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Teen Self Esteem



Self-esteem. So what does it mean? "Self"-that's easy. That's you! "Esteem"-this word is a bit trickier. It is not a word that most teenagers use on a daily basis. If you look it up in the dictionary you will find it's meaning to be "hold in high regard", which means to really like a lot. For example, you really like your best friends, you really like your favorite teacher, or you really like your family. These are people you trust, respect and enjoy spending time around.

Sometimes , it's easy to like who you are. You feel great when you ace a test, score the winning goal, or tell a funny joke that everyone likes. But how do you feel about yourself when you think you said something stupid or got a bad haircut? You start wishing you were someone else or that you could change how you look. You think you aren't good enough....in school, on the team or for the "cool crowd". This is low self-esteem. The good news is that you can learn to like yourself or have good self-esteem all of the time. You are the one in control and you can make the difference. But sometimes, you let others tell you how to feel about yourself.

From the day you were born, your family,then your teachers and friends, have been influencing your decisions and how you feel about yourself. So why is it important to have good self-esteem if everyone is going to tell you what to do , what to wear and what to think? As a teenager, you now have more responsibility to choose between right and wrong. You become accountable for your actions. As I've often told my former first grade students, it's called RESPONSIBILITY. Self-esteem gives you the courage to be your own person and to believe in your own values when the pressure is on to make a big decision.

Here are a few suggestions:


Be honest with yourself. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Don't beat yourself up over the weaknesses. Don't compare yourself to others. Learn to accept who you are.


Set realistic goals for yourself. Try to get the most out of your strengths without demanding or expecting too much of yourself.


Take one day at a time. Do your best each day.


Trust your own feelings. Listen to yourself. Pay attention to your emotions.


Enjoy yourself when you have achievements. Celebrate your successful efforts. Don't downplay them.

Only you know what is best for you. If you let your friends think for you, you won't be working toward your personal goals for the future. When you value and respect yourself, it keeps you from making bad decisions that may affect the rest of yourself. Be proud of who you are!! You are worth it!


Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176
E-mail: mhajc@cabjackson.org