Low self esteem in teens in particular is common place…
Have you ever had these thoughts?
‘I look so ugly.’
‘I am so fat.’
‘I look gross in everything.’
‘I can’t do anything right.’
‘I’m a loser.’
‘I don’t have any friends, and I don’t fit in anywhere.’
If you think these about yourself frequently, then you could have low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem means that you don’t value yourself; you lack confidence and don’t feel good about yourself. You may see your life in a negative light. You may find it extremely difficult to take on life’s challenges. When low self-esteem becomes a long-term issue, it can cause harm to our mental wellbeing and day-to-day lives.
So, what can you do?
Speak Kind and Positive Words to Yourself
Negative thoughts can overload our brains and create a spiral effect where we feel like we can’t escape.
It’s time to retrain your brain and give yourself some appreciation. Start by looking in the mirror. Think about all the positive parts about yourself and your life, begin with your uniqueness, in your head repeat ‘I am special. I am unique.’. Remember that there is no one else on the planet like you. Then look at your reflection again, think about the features you love about yourself, like, ‘I have a fantastic smile’ or ‘I have a wonderful laugh’. Smile to yourself as you repeat these affirmations in your head. You may feel embarrassed or strange if you are used to saying negative things to yourself. Keep going. You’ve got this. What negative thoughts can you turn into positive? Let’s change ‘I am so fat’ into ‘I am beautiful just the way I am, and I appreciate what my body does for me’. Or ‘I am a loser’ too ‘I am amazing and cool in my own way’.
Remember that life isn’t a competition, and comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t make any sense because you’re one in eight billion, so celebrate that.
Try Out New Activities
If you feel like you’re not good at anything, now is the perfect time to try a new activity.
It can be daunting and sometimes scary to start something new, especially if you don’t know anyone. You could be thinking of all the ‘what ifs. Like ‘what if I fail?’, or ‘what if I don’t make any friends?’. But these are negative ‘what ifs. Instead, think ‘what if’ you find a new hobby that you really enjoy? Or, ‘what if’ you become more confident and you make loads of new friends.
Just because your brain thinks about the most negative outcome, it doesn’t mean it’s true. When you try something brand new, there are billions of great possibilities, and there will always be something unique you can bring to the table.
Your Efforts and Accomplishments
Firstly, well done to you, you’ve made it this far, and you’re doing great.
Think about all the little achievements from today. You’ve brushed your teeth, you’ve completed some school work, you ate some fruit today. Now, what about your efforts? You tried really hard on a piece of coursework or schoolwork. You put lots of time and effort into an art project.
Now, think about bigger accomplishments. For example, you worked hard and got a good grade. You practised your instrumental piece and completed an exam. You climbed a mountain last summer and made it to the top. You ran every day and got a new PB. Think of something that you did and be proud of it because you are amazing.
It can feel challenging to be kind and say good things to ourselves, especially when we have low self-esteem, but remember:
I am unique.
I am incredible in my own way.
I am so proud of myself and how far I have come.
I can do whatever I set my mind to.
We believe in you