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Self-Esteem: Teen Version


What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem means how you think and feel about yourself. If you like yourself and feel that you deserve good things in life, you have high self-esteem. If you dislike yourself or put yourself down, you have low self-esteem.

You may have low self-esteem sometimes and higher self-esteem when you have reached some of your goals, such as doing well at a job or at school.

How can I increase my self esteem?

Ways to increase self-esteem include:

  • Write down 3 things each day that make you happy.
  • Write positive statements about yourself on cards, such as "I am a kind and caring person." Look at the cards several times a day no matter how you feel.
  • Focus on things you can do, things you are good at, and things that make you feel proud.
  • Set goals that are realistic. Make a plan to reach them and work toward your goals every day.
  • Help others. Feeling like you are making a difference is a great self-esteem builder.
  • Have fun. Enjoy what you are doing and the people you are doing it with.
  • Act as if you deserve good things. You will tend to value yourself more.
  • If something goes wrong, remember that you can make mistakes and still be a good person.
  • Become more aware of negative thoughts about yourself, such as saying to yourself, "I did that badly." Replace criticism with praise, "It didn't turn out as well as I hoped, but I'm proud that I worked hard." Learn to be your own best fan.
  • Take good care of your body. Eat well, be well groomed, and get enough sleep and exercise. If you feel well physically, you will feel better emotionally.

If you have problems with respecting or liking yourself, talk to your parents, school counselor, or other trusted adult. You are definitely worth it!


Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-02-07
Last reviewed: 2009-12-07

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.

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