Sometimes people feel as though there is something pulling them back from being successful and happy. This could have something to do with their level of confidence or self-esteem. This section is written to make people think about their choices. It discusses the things they might be doing to let misery take over their life and keep self-esteem out. Mostly it looks at how a person can build up self-esteem, and then work on it so that they can achieve the things that they want to do. The way a person feels about themselves and their life is entirely up to them!
Sometimes, even though they don’t realise it, people actively choose to be miserable! In reality, they would prefer to boost their self-esteem and feel happier about themselves. How can people build self-esteem and get on with living their life to the fullest?
Self-esteem is about how a person sees themselves. It is how valuable and worthwhile they think they are as a person and how good they feel about it. It’s not about boasting or trying to prove how good they are to other people. It is about believing in themselves and what they think they can achieve.
High self-esteem can be a great helper in a person’s life. It can also make others feel safe, at ease, valued and stimulated when they are around that person.
How can people attract self-esteem?
There are many ways people can boost their self-esteem. Below are some tips to think about. They might all be useful, people can choose the ones best suited to them:
- Everyone should be nice to themselves! They should stop giving themselves a hard time and start appreciating themselves as unique individuals. People who compare themselves to others will always find things missing from themselves and their own life!
- Think of the times when they tried something new and succeeded. What did they do? Were there any specific steps they had to take? How were they able to succeed? How did it affect the relationships they had (friends, family, partner, workmates etc.)? How did they feel about themselves? What did they learn about themselves? How might they incorporate what they learnt about themselves into being a big part of their life and their future?
- Dream. Think about how they would like their life to be. Set themselves goals. Identify one thing at a time and start there. Beware of ‘biting off more than they can chew’ as sometimes people can set themselves up to fail by taking on too much
- Try new skills. This could be anything from assertiveness to learning how to play chess. They should challenge themselves. They should try to test things out and learn what works for them and what doesn’t. People should celebrate their successes
- Make a list of their past successes. These don’t have to be as big as ‘When I became Prime Minister’ or ‘When I got gold at the Olympics’. Success can be ‘small victories’ to ‘huge accomplishments’. Ringing and making an appointment that a person has been putting off for months, receiving an award or doing well in a job interview are all examples of successes in life. People should read their list over and over again!
- Think about the personal qualities that have helped them in their life. Make a list and think about how they might use these qualities in the future
- Get involved in life. Join a sporting team or join in other things in their community. Allow themselves to ‘give’. Help someone do something. Tell someone they look nice or that they did a good job at something. Make a note of their contribution and the way it makes them feel about themselves
- Do things that they love doing and that they know they are good at. If they can’t think of anything, look around for new things to learn. There are free things people can get involved in or many activities that are cheap and easy
- Take action. People mustn’t let the black cloud of ‘low self-esteem’ rule their life. They should take control of themselves. When a person takes action, makes changes and has successes, he or she will start to feel a lot better about themselves.
As one young woman recently discovered:
‘I have realised that I am the boss of my life. I am not going to let other people who treat me badly or my past experiences take over. I want to be happy and I want to do heaps of things with my life.’
Anna , 16 years
- Accept compliments when people give them. Reply with a ‘thank you’. Doing this gets easier with practice
- Everyone should give themselves the right to make a mistake or to not be ‘perfect’ — whatever ‘perfect’ is! Mistakes are a great opportunity to learn. Don’t waste the chance
- Everyone should be true to themselves. They will never be able to make everyone happy or meet everyone’s expectations about how they ‘should’ be. They should trust, look out for and protect themselves. Learn what makes them happy.