Self-esteem is a make-up of the thoughts, feelings and opinions we hold about ourselves, over time these habits of negative thinking can create beliefs about how we see ourselves and dent our self-worth. These beliefs however aren’t fixed and can change, depending on the way we think.
Although my work as a coach is primarily with adults, a friend recently asked me whether I had any tips that would be useful for teenage girls and their self-esteem, a topic which I am passionate about.
With the awkwardness and the hormones, life as a teenage girl can be one big juggling act, even more so when every celebrity, heartbreak or TV show is now blogged, tweeted and posted about on the internet.
A recent survey of 30,000 pupils revealed that self-esteem of teenage girls, particularly 14-15 year olds, has significantly dropped since the boom of social media and online communication. Figures showed that many of today’s teenagers struggle due to a variety of factors including school work, looks, peer pressure and weight.
If you want to feel better about yourself, try some of these proven tips:
1. Focus on what you like about yourself
Do you tend to compare yourself with others and end up feeling less talented, attractive or accomplished? If you have thoughts like ‘She’s so much prettier than I am, or I’m not good at this subject’, notice it and instead focus on the things you DO like about yourself. Maybe you have beautiful eyes, maybe you’re a good singer or you play a certain sport really well. The more you can focus on your positives and build on your strengths, the better you’re likely to feel.
2. What’s going well for you
Are you focusing so much on your problems that they’re all you see? The next time you find yourself dwelling on the bad, choose to find something positive instead. Each day make it a habit to write down three good things about your day as a result of your efforts and actions.
3. Accept and give compliments
When you have low self-esteem it can be easy to brush off the nice things others may say, mental chatter can morph into thoughts like ‘I’m not that great’ instead of allowing yourself to truly appreciate or believe a compliment. Choose to accept compliments more often and instead of putting yourself down, respond by saying thank you. As well as accepting compliments, share the love by giving other people sincere compliments too.
4. Be inspired
Allow yourself to read books that motivate you and make you feel good about yourself. Some recommended reading includes:
• The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Workbook – Sean Covey
• Express Yourself: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are – Emily Roberts
• How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls -Donna Dale Carnegie
5. Set Goals
One of the best ways to build self-esteem is by thinking about what you’d like to accomplish. Enlisting the services of a Life Coach is a great way to help you create a plan for your goal, monitor your progress and assist you in overcoming any obstacles that could get in your way. When you achieve a goal, you feel a great sense of accomplishment in your abilities, inspiring you to want to go out and create a life of your dreams.
“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment” – Thomas Carlyle
The recognition of your beauty, intelligence and bravery can soon transform the beliefs you hold for yourself making space for your inner light to shine. When we get out of our own way by choosing self-empowerment instead of self-doubt, we fill ourselves with enough courage to get out there to be and do whatever we want. We open the door to a world of opportunity that’s just waiting to be discovered, so what are you waiting for? It’s your time to shine!