You can't see it, but it's there when you look at yourself in the mirror.
You can't hear it, but it's there every time you talk about yourself.
What is this important but mysterious thing?
It's your self-esteem!
- What Is Self-Esteem
- Why it is important
- How to increase your esteem and self confidence
- Books and Articles you can read about self esteem
- What Is Self-Esteem ?
And self means, well, yourself! So put the two words together and it's easier to see what self-esteem is. It's how much you value yourself and how important you think you are. It's how you see yourself and how you feel about your achievements.
Self-esteem isn't bragging about how great you are. It's more like quietly knowing that you're worth a lot (priceless, in fact!). It's not about thinking you're perfect — because nobody is — but knowing that you're worthy of being loved and accepted.
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent" or "I am incompetent") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. A person's self-esteem may be reflected in their behavior, such as in assertiveness, shyness, confidence or caution. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer, and feel proud of that in particular") or have global extent (for example, "I believe I am a good person, and feel proud of myself in general").
Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic ("trait" self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations ("state" self-esteem) also exist.
Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, self-love (which can express overtones of self-promotion), and self-integrity. Self-esteem is distinct from self-confidence and self-efficacy, which involve beliefs about ability and future performance.
- Why it is important?
Having good self-esteem is also the ticket to making good choices about your mind and body. If you think you're important, you'll be less likely to follow the crowd if your friends are doing something dumb or dangerous. If you have good self-esteem, you know that you're smart enough to make your own decisions. You value your safety, your feelings, your health — your whole self! Good self-esteem helps you know that every part of you is worth caring for and protecting.
A Little on Low Self-EsteemFor the purposes of empirical research, psychologists typically assess self-esteem by a self-report inventory yielding a quantitative result. They establish the validity and reliability of the questionnaire prior to its use. Researchers are becoming more interested in measures of implicit self-esteem.
-The Rosenberg test usually uses a ten-question battery scored on a four-point response system that requires participants to indicate their level of agreement with a series of statements about themselves.
-The Coopersmith Inventory uses a 50-question battery over a variety of topics and asks subjects whether they rate someone as similar or dissimilar to themselves.
Sometimes a kid will have low self-esteem if his mother or father doesn't encourage him enough or if there is a lot of yelling at home. Other times, a kid's self-esteem can be hurt in the classroom. A teacher may make a kid feel dumb or perhaps there is a bully who says hurtful things.
For some kids, classes at school can seem so hard that they can't keep up or get the grades they'd hoped for. This can make them feel bad about themselves and hurt their self-esteem. Their self-esteem will improve when a teacher, tutor, or counselor encourages them, is patient, and helps them get back on track with learning. When they start to do well, their self-esteem will skyrocket!
And some kids have good self-esteem but then something happens to change that. For example:
- If a kid moves and doesn't make friends right away at the new school, he or she might start to feel bad.
- Kids whose parents divorce also may find that this can affect self-esteem. They may feel unlovable or to blame for the divorce.
- A kid who feels too fat or too thin may start thinking that means he or she isn't good enough.
- A kid who's dealing with an illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or asthma, might feel different and less confident than before.
- Even going through the body changes of puberty — something that everybody does — can affect a kid's self-esteem.
- How to Increase Your Self-Esteem?
Having strong self-esteem is also a very big part of growing up. As you get older and face tough decisions — especially under peer pressure — the more self-esteem you have, the better. It's important to know you're worth a lot.
If you think you might have low self-esteem, try talking to an adult you trust about it. He or she may be able to help you come up with some good ideas for building your self-esteem.
In the meantime, here are a few things that you can try to increase your self-esteem:
- Make a list of the stuff you're good at. It can be anything from drawing or singing to playing a sport or telling a good joke. If you're having trouble with your list, ask your mom or dad to help you with it. Then add a few things to the list that you'd like to be good at. Your mom or dad can help you plan a way to work on those skills or talents.
- Give yourself three compliments every day. Don't just say, "I'm so great." Be specific about something good about yourself, like, "I was a good friend to Jill today" or "I did better on that test than I thought I would." While you're at it, before you go to bed every night, list three things in your day that really made you happy.
- Remember that your body is your own, no matter what shape, size, or color it is. If you are worried about your weight or size, you can check with your doctor to make sure that things are OK. Remind yourself of things about your body that are cool, like, "My legs are strong and I can skate really well."
- Remember that there are things about yourself you can't change. You should accept and love these things — such as skin color and shoe size — because they are part of you.
- When you hear negative comments in your head, tell yourself to stop. When you do this, you take the power away from the voice inside that discourages you.
[The Dove Self-Esteem Fund - A Campaign for real beauty ]