Love Yourself

A Teenager’s Guide to Self-Esteem


A Teenager’s Guide to Self-Esteem

The first thing we need to understand when it comes to self-esteem, is that we are not nor will we ever be alone. Everyone of all ages, races, genders, and social statuses is going through the same thing – even the people we think are “popular” or “too cool.” Unfortunately, In our society, it’s very rare to avoid going through self-esteem for however long they last. Problems with self-esteem are sadly not something you can get rid of overnight – it takes time, and more importantly it takes ambition. Having been someone who struggled with it for years, I’ve learned many different ways to try and overcome it. Some tips may work for you while others might not, so it’s important to focus on the strategies that work best for you.

Many people don’t realize that all you need to do in some situations is step back and look at the people around you. Surrounding yourself with negative people who don’t support you only feeds into your insecurities. It’s important to cut those people out of your life and focus on befriending positive, good-hearted people who build you up instead of tearing you down. When you are involved in a toxic relationship of any kind, you might feel like there is no way out, but I assure you there is. Start by slowly distancing yourself and spending less time with them and more with other, more positive people. If that doesn’t work for you, or you truly value your friendship with a toxic person, try sitting down with them and having a talk or even writing a letter. Talk about how your relationship makes you feel, and if your friendship is strong enough, they will try to fix their actions. If you find yourself in a relationship that is overbearingly toxic, don’t be afraid to go to an adult you trust to help you get out of the situation.

The second, and the biggest factor of self-esteem issues is comparison. Comparison is the thief of happiness, so it is unfortunate that we often compare ourselves to everyone around us with every single part of us. Thoughts like “she’s prettier than me, he’s more athletic than me, they’re smarter than me,” all fall under the same umbrella. In fact, only 16 percent of high school girls are happy with their body weight, and one in five high school boys state that body image is their number one concern. When it comes to beauty and looks, we as a society have to realize that there is no such thing as “handsome,” “pretty,” or “ugly,” there is only you. There is no “perfect” – perfect is a word that truly has no meaning. In order to prevent comparison, there are different exercises you can perform that can gradually help. Start by giving yourself a positive compliment in the mirror everyday. It’s okay if you don’t believe it right away, but don’t give up, because over time you will. Another exercise is when you feel yourself begin to make a comparison to someone else, stop yourself and instead say “I admire his/her…. ‘ Admiration doesn’t play on your own self-esteem or self-image in a negative light as much as comparison.

It’s important when you conduct your battle with self-esteem to not give in to doubt. Although many people struggle with self-esteem problems, just as many have overcome it – you just have to always keep your head up.