The definition of self-esteem is the spiritual assessment of one’s self-worth; however, it deeply reflects on how individuals judge one another. Nowadays we see ourselves losing confidence from being bullied by others. We also tend to have the desire to look like the actors and celebrities we see on television because that is the look that we view to be “right.” I see this happen to others and even myself at times. We attempt to adjust our appearances or act because of someone or something that provoked us to think negatively of ourselves.
The article “Self-Esteem and Confidence,” published by the Rosen Publishing Group, states, “Self-esteem is really about how we see and feel about ourselves on the inside. It’s how we measure our worth to the outside world.” The reason that many of us are losing confidence is because we are pressured into fitting into an unrealistic standard of beauty. We may also have haunting experiences that can later affect us. These experiences make us think about ourselves the way others think about us. If others call us “losers”, “idiots” or “worthless”, we begin to think we’re all those things. According to this article, “Losing confidence in yourself is a normal part of life. Having confidence and not having it often goes in a cycle…”
According to Kevin Caruso, a suicide survivor and the founder, executive director, and editor-in-chief of suicide.org, more than 90% of the people who commit suicide were in depression at the time of their death. One of the many causes was having a low self-esteem. A few of the other causes linked to suicide include being bullied by others, feeling helpless or hopeless, illnesses, and a death of a close person. According to the Better Health Channel, these are also links to low self-esteem.
In 2009, a study showed that overweight teens, or teens who believed themselves to be, are more likely to attempt suicide than others. In the article “Obesity and Self Image,” it explains that not all overweight young people always have low self-esteem, but body image is a big part of self-image. Though body image is a big part of self-image, the way we look at it has greatly changed over the years. In the past, it was “easier to be thin than to be overweight. Being overweight showed that you could afford to eat more calories than you burned. It was a sign of success and wealth.” Therefore, people wanted to be bigger. Nowadays, it’s harder to stay thin, and it’s easier to put on weight because of all the high-fat foods. Also, cheaper foods tend to have more calories. “Just as people once showed off their success by weighing more, they now show it off by weighing less… weighing less shows that you have excellent self-control, perhaps work out at the gym, and eat relatively expensive foods.”
Here’s a story about a girl named Kenna. Since 4th grade, she began to hate herself. The reason was because of her weight. She felt unattractive and embarrassed because of her weight. She tried to lose weight because she wanted show off the “perfect body” that she dreamed of. Then one day she decided to change something about herself. Her confidence. She listened to songs that gave her confidence, and she treasured the compliments she had received and complimented others. She listened to her mom when her mom would tell her how wonderful she is, rather then believing every compliment was a lie. She may have not lost all the weight, but she exercised and took care of herself because being healthy gives her and others confidence. Kenna also provided us with an inspirational message: “You are beautiful. My philosophy is everyone is pretty everyone has at least one likable quality. Don’t listen to any negativity, whether it be from yourself or others. Do things that make you feel happy and confident. Nobody truly cares how much you weigh. They really don’t. I promise.”
How can we improve our self-esteem? Teenshealth.org provides us with many great ways to boost our self-esteem.
- Don’t think negatively about yourself. Rather than think about your flaws, think about your accomplishments and uniqueness to others. After all, that’s what makes you, you.
- Try new things. Get involved in different activities and develop a few skills.
- Set goals. Don’t aim for perfection because then you will only be disappointed. Create plans for what you’d like to accomplish.
- Take pride. Don’t let someone tell you your opinion is wrong or your idea is weird. If it’s what you believe, then don’t be afraid to express it.
- Exercise. Not only will exercising make you healthier, it will also relieve some stress from your life allowing you to enjoy yourself.
- Have fun! Spend time with people who care about you and enjoy doing the things you love
Self-esteem is something that impacts our everyday life. Therefore, we should try to create a high self-esteem. It is proven that people who have a positive self-esteem tend to do better in school and are able to make more friends. They also tend to create better relationships with others and are able to deal with disappointments and mistakes easier than others.
Self-esteem is a big problem with teens these days. We feel pressured into being thin or trying to fit in. Our society has affected us as individuals causing us to feel different about ourselves. It may take time to develop a high self-esteem, but doing so will greatly and positively influence one’s life. Let’s not change the way we live our lives for others.