Dele is an SS 2 student. He arrives at school on Tuesday morning and his soccer team-makes blame him for losing yesterday’s match, because he missed several scoring chances. At that moment, a teacher appears and “nails” him for using vulgar language on the school premises.
Ogechi, also an SS2 student, has been nominated as the Head Girl in her school. She runs home after school and tells her mother about this development. Her mother says she can’t listen to her at the moment because she is listening to the news.
Cases like these, often reduces one’s self-esteem. You feel dejected when someone accuses you wrongly or ignores you at a time you need their encouragement. Self-esteem is the judgment you make or the feeling you have about yourself. It could be high or low and is forever changing, and is a result of accumulation of events. An individual with high self- esteem recognises his or her own strength and skills, improves them and can accept successes and achievements. Such an individual relates easily with others and feels secure in social relationships. An individual with low self-esteem on the other hand, is somewhat “anti- social”, not confident and sees challenges as problems too much to cope with. An individual with high self-esteem recognises his or her own strength and skills, improves them and can accept successes and achievements. Such an individual relates easily with others and feels secure in social relationships. An individual with low self-esteem on the other hand, is somewhat “anti-social”, inconfident and sees challenges as problems too much to cope with. An individual might have low self-esteem, if he or she is constantly ignored, laughed at, disliked by peers or is shy and has trouble with intimacy.
What ever the level of your self esteem, it still needs to be improved. Some ways of improving your self-esteem include:
Create a menu of self-esteem goals: Individuals with high self-esteem are goal-oriented and motivated by what they want to accomplish. Creating a menu of self- esteem goals, helps you recognise past accomplishments, identify your skills, strengths and shortcomings and makes you feel responsible. However, make sure your goals are realistic and can be achieved.
Create a self-esteem action plan: To achieve your goals, you have to be able to identify the steps needed to achieve them, possible setbacks and the resources you’ll need.
Believe in yourself: Many successful people are where they are today, because of the confidence they have in their abilities. Talking and thinking positively about yourself helps to achieve your goals faster.
Make special friends: Having special or best friend(s), helps to build your self- esteem. You’ll feel appreciated, loved and accepted. You could make a list of the qualities you want in your special friend, as this would guide you in making your choices.
Be socially responsible: This means being considerate. Look beyond yourself and reach out to others who are not as lucky as you. Giving to others, makes you feel good about yourself and enhances your self-esteem.
Identify your successes: Knowing that you have achieved your goal, greatly enhances your self-esteem. However, your successes might not be as you envisaged them. Learn to view your “failures” positively.