Self-esteem means feeling good about yourself, but sometimes we may feel bad about ourselves, which may be low self-esteem
What Is Low Self-Esteem?
A lack of self-esteem can leave us feeling sad or – even worse – depressed and anxious. When you’re growing up, your self-esteem is especially fragile. This is because you’re still working out who you are and who you want to be. If someone is nasty to you, or you fail at something, you can easily be crushed by it – and this can dent or kill your self-esteem entirely.
So, how do you know if you have low self-esteem? Well, these are pretty clear signs:
- You feel down and generally bad about yourself.
- You think you’re not good enough.
- You beat yourself up over little things when they go wrong.
What Is High Self-Esteem?
Having high self-esteem is the feeling that you are worthy of good things. It’s about valuing yourself and it’s about believing that you have a value in society.
If you have good self-esteem you tend to:
- Feel you are good enough.
- Believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Feel good generally, and feel that you’re liked and accepted by friends and family.
If you agreed with the first three statements rather than the last three, don’t worry: we’ll work on it.
How Do I Feel About Myself?
Use a piece of paper to explore how you feel about yourself at this moment. Take a moment to think about how these thoughts may affect your self-esteem. Write it all down. Then turn the page over, and on the other side, note down all the things you could do to improve your self-esteem.
The sad thing is that it’s not always other people who bring us down – sometimes we’re just unkind to ourselves. If we don’t do well in a test, for example, we can brand ourselves as a loser. In reality, we should reassure ourselves it was just one test and next time we will very likely do better.
There is also a lot of pressure to look, and behave, in a certain way. Society tells us that if we’re slim with perfect skin, we’re somehow better people; having good self-esteem means you know that this isn’t true. Everyone is different. We’re different heights, shapes and sizes; we’re different colours; we have different hair and features. One type of look isn’t better than another. Our differences are what make us special and they should be celebrated.
Having good self-esteem is not about how you look, but how you feel and what kind of person you are. If you’re struggling with self-esteem, don’t worry. It’s a common feeling, so you’re not alone. Plus, we have some top tips for building good self-esteem.
This is an extract from a book, ‘A Girl’s Guide to Being Awesome’ by Suzanne Virdee. The book is published by Summersdale Publishers and is available from all good bookshops. The publishers have given Fumble permission to reproduce this extract.