TEENAGE HEALTH : Self esteem

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Self-confidence is having confidence and trusting in yourself ; that you can do things, and do them right – like believing that you should take an exam because you believe that you can pass it. It is believing that you have a right to not only exist, but also to be heard. It is believing that you can both give and receive love, can make and have friends, that you can enjoy yourself, and find something which you are good at.  Lack of self-confidence can be due to shyness, depression, being bullied, having problems at home or at school etc…

Before a person can overcome self-esteem problems and build healthy self-esteem, it helps to know what might cause those problems in the first place. Two things in particular — how others see or treat us and how we see ourselves — can have a big impact on our self-esteem.

Parents, teachers, and other authority figures influence the ideas we develop about ourselves — particularly when we’re little kids. If parents spend more time criticizing than praising a child, it can be harder for a kid to develop good self-esteem. Because teens are still forming their own values and beliefs, it’s easy to build self-image around what a parent, coach, or other person says.

Obviously, self-esteem can be damaged when someone whose acceptance is important (like a parent or teacher) constantly puts you down. But criticism doesn’t have to come from other people. Some teens also have an “inner critic,” a voice inside that seems to find fault with everything they do. And people sometimes unintentionally model their inner voice after a critical parent or someone else whose opinion is important to them.

Over time, listening to a negative inner voice can harm a person’s self-esteem just as much as if the criticism were coming from another person. Some people get so used to their inner critic being there that they don’t even notice when they’re putting themselves down.

Unrealistic expectations can also affect someone’s self-esteem. People have an image of who they want to be (or who they think they should be). Everyone’s image of the ideal person is different.

People who see themselves as having the qualities they admire — such as the ability to make friends easily — usually have high self-esteem. People who don’t see themselves as having the qualities they admire may develop low self-esteem. Unfortunately, people who have low self-esteem often do have the qualities they admire. They just can’t see it because their self-image is trained that way.

If you want to improve your self-esteem, here are some steps to start empowering yourself:

1.Try to stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. If you’re used to focusing on your shortcomings, start thinking about positive aspects of yourself that outweigh them.

2.Aim for accomplishments rather than perfection. Some people become paralyzed by perfection. Instead of holding yourself back with thoughts like, “I won’t audition for the play until I lose 10 pounds,” think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy, and go for it.

3.View mistakes as learning opportunities. Accept that you will make mistakes because everyone does. Mistakes are part of learning. Remind yourself that a person’s talents are constantly developing, and everyone excels at different things — it’s what makes people interesting.

4.Recognize what you can change and what you can’t. If you realize that you’re unhappy with something about yourself that you can change, then start today. If it’s something you can’t change (like your height), then start to work toward loving yourself the way you are.

5.Take pride in your opinions and ideas. Don’t be afraid to voice them!

6.Make a contribution. Find something you feel strongly about and help out. It could be a cause you are inspired by, something at school you might want to join like a a school play, choir, tutoring etc…

Above all…try to have fun with the friends you can connect with!!! Believe it or not, it helps.

Self-esteem plays a role in almost everything you do. It’s never too late to build healthy, positive self-esteem. In some cases where the emotional hurt is deep or long lasting, it can require the help of a mental health professional, like a counselor or therapist. If this is the case, try not to be afraid. I was terrified and put off getting help for years, but now I look forward to my counseling visits.

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~Stay Strong~

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2 thoughts on “TEENAGE HEALTH : Self esteem

  1. good “be true to yourself” advice

    Like

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