What is self esteem? Some people think self esteem is feeling good about yourself. But self esteem is more than that- its a feeling in your heart that you are happy with the type of person you choose to be.
Self esteem comes from your own choices-- you can't get it from someone giving you a trophy or telling you you're great. Self esteem is about believing in your heart that you are able to make choices you are proud of, and that even when you make a mistake, you are still worth loving.
When you don't have strong self-esteem, you could say you have low esteem, or low self-esteem. Low self esteem means you aren't ok with how you choose to be.
The first half of having self esteem is knowing you are able to make choices that stay true to what you know is right and wrong. Why? Because when you make choices that are in-line with your core values (what you know is "right"), then you are proud of yourself on the inside. You are doing things that feel "right" inside yourself, and self-esteem comes from how you feel about yourself on the inside.
If your core values are that being honest, respectful, caring, fair, and resilient are good or "right", then every time you do something in-line with those beliefs you build your sense of self esteem. When you make a good choice, like working hard and earning a good grade, or treating someone kindly, or being honest even when you might get in trouble, these are all times that you feel good about the choices you make and then you feel good about who you are as a person.
When you make choices that are not in-line with your core values (choices that are "wrong")-- like lying, cheating, or being mean to people-- you may "wrong" inside yourself. When you aren't proud of your choices, that leads to low self-esteem.
Self-esteem grows inside you as you make choices you can be proud of. Each time you face a challenge in life, and you make a choice you can be proud of (a choice that feels right inside), you build self esteem. You learn more and more, in your heart, that you are able to handle life in a way you can be proud of- and that is a big part of what self esteem is.
What if you make a mistake? Having self esteem doesn't mean things have to always go perfectly, or that you never make a bad choice. A big part of self-esteem is knowing that when you make a mistake, you have the ability to do better next time. Strong self-esteem can help you work through the tough times because you know you are able to do what you think is right, even if it's hard.
The other half of self-esteem is knowing that no matter what, you are a person who is worthy of respect, care, and love. Even if you make a bad choice sometimes, or even if times are tough, you are still worth loving, just because you are you. Of course, when you make a bad choice you might feel bad for a little while. That's just your conscience, and it's helping you know what feels right and wrong so you can make a better choice next time. But real self-esteem will reassure you that feeling bad for a bad choice is just for a little while, because you know you can do better next time.
If high self-esteem is feeling that you are able to handle life in a way you are proud of, and that you are worthy... then low esteem (or low self-esteem) is not feeling ready to handle life or not feeling worthy of respect, care, and love.
Sometimes people with low esteem act like people who think they are really great. People who brag or bully may seem like people who think a lot of themselves. But true self esteem comes from making choices that are in line with your core values-- things like being honest, treating people with respect, and being responsible for your actions.
People who hurt others or put other people down are actually not acting in line with core human values, the things that make us feel good about ourselves on the inside. So really, bullys and braggers are often revealing their lack of self-esteem, or low esteem.
Facing challenges is a great way to build self esteem and improve low esteem. True self-esteem comes from knowing you have the ability to handle life, including new things, challenges, and everyday stuff.
Each time you try something new and prove to yourself you can persevere, you are building self esteem.
Each time you face a difficult situation and make a choice that is in line with what you believe is right, you build self esteem.
Each time you are responsible and are able to do what you need to do, in a way you are proud of, you build more self esteem.