Build self-esteem as a teenager to live with confidence

Orange background with the words "Build self-esteem to live with confidence" next to a man carrying a guitar

Build self-esteem as a teenager to live with confidence

As National Teen Self Esteem Month shines a light on the importance of self-esteem it is a good time to consider how important self-worth is to living a happy, fulfilled life. 

Nurturing good self-esteem in children and young people is so important for their future careers, relationships and all-round happiness. 

It is far too easy to underestimate the impact that low self-worth can have on confidence, mood and motivation. 

With this is mind, if you commit to one thing as this year approaches the half-way point, let it be proactively improving your self-esteem – or the self-esteem of your teenager.

Why is self-esteem as a teenager so important?

If you don’t feel good about yourself, it can be so hard to see the good in anything. If you don’t feel great you may put your needs last, be reluctant to speak up or take part, or even suffer anxiety, depression and poor body image. So, what can you do about it? 

Low self-esteem is the result of negative thoughts and comments taking hold and affecting your self-belief. By challenging and changing these negative thoughts you can improve self-esteem – just take it one step at a time. 


“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young


Tips to improve your self esteem as a teenager


  • Don’t compare yourself to others, celebrate your differences. If you like reading instead of fashion embrace that – it’s fine to be different. 
  • Change negative thoughts by finding what you love and focusing on that. 
  • List the things you like about yourself.
  • Accept compliments, don’t shrug them off.
  • Decide what you stand for and live it – don’t let other people tell you what to be. 
  • Know your identity, so you can brush off hurtful words as you know they are not you. 
  • Trust your feelings, always.
  • Write a list of ‘I ams’ – such as I am clever, I am strong, I am kind and repeat these to yourself as affirmations when others try to bring you down. 
  • Write down 10 qualities you have – and how you know that you have them. Go back to this list to build yourself up. 
  • Work through an A-Z of positive things about yourself.   


“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” Marilyn Monroe

Quote from M Scott Peck on an orange background with a girl wearing an orange top next to it

Offering support to build self-esteem

Teenagers struggling with self-esteem need the support of their parents so try to avoid negativity, lead by example and keep the conversation open. 

Things might not always go your way and people may not always agree with you but always remember – you are good enough! Trust your feelings and believe in yourself.


“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” Shannon L. Alder



Every month, we check out what’s relevant in the coming days to help people to grow within themselves and take on positive learnings from special days or remembering events from the past. Here’s what to look out for this month.


National Teen Self Esteem Month

Being a teenager can be a rollercoaster of emotions, expectations and changes. These years can be difficult as well as rewarding and will ultimately shape the person they become so it is important that fragile self-esteem is protected. 

National Teen Self Esteem Month highlights the need to nurture self-esteem and encourages parents to help by avoiding negative talk about themselves or their children and encouraging good communication to nurture trust and help teenagers reach their own decisions. 


21 May, World Meditation Day

World Meditation Day aims to help everyone wake up to the wonders of meditation. With the hectic pace of modern life, we all need to step off and take a breather now and again, which is where meditation comes in. 

The day is encouraging everyone to give meditation a go to help them take a break and relax the mind. Meditation has been shown to be excellent for supporting good mental health and general wellbeing. If you want some help to get started these free guided meditations for teenagers are a great place to begin.

Choose the life you want to lead

Having the confidence to chase your dreams is what makes life special. Don’t let low self-esteem hold you back, instead take steps to build up your self-worth to protect yourself from making poor decisions and being left watching from the side-lines. Part of this journey is deciding and embracing what you love to form a strong identity. The Spark to Your Success sets out small steps that you (or your child) can take to start to find the joy in life to enjoy it at its fullest.

For tips, support and advice on how to build self-esteem – or to share your experiences – join our online community.

Start to shut out those negative thoughts and voices today and replace them with affirmations about yourself and the knowledge that you are good enough – you are you and that is all that matters!

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