Self-esteem is the way a person feels about themselves and how much they value or appreciate their own worth.
Someone with a healthy self-esteem can feel good about themselves and take pride in what they do, their skills and their accomplishments.
Self-esteem is the result of comparing who you want to be and who you are. When you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to:
- pursue and attain your goals
- believe that you are capable of learning something new such as a sport or skill
- try new things
- become more approachable
Will my self-esteem change?
Everyone’s sense of self will grow and change — especially when you’re trying to figure out who you want to be or how you fit in. Your self-esteem can be shaped by things such as:
- your environment (e.g. you receive constant criticism from your peers)
- how you feel about yourself (e.g. your body image)
- your expectations of yourself (e.g. you downplay your successes and focus on faults and failures)
- your experiences (e.g. you struggle with a difficult life event or family relationships)
I’m feeling low — what can I do?
It’s important to know that self-esteem can change for the better. It can grow through things such as achieved goals, finished projects and other feelings of competence and personal pride. When it’s strong, self-esteem can help you get through a challenging time. To help your self-esteem, you can:
- remember that you are more than your appearance
- identify your strengths/abilities and build on them
- take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating right and staying active
- counter any self-critical thoughts with positive thoughts
- set realistic goals and plan an approach to stick with it until you succeed
- be generous with others by volunteering
- build a support system of people including family and friends