Self-Esteem: Learning to Love Ourselves

by Ella @ TeenagersWithExperience

As teenagers living in a world filled with technology, you could say that we have a ludicrous standard of beauty that we feel we need to live up to. With the ability to look up anything anywhere at any time on our ‘phones, we are subliminally told how we should look and act by photos of models and celebrities who, of course, are stunning, but is it really healthy to be comparing ourselves to people who are ‘pretty’ for a living?

I know that I am not the only one I know who struggles with self-esteem and self-confidence issues, but I try my hardest to love what I’ve been given, because we can only change so much about ourselves. I do have my bad days, like all people do, but I think about times where people have complimented my appearance and other things and it helps me get through those unhappy times!

Here is a collection of my favourite tips for helping gain self-esteem and self-confidence:

Beauty comes from both the inside and out

If you think that what you look like on the outside is the only thing that matters, it’s time to change that. We have beautiful minds and personality is so important! People become beautiful because of how they act towards others, and looks are only a mask we present to others. The real beauty is what is underneath, so let people see how lovely you are as a person, and what an amazing mind you have.

Avoid negative thoughts

When you look in the mirror, instead of seeing the things you dislike about yourself, focus on the things that you love about yourself. For example, I don’t really like how close together my eyes are, but to combat this thought, I think about how much I love the colour and shape of my eyes! Little things all add up in the end and help to make you a happier person. Stop criticising and comparing yourself to others. We were born to be different, and it is important to be individual and unique.

Take care of yourself

Remember that you can only be the best version of yourself when you look after yourself. If you are not happy with the way you look, think about why this is and whether it can easily be sorted, such as weight or skin problems. Regular exercise makes you feel energised and ready for the day, and healthy eating with lots of water helps flush out toxins so you look and feel great!

Spend time with people who make you feel good

There is nothing better than a lovely day spent with lovely people who make you feel positive about yourself. People who are over-criticising of you and point out things you are unhappy with are not your friends, and they are definitely not helping your self-confidence. Find friends who are loving and see the best in you, even when you are feeling down.

Focus on the positive things people have said to you or things you have done

Did you get your test back and beat your target grade? Great! These small things should be celebrated as it is a way to start feeling good about achievements you have made. If somebody offers you a compliment, accept it and remember it if you ever feel bad. Focusing on the good points can really help make the points you feel bad about not so big, so overall you will feel better as time goes on!

We were never created to be carbon copies of each other and we are all beautiful in our own ways, inside and out.

We all have days where we feel we can’t even go outside but we cannot let these take over our lives. If you feel that your low self-esteem is overwhelming, consult a professional to help you work out what to do.

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. If you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl

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About the author: Ella is one of the newer members of TeenagersWithExperience who writes articles with advice to help others on a variety of subjects which fit into three categories: mental health, gender identity and sexuality, and social life. She enjoys writing articles and hopes to become a clinical psychologist or counsellor and continue helping others.
TeenagersWithExperience is a website set up by teenagers, for teenagers, to help with issues such as mental health, sexuality questions, gender identity queries and social life (including bullying, friendship issues, family issues and more). TWE helps others by telling people their own stories and experiences, and how they cope with these situations.

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image: Happy by Jeroen Werkman under Creative Commons license