How to Raise Self Esteem

Megan Brand - T34 - 4/8/16

The Basics of Self Esteem

Today, I’m going to be talking about how to raise self esteem.

But before we talk about raising self esteem, let’s talk more about the basics.

What is self esteem?

Google definitions told me that self esteem is confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect, but self esteem is a lot more complex than a Google search. The way people act, the things they say, and the way they live can be affected by their self esteem level. It affects decision making and social skills.

Let’s take a look at the two different types of self esteem. The first type we will talk about is high self esteem.

High Self Esteem

These are some signs of high self esteem:

  • Confidence

  • Self-direction

  • Non-blaming behavior

  • An awareness of personal strengths

  • An ability to make mistakes and learn from them

  • An ability to accept mistakes from others

  • Optimism

  • An ability to solve problems

  • An independent and cooperative attitude

  • Feeling comfortable with a wide range of emotions

  • An ability to trust others

  • A good sense of personal limitations

  • Good self-care

  • The ability to say no

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While having high self esteem, you feel loved and accepted, you’re comfortable with your body, and you recognize your skills and can offer them to others. You feel deserving, happy, and like to reach out to your friends and community. You trust yourself and others, and you don’t fear what others think of you.

This is what someone looks/acts like who has high self esteem:

Low Self Esteem

The other type of self esteem is low self esteem.

These are some signs of low self esteem:

  • Negative view of life

  • Perfectionist attitude

  • Mistrusting others – even those who show signs of affection

  • Blaming behavior

  • Fear of taking risks

  • Feelings of being unloved and unlovable

  • Dependence – letting others make decisions

  • Fear of being ridiculed

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While having low self esteem, you feel down and tend to be pessimistic, you try and make sure everything is perfect because you fear and cannot accept failure. It is hard for you to trust others and take responsibility for your own actions. You are scared of taking risks and being judged, so you depend on others to make your decisions, aka being a “follower”.

This is what someone looks/acts like when they have low self esteem:

What Causes Low Self Esteem?

Now that we have gone over the two types of self esteem, we’ll talk about what causes low self esteem so we can better understand how to raise it.

A couple things that cause low self esteem are:

  • The absence of praise and affection.

  • Neglect or abuse from family or friends.

  • Being the odd one out.

  • Failing to meet parental standards.

These only some of many things that cause low self esteem, but the most common one is bullying. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting effects.

Types of Bullying

Physical bullying tends to be more common with boys, while verbal and cyber are more common with girls.

Bullying causes anxiety, bad self image, depression, and fear of going to school. With all of the words and harassment, it makes the target feel worthless. This is why their self esteem completely vanishes.
First of all, it is best to overcome what is causing your low self esteem. If you're being bullied, talk to a family member, counselor, or anyone you feel comfortable talking to. These type of feelings are not good to keep to yourself.

Positive self talk is a good thing too. Instead of looking in the mirror and saying "I look so ugly today," say, "I really love this shirt on me," or "my makeup looks really good today!".

Don't compare yourself to others. You're a beautiful and unique individual.

Don't try and be perfect. Nobody is. Every body messes up once in a while and that's how we learn.

Do things that make you happy.

Celebrate your successes. If you get an A+ on a paper, be proud of yourself. If you get promotion at work, celebrate. Small things or large things, enjoy your triumph.

Importance of Good Self Esteem

After you have raised your self esteem, you need to maintain your high self esteem, because it's very important. Since self esteem majorly influences decision making skills, having high self esteem is important if you want to make the right choices. It also gives you drive, gives you desire to pursue your dreams and passions, and gives you a happier life. You'll also get a good spouse and job.


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