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Low self-esteem is characterized by a lack of confidence and feeling badly about yourself. People with low self-esteem often feel unlovable, awkward, or incompetent.
What can cause low self-esteem?
- Negative Peers: being part of a social group can bring teenagers down by not respecting them, pressuring them to do things they feel uncomfortable with or by not valuing their thoughts and feelings.
- Body Image: unrealistic images of what women or men should look like have a huge influence on our self-esteem
- Loss of control: in our time it is easy for young people to feel “swallowed up” in a world beyond their control. This can lead to feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness.
- Unrealistic goals: young people expect way too much of themselves in terms of academically achievements and social status. This may be influenced by peer pressure and too high expectations by parents
- Previous bad choices: teenagers might get locked into a certain pattern of decision-making which can lead to reinforce a negative self-view.
- Negative thought patterns: when young people get used to feeling, talking and thinking about themselves in a particular way it becomes a habit
How can we overcome low self-esteem?
- Stop listening to your inner critic by challenging your negative thoughts:
Change your internal dialogue by consciously making yourself repeat a positive response for every negative thought you have. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, don`t say it to yourself!
- Start practicing self-compassion and treat yourself like a good friend by caring about yourself
Avoid comparing yourself to others, it is the thief of joy and leads to insecurity. Accept that everybody is different and remember what your strengths are.
Look after your health with a healthy diet and some exercise every day: this will make you feel physically better but also leads to the release of endorphins: the body's feel-good hormones.
And take care of your appearance: do at least three positive things every day for your looks
- Stop being obsessed with being perfect and comparing yourself to other people
Set realistic expectations for yourself and think about how reasonable and manageable your goals are. Remember that life in general is imperfect.
See the difference between failing at something you do and being a failure as a personal
- Live up to your own moral code by building up self-respect and don`t be angry
Learn how to remain calm by expressing how your feel at the time and not letting your feelings overpower you because you kept everything to yourself.
Remove yourself from situations that make you angry, step away from the situation and breathe in long breaths. That should bring your body back to a relaxed state.
- Don't be oversensitive
Listen carefully to what is being said in order to evaluate whether a comment is true or false before you decide how you feel about it.
If criticism is unfair, disagree! Stand up for yourself.
Be ready to move on: replaying a situation over and over that upset you only anchors the memory
- Try not to feel anxious and fearful
Challenge your anxieties with the facts: you may feel it`s pointless to aim for higher grades. How true is this statement when you look at the evidence?
Build up confidence by facing you fears: create a “fear pyramid”, placing the biggest fear at the top and your smallest fear at the bottom and work your way up the pyramid. That will boost you confidence in your abilities!
You'll learn the importance of self-forgiveness, accepting your faults, and how to focus on the things that make you awesome! You'll also learn strategies for defeating the dreaded inner critic who keeps knocking you down and escaping the common thought traps that stop you feeling good about yourself.
Are you scared to take risks in case you make a fool of yourself? Do you need other people's approval? If someone likes you do you think there must be something wrong with them? Do you hate your body? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this essential guide will help you to turn your opinions around. It will boost your self-esteem and encourage you to believe in who and what you are.