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What can I do about low self-esteem?

I have such low self-esteem, what can I do about it? Girl, 15

Hi girl of 15!

First of all we’d like to let you know that it is normal to have low self-esteem, so you are completely normal!

The fact that you ask what you can do about low self-esteem shows us that you are a girl who takes responsibility for your own life by desiring change. This is a very good quality!

The teenage years are a time when people begin to leave their families in a healthy way, at this time people find out who they are as individuals. You will have had the same subjects at school as everyone else, but gradually you will find out who you are and what you want to study. It’s totally normal to be uncertain of yourself when you’re fifteen. Some of the most important things that happen in the teenage years are that you get to know yourself, find out what you do and don’t like, find out what you’re good at and not so good at, and what makes you unique. Your self-esteem takes time to form and is usually shaped by experiences with other people. However, there are some things you can do to channel and strengthen this process.

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Here are some tips to help you improve your self-esteem:

  • Make a list or a mind map of your positive attributes. Write these down as you remember them or as people mention them. For example things you like about your appearance, qualities, and so on. Take time to read over this often, and dare to believe what it says. As time goes on it will be easier to do this.
  • When someone gives you a compliment, say ‘thanks’. Don’t minimise or explain away what they say. Take time to let the words sink in and believe them.
  • Ask family and friends what they appreciate about you.
  • Try to notice and do more of the things that you are good and which you like to do.
  • Spend time with people who like and encourage you.
  • Read what God says about you in the Bible, for example Psalm 139 and Zephaniah 3:17.
  • Listen to sermons/teaching about what God thinks about you. There’s a lot of good teaching from different churches on the internet.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t manage to do something, or get a negative response from someone, go over the experience and what it made you think or feel about yourself. It’s important to make a difference between DOING something stupid and BEING stupid. It’s totally fine to not be good at everything, this is something we have to accept (and perhaps train ourselves to improve if we want). This is much easier than living with lies about who you are and what you are worth.

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There are definitely other good ideas to increase your self-esteem than what we mention here, but hopefully you’ll find some of these ideas helpful. 

Best wishes,

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