Think back to your teenage years…did you ever tell yourself any of the following?
• “I’m ugly”
• “I’m fat”
• “I’m not perfect enough”
• “Nobody will ever like me”
• “I’m not good enough”
And more? I told myself these things on a daily basis.
During these years, I had every reason to tell myself these. I was bullied, not just at school but at home too. Nobody else was saying nice things to me so why should I compliment myself?
Puberty is the prime time for adolescents – wanting to be perfect and nothing less. Although being young and naive, we only have one mindset. This needs to change. We should be building each other up and not crushing each other’s self-esteem!
As we become older, we realise just how much a low self-esteem can have a devastating impact on our mental health. Not just during puberty but later on in life too. Like I said, this needs to change! And here’s how…
There needs to be more support available, especially at secondary school. One-to-one sessions talking about how a student is feeling, if they are being bullied and even how they are coping with the work they are given. This should be available both in—person and online for those who don’t feel comfortable with talking face to face. Unless the student is at risk, then they should be given the right to remain anonymous. All discussions should be confidential and action plans need to be put in place.
Make a list
Make a list of your strengths and qualities. The easiest option is to focus on our weaknesses but the more you do this, then the more of a lasting impact it will have on your self-esteem. I have a list of my strengths and I couldn’t notice a difference at first, but now I tell myself these things without having to look at my list and I feel so much happier with myself!
Here is my list:
• I am a fighter
• I have a good sense of humour
• I am a good listener (despite being deaf)
• I am kind
The list goes on… My niece even added one to my list, ‘I am the best auntie’ – It can’t get any better than that, can it?
Do’s and Don’ts
DON’T judge others because of their appearance or personality, or for any reason. You all are going through a time where you are learning about yourselves and understandably, this is overwhelming.
DO compliment each other – “Your hair looks nice” or “Your t-shirt is awesome, where did you get it from?” – Small but effective compliments like these will boost self-esteem. Not just for the person you are complimenting, but for yourself too.
DON’T put pressure on yourself, if you don’t feel comfortable in doing or saying something then don’t. It really is as simple as that.
DO say ‘No’. It’s OK to say ‘No’. Not only will these help you to set boundaries but this will help you to become more assertive too.
Each and every single one of you is beautiful, inside and out! ❤
Got any suggestions for ways to boost one’s self-esteem? I would love to read them!