[ What is it? | Exploration
of self | Steps toward self-confidence
My declaration of self-esteem | Where
to get more help]
Self Esteem--What is it?
Self esteem is how I feel about myself.
It is my general judgment of myself. It is how much I like myself. The
following is a list of characteristics of a person with high or low
self esteem. Which list of feelings sounds most like you?
Characteristics of High Self Esteem:
Characteristics of Low Self Esteem:
- I believe I am important.
- I believe that the world is better because
I am in it.
- I have confidence in myself and my abilities.
- I am able to ask for help.
- I trust my decisions.
- I believe that I am my own best resource.
- I do not think I am important.
- I expect to be cheated and discounted
- I do not trust others.
- Other people don't like me.
- I feel lonely and isolated.
- I am not interested in myself, or other
people around me.
If you feel more like the feelings under high self esteem,
good for you!!! But, if you feel that you can relate more with the feelings
listed under low self esteem, let's see if we can help you learn to feel
better about yourself.
"There is always hope that your life can change because there is
always something new to learn"-- (Virginia Satir).
"You can fall and feel a failure, but never lose your self-respect"--
( Herbert Fensterheim and Jean Baer).
What do I think about myself? What do others think of
me? What do I want in life? What makes me happy? What do I do to please
myself? How would I like to be different? What can I do to be the person
I want to be? How do I feel about myself?
Learning how to feel better about yourself can seem like
a very difficult task. But, often taking the first step is the most
difficult. Learning how to think more positively is a great first step.
Try starting here:
Rules for Serenity
- Today, I will live my day fully, without
worrying about how to work out all my problems in one day.
- Today, I will take care of my physical
appearance. I will eat right and exercise.
- Today, I will be kind and polite to
- Today, I will try not to be better than
anyone else. I will just be the best me.
- Today, I will be happy.
- Today, I will adapt to the tasks I face,
without expecting the tasks to adapt to me.
- Today, I will dedicate 20 minutes to
reading something constructive. Reading is good for my mental health.
- Today, I will perform a good deed, without
telling anyone about it.
- Today, I will plan what I need to do,
putting my most important activities on the top of the list.
- Today, I will follow my plan carefully.
- Today, I will not feel afraid.
- Today, I will be able to enjoy life,
and believe in kindness.
There are many ways of learning to feel better about yourself.
The first step was learning how to think positively about yourself; the
second step is to apply this new thinking to everyday life. I would like
to recommend that you try the following suggestions:
Steps Toward Self-
Letting go of the past
- I will be aware of my strengths and
weaknesses and set my goals to match.
- I will decide what my values and beliefs
- I will think about how I would like
my life to be.
- I will review my past and forgive
those who have hurt me.
- I will forgive myself for those whom
I have hurt.
- I will think about my past experiences,
and try to learn from them.
- I will let go of guilt and shame.
They have little value on my new path.
- I will not allow my past experiences
to block my future successes.
Understanding and planning
I will search for why I behave or react
in certain situations--physically, socially, and financially.
I will remember that there is always
a different way to behave in each of these areas of my life--physical,
social, and financial.
Positive new ways of looking at life
- I will look for more positive ways
of behaving in these areas of my life.
- I will be more tolerant of myself
- I will only give myself positive messages.
- I will only make a note of areas in
my life that need attention.
- I will focus on my good qualities.
- I will be kind to myself.
- I will not allow others to criticize
me in unhelpful ways.
- I will look at my failures as only
a way that does not work.
- I will look for another way to do
a task if the old way does not work.
- I will surround myself with people,
places, and situations which help me feel.
Good things about myself and others.
- If I cannot change a situation so
that I feel more valued, I will leave the situation. Life is too
short to waste.
- I will not participate in events which
leave me feeling less than.
- I will take time to relax, listen
to myself, and enjoy being with my best friend--me.
- I will enjoy activities that I like
to do by myself. This will help me get in touch with my "real"
- I will practice being pleasant and
enjoying people, even if it is difficult at first.
- I will enjoy the positive energy that
- I will not take on other people's
- I will let people know I am available
to give, receive, and share.
- I will take risks which may help me
become the person I want to be. I will not always play it safe.
- I am able to handle life's challenges.
- I will set goals for myself.
- I will make a plan for reaching these
- I will work my plan.
- I will look at my progress each day,
and change anything that needs to be changed so that I can be successful
- I will congratulate myself for my
- I will forgive myself should I make
a mistake. I will then, return to my plan.
- I will do my best in everything that
- I have a responsibility to myself
for things that happen in my life.
- I am unique. I do not need to do things
the way others do only to please them.
- I can make the best thing happen for
- I play an active role in whatever
happens to me.
- It is up to me to change my life.
- I have the self -confidence to do
- I can make it.
- I will keep trying.
My Declaration of
I am me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly
like me. There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one
adds up exactly like me. Therefore, everything that comes out of
me is authentically mine because I alone chose it. I own everything
about me: my body, including everything it does; my mind, including
all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the images of all
they behold; my feelings, whatever they may be: anger, joy, frustration,
love disappointment, excitement; my mouth, and all the words that
come out of it: polite, sweet or rough, correct or incorrect; my
voice, loud or soft, and all my actions, whether they be to others
or to myself.
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own all of
my triumphs and successes, all of my failures and mistakes. Because
I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By
so doing, I can love me and be friendly with me. I can then make
it possible for all of me to work in my best interests. I know there
are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that
I do not know. But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully look for the solution of the puzzles
and ways to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I
think and feel at a given moment in time, is mine. This is authentic
and represents where I am at that moment in time. When I review
later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought
and felt, some parts may turn out to be unfit. I can discard that
which is unfitting, and keep that which proved fitting, and invent
something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel,
think, say and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others,
to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of
people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can
engineer me. I am me, and I am okay.--(from Virginia Satir)
I hope you will find these suggestions helpful. Sometimes
you may need more help to get where you want to be in life. So,
please, if you feel like you need more help, check out these resources
or find a professional helper.
experiences and articles from the Teen Advice Online (TAO) Counselors.
- Try these online
quizzes to measure your balance between achievement and success,
work and play (from the GTE AAA Hall of Fame).
- This website, Adolescence:
Change and Continuity, was developed by students at Pennsylvania
State University and includes numerous short essays and a question
and answer section. Of special interest is the Identity
confidence brochure from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- What's normal
and what child and adolescent psychiatrists can do (Academy of Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry).
Severly Depressed or Potentially Suicidal Behavior from the Counseling
and Psychological Services at San Diego State University.
- Self-esteem and shyness resources
from Mental Health Net.
- So, What
is a school psychologist? from the Bartow County School System
- Finally, How
to find a psychologist from the American Psychological Association.
- Don't forget to ask your local public
library! They have books, brochures, and magazines that might
help you. They can also refer you to places where you can find help.
Please feel free to send questions or comments
about this topic to Amigos.
[ Amigos | Dr. Carmen Guanipa