‘Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.’
— Oprah Winfrey
BY DACIA JACKSON
As a teen, there may be times when your self-esteem takes a hit. Low self-esteem can affect your well-being and the way you look at your life in comparison to others. This could affect whether you take as many chances as other people (like going to a community college, instead of a state college that you got into).
To prevent anything from getting in your way of success, you need to think about and accept that there’s only one way to get better, accept your uniqueness and change the way you see yourself.
To start with, it may not be your fault you have low self-esteem; it can be caused by several uncontrollable things that you have experienced in your life. The only thing that you have control of now, is whether you try to improve it.
There’s always a way out. So, identify the negative thoughts, identify that person or thing that is causing you to think that way of yourself. Know who you are and what you believe in. If you don’t truly know all the answers yet, that’s ok. We’re young and no one has all the answers. You’ll figure it out, eventually!
The next thing I want you to do is to observe your thoughts and change them. Give it a reason to not dare to pop into your head again. The path to getting somewhere better is hard when you feel like there’s no way to stop negativity, but there is, and this is it! Challenge those negative thoughts! Take those negative thoughts and transform them into positive ones.
Now, it’s time to do the most crucial part of getting a higher self-esteem, think about why you didn’t have a good mindset about yourself originally. Why did you think that about yourself? Where did those thoughts originate? This is how you correct it.
If you didn’t think back to how it originated, this whole exercise of turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts is going to get tiresome and useless. This step brings your mission back to focus.
Finally, as your self-esteem is on the brink of becoming self-assured and the few negative things about yourself that will not go away, are standing in your way to success. The last thing to do is, to accept it. No one is perfect, but most importantly, no one can be you. You are unique and exceptional!
As you can see, through discovering ways to counteract low self-esteem you have created a sound definition of it. Self-esteem is not about what other people think about you, but in fact, it’s how you think about yourself.
However, do not be afraid to talk to someone you trust, an adult, or a counselor. It is ok to ask for help; especially if you are not feeling any better after trying on your own. If it becomes extreme or your thoughts branch out into other thoughts of hurting yourself, please reach out to someone for help.
The number to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
So as Christmas nears, take a minute to think about what you are grateful for about yourself. Show some self-love and remind yourself that you are special!
Dacia Jackson is a teen journalist, author, and artist with aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is currently pursuing an interest in journalism while attending a Florida online school. Dacia is honest, ambitious, and tenacious, so her column will always be truthful, extraordinarily unique, and hopefully impactful.