a pleasing way.
Here are 7 tips to boost your self-esteem.
Building a Healthy Self Esteem
- Stop Comparing Yourself with others
, Why do you compare yourselves with others? Comparison is the death of joy. Comparing yourselves to others is a trap that is extremely easy to fall into, especially today. The only person you should compare yourself to need to be good enough for is YOURSELF. Start working on what you have and what you can do with that.
- Challenge the Negative Thoughts about Yourself
Notice each time you have a negative self-thought. What brought it on? Can you really know that the thought is 100% without a doubt, true? Where’s your proof? What “need” in you is causing you to hold onto that thought? What are you getting from holding onto that thought? When you’re having a negative thought, you’re going to ask yourself this question, IS THIS USEFUL? Let’s say you are feeling sad and lonely, and your thoughts are like this, ‘I feel so alone.’ ‘I have no one to talk to.’ ‘What I am doing with my life?’ ‘What’s wrong with me?’ When these things are happening, ask, ‘okay, wait, are these thoughts useful right now?’ ‘Are they useful?’ What’s your obvious answer going to be? Of course, they’re not! The thoughts will stop. Because you’ve asked yourself. There’s no point. You have given yourself permission to stop the thoughts.
- Practice Self Compassion
Learn to forgive your own mistakes. You want to be perfect, you want to be respected and successful so whenever that doesn’t happen, you either pretend that nothing happened or you become your own worst enemy. You criticize yourself and you hold a grudge. You’ll spend the rest of your life making mistakes. We all do, there’s just no way around it so before you can believe in yourself, you have to learn to live with those failures. Actively forgive yourself. Each time you say something stupid or make a careless error, just take a minute to acknowledge what you did wrong, and then no matter what cut yourself some slack.
- Surround Yourself with Positive People
There’s a saying that states – “You are the sum total of the 5 people you hang around with the most.” It is very important to remove all negative people from your life. Find motivating people on YouTube, Podcasts, Meetup Groups, Books, etc. that take you in the direction you really want to go. If you want a more positive mindset, listen to people who teach about mindset. Listen to people like Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes, Eckhart Tolle, etc.. The more you listen to them the more you will begin to change.
- Learn to Say “No”
It’s okay to say NO to the things that you don’t want to do. You are in complete charge of your life, even if you don’t believe it at the moment. The more you practice saying “no” the easier it becomes. When someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do you can respond with something like, “Thanks for asking. It’s a no for me.”
There’s a tendency to worry about what others might think of us. The truth is, we have no control over what others think nor do they have any control over what you think of them.
- Go Your Own Way
People want to fit in whether you’re 15 years old or 50. You might think of your social standing more than you’d like to admit it. It crosses your mind when you’re getting dressed in the morning, when you’re walking through the grocery store or when you’re sitting down at your desk. It doesn’t matter if you’re popular, unpopular, or somewhere in the middle because it’s not about whether you fit in. Stop caring altogether. Do at least one thing every day that separates you from the rest of the world. It could be a change in your style or some obscure new hobby. When you’re focused on making yourself happy, you’ll discover all kinds of new reasons to cherish your individuality.
- Reclaim Your Values
If I ask you what things were the most important to you? What would you say? How long has it been since you’ve proved your values to yourself even though you know what your values are? They might have faded into the background or maybe they’ve gotten lost in your usual habits. You might forget to make time for your family or you may have lost touch with your passions. By reclaiming your values, you can remind yourself who you are? You can remember what makes your life worthwhile. When you know yourself and the kind of person that you are, you can learn to like yourself. So set aside some time every week or every day to reclaim your values.
Celebrate every one of your “wins”. Let go of everything else. It’s your life and you are in charge of it.