Self-esteem refers to the inner sense of self-worth of a human being. How we regard ourselves in our own personal judgment is a measure of our self-esteem. It is about being positive, self-assured, and confident of one’s own capabilities and being. It is also about appreciating and respecting one’s own value as an individual, and maintaining a balance between assessing your own strengths and weaknesses.
Self-esteem is a particularly delicate matter in our formative years when we are still growing, evolving, and developing our personality, character, and independent thought process.
During school life, strong self-esteem will make us survive the challenges of a competitive environment where everyone wants to be ahead of everyone else. It is here that our self-esteem comes to our rescue – if we did not win the coveted prize if there were many others who scored better than us in exams if our team lost a match due to our error, if we got rejected in love or friendship, or if we got treated badly or unfairly due to any discriminatory or prejudicial factors.
Strong self-esteem gives us the capacity to handle criticism, defeat, and rejection in a mature way. It inculcates the positive spirit in us to try again and not get bogged down or depressed by any temporary setbacks in our life. Strong self-esteem ensures that we have the ability to examine our own life, own weaknesses, and failures, and mistakes. We learn to be introspective. We can find solutions to hurdles from within.
If we hard work, knowledge, and practice improve our Intelligence Quotient (IQ), it is our self-esteem that helps us to achieve a high Emotional Quotient (EQ). Both are equally important to move ahead in our life and maintain a high degree of stability and focus in the midst of peer pressure, personal ambitions, and a rapidly moving life.
Low self-esteem is bound to start losing out in every area to others. We will gradually withdraw into our own shells and suffer from a lack of self-confidence and disorientation of efforts, and experience feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression.
To improve our self-esteem we must start studying seriously and focus on achieving superior results in our exams. Or, take up some extracurricular activity or sport that interests you deeply. The moment we start earning small achievements, our self-esteem will start growing.
Basically, we need to think positively and develop positive habits. It requires determination, commitment, and focus. Channel our energies in the positive areas, rather than drowning ourselves in negative thoughts or unhealthy habits.
Seek help from our teacher at the school, or join a peer support group, and cooperate with their suggestions. Do our best to build up our self-esteem. Learn to laugh at our own mistakes, make friends and practice the art of being happy under difficult circumstances.