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If your first reaction to the headline was “no, it doesn’t” then you need to read on!

Feeling as though your opinion doesn’t matter is NOT something you need to accept. Everyone should feel they have a voice, and if that’s not you right now, perhaps your self-esteem is lower than it should be.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself – and although everyone lacks confidence from time to time, if you tend to feel unhappy or dissatisfied with yourself most of the time, there’s a good chance that your self-esteem is a little low.

Do you?

  • often feel bad about yourself
  • think you are not good enough

Are you?

  • always hard on yourself
  • scared to say what you think

The problem with low self-esteem

While everyone occasionally has doubts about themselves, low self-esteem can leave you feeling insecure and unmotivated. It makes you feel like what you think doesn’t matter – which then stops you asking questions, pursuing opportunities, and taking the right chances.
It stops you from being happy and from being your best you.

What if you could feel like this instead?

  • you feel liked and accepted
  • you are proud of what you do
  • you believe in yourself
  • you trust what you think and feel

Everyone is worthy of feeling this way.

How to improve your self-esteem

You might be able to identify a few things that are affecting your opinion of yourself (maybe you’re being bullied, or you might be feeling lonely, or you find school hard), or maybe you just don’t know why. Whatever your reason, here are some tips to help improve your self-esteem:

  • Hang around people who treat you well – sometimes the biggest influence on how we feel about ourselves comes from the people around us. The people you surround yourself with should make you feel good about who you are.
  • Be kind to yourself and speak positively to yourself – try to start the day with at least one positive thought about yourself, or write them down. The more positive your thoughts, the more positive your feelings about yourself will become.
  • Set goals and learn new things – one of the biggest contributors to positive self-esteem is the buzz we get when we achieve things – like learning something new. And it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. You can check out some things to try in the My Different section.
  • You do you – comparing yourself to others is the fast track to low-self-esteem. Focus on your own goals and achievements – you decide the measure of your success, no one else.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde

  • Accept that not everything in life is perfect – work towards doing your best and accept that there will be setbacks and mistakes. Perfection is often an unrealistic expectation that leaves us feeling like a failure if we achieve anything less.
  • Focus on the things that go well – even the smallest wins count. Hey, getting out of bed on the first alarm is a win some days!
  • Ask for help if you need it – sometimes low self-esteem comes from external sources that are harder to fix on your own – like trauma, bullying, and health issues. It’s important to know that your happiness does matter and that there are people you can reach out to for support.

What you think does matter – because believing in yourself and in what you think, is the first step to making positive change in your life, and you’re worth that.