16 May Self-esteem: The key to resilience, positivity and enjoying life to its fullest
How would you rate your self-esteem? Good? Bad? Or have you never thought about it? You should consider it regularly because the way you feel about yourself plays a huge part in what you achieve in life and how happy you are.
People with good self-esteem are positive and resilient. They have ambitions to strive for and believe they can achieve. They make choices that are good for them in terms of relationships and wellbeing. Good self-esteem also means that you know you are good enough just being you.
Self-esteem is the key to resilience, positivity and enjoying life to its fullest.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Build and protect self-esteem
This month is National Teen Self-Esteem Awareness Month, and now, more than ever, teenagers need to know how to build and protect their self-esteem. Social media has upped the game when it comes to bragging, one-upmanship and unrealistic expectations of beauty.
It might not always be true but that doesn’t mean teenagers are not aspiring to these fake ideals, with one example being the serious issue of body image. Flawless, filtered complexions, airbrushed bodies, muscle-bound men and super skinny models are unavoidable on the internet and social media – and the damage these can do to impressionable minds is unreal.
Supporting positive body image is essential for teenagers – reminding them that everyone is different, it is about being happy and healthy not looking a certain way, and that, yes, sometimes the camera does lie. Back on Track Teens has a range of body image resources to help teenagers and their parents or caregivers navigate this increasing problem.
Self-esteem and self-worth are so important to life because they feed a resilient mindset. Even if things don’t turn out your way you can bounce back and start again if your self-worth is strong. It is about accepting failings as well as strengths, but also having the confidence to celebrate your strengths.
“You define beauty yourself. Society doesn’t define your beauty.”
Gender and sexual identity
Gender and sexual identity issues can be tricky for some teenagers and if they fail to find the support and information they need it can damage their self-esteem. If you cannot find the support you need in your family seek it elsewhere, such as through Back on Track Teens, which has produced a mini-series focusing on gender and sexual identity.
The good news is that self-esteem is something you can build – with others or for yourself. Celebrate your triumphs and those of others. It’s ok to feel good about yourself. Accept that nobody is perfect and there may be some things about yourself you’re not happy with, that’s ok too.
Learn to feel good about yourself as a whole. The quick route to this is celebrating all the little things that you succeed at. So this month make sure you celebrate every little win – for yourself and others.
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”
National Teen Self-Esteem Awareness Month
This month, check in with yourself or your young people about feelings, beliefs, friends and their aspirations. Ask what is important and, if there are any issues with body image or gender identity, find the support to build yourself or another person up to stay strong. If self-esteem is low work on a plan of steps you can take to feel better and find the right support.
National Smile Month, May 16 to June 16
A smile makes all the difference. It really does. It will make you – and the people around you – feel better and is a great way to lift your mood and encourage positivity. There is also evidence that happy smiling people live longer, have lower stress levels are healthier and more successful! If you make an active effort to smile it is harder for negative thoughts to creep in so give it a go and try to stay upbeat this month with a big smile on your face. Of course to have a good smile you’ll also want to look after your teeth and eat well – which is what this month is all about, so get brushing, ease up on the sweets and smile!
World Meditation Day, May 21
Life can be hectic and challenging and sometimes you just need a break. Shutting off from the whirlwind of life swirling around you can be hard but meditation offers a way to do that. You don’t need anything and it doesn’t have to cost anything. Meditating is an excellent way to help calm anxiety and stress to allow you to feel good and live life to the full. If you are new to meditation, guided practise is a great way to start. Back on Track Teens has a number of free guided meditations specifically for teenagers. Give it a go this World Meditation Day and find out how 10 minutes a day could change your world.
“You can be anything you want to be; all you have to do is believe.”
Choose the life you want to lead
Feeling good about yourself lets you face the world with confidence and a belief that you have just as much right as everyone else to find success and happiness. This, in a nutshell, is self-esteem.
If there is one thing you focus on this month, make it building up your self-esteem. Focus on your best bits, accept things you cannot change and surround yourself with people who make you feel good and lift you up.
Share your tips on building self-esteem with the Back on Track Teens community – or any questions you may have about feeling better about yourself. Find us at:
Don’t waste time feeling anything less than amazing, seize the moment and start to celebrate yourself – you can do it, and you are always worth it!
“Sometimes the most important person to know is yourself.”