What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is how you feel about your self-concept. If you have self-esteem, you feel that you are a good and worthwhile person. You believe in yourself. When you have self-esteem, you are able to accept your weaknesses but you do not dwell on them. You make the most of your strengths, and this is reflected in your attitudes.
Your self-esteem even influences your behavior. If you have self-esteem, you have confidence in yourself and believe in your ability to relate to others and to accomplish tasks. With self-esteem, you can learn new skills and take reasonable risks as you seek new experiences.
Thousands of everyday occurrences influence how you feel about yourself. Your self-esteem may go up and down. One moment you may be upset by a negative remark someone made and judge you in the same way. The next hour someone may compliment you, and you feel fine again. This is normal. With time, however, you will be able to pay less attention to those events that lower your self-esteem. You will be able to focus more on your positive qualities and get on with your life.
What is Self-Worth?
Self-worth is a feeling of worthwhile ness, adequacy, and belonging. This feeling is influenced by a person’s self-esteem. With self-worth, a teen can say “I count,” “I have something to offer,” “I am somebody”. Without a feeling of self-worth, the words might be “I’ll always be second rate” or “I don’t deserve to be loved”.
Many teens today do not seem to think their life has any value. Your feeling of self-worth holds a promise of what you can become. You are a worthwhile person. A feeling of self-worth empowers you to look ahead with promise. It expands your horizons and helps you focus on what you want to become. Self-worth can give you the feeling, “I am everything because of what I can become”. You may not like everything about your life today, but your tomorrow will be what you want to make it. Your feeling of self-worth will help you look ahead and see the positive possibilities. It is up to you.
What are the steps to this feeling of empowerment? How can you catch hold of the feeling of self-worth? Begin with the following:
a.) Measure yourself honestly. Jot down your strengths and your weaknesses. You may ask a parent of a friend to help you. List your good qualities. Think about how these qualities can help you reach your goals. Be aware of your weaknesses, but do not dwell on them.
b.) Practice positive self-talk. Tell yourself there is promise in what you are doing. IF you have a job, tell yourself, “I’m doing this job better everyday and I’m going to learn how to move ahead”. This belief in your future will give you strength. Avoid negative self-talk. If you say to yourself, “I’m a loser,” you give yourself an excuse for not trying.
c.) Accept the things about yourself you cannot change. Tell yourself, “This is the way it is for me now”. Your success in the future will depend on what you can do. Part of this is leaning to accept what you cannot do.
d.) Focus on the present, but keep an eye on the future. Dwelling on the past may increase feelings of helplessness. Do the best you can today, and keep your eye on the promise of the future.
e.) Take one step at a time. Many tasks may seem overwhelming during the teen years. Try taking small steps, but make each one count. Look ahead realistically to where you are headed.
f.) Be a friend to yourself. You have to like yourself before you can like others. If you feel inadequate or hopeless, pause and focus on something that you feel good about. Remember, a feeling of positive self-worth is within everyone’s reach.