Self-esteem is the way you look at or perceive yourself. If you have healthy self-esteem, it means that you like yourself and believe you are just as valuable as anyone else. If you have low self-esteem, you believe that you are inferior to others. People with low self-esteem tend to focus on what they believe are their shortcomings, or ignore or downplay their strengths and achievements.
Building Healthy Self Esteem
Luckily, building a healthy self-esteem is possible no matter your age or income. It doesn’t cost anything. But it can take time while you learn to think differently about yourself. Keep working at it!
Accept yourself. We all have faults and weaknesses. It’s part of being human! The key to good self-esteem is to accept that you aren’t perfect. (Wouldn’t that be boring, anyway?)
Set goals. Although it’s important to practice self-acceptance, sometimes it’s helpful to set goals for things that you’d like to achieve, or to change things that you aren’t happy with. Start with small daily or weekly goals, and celebrate your successes.
Avoid labeling yourself negatively. When you don’t reach a goal or perform as well as you had hoped, don’t label yourself as “bad” or a “failure.” Just try again. Think of yourself as someone who keeps striving to do better, even when it’s hard.
Be objective about situations. You can’t control everything, so understand that some negative outcomes aren’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself.
Avoid comparisons. People have different strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strengths, have realistic expectations of the things that you could change or improve, and most importantly, avoid comparing yourself to others. And, if you are a parent or grandparent, avoid making comparisons between your children or grandchildren.
Do something for others. Often you can feel better about yourself just by doing a good deed for others or even making a simple compliment or acknowledging others. Try it!
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth