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Boost your self-esteem and self-confidence

A girl playing the violin.Do you want to feel better about yourself? You can learn how to build self-esteem and raise your self-confidence. Try these tips:

  • Check out new activities. You'll feel proud for stretching your wings. Does trying something new on your own seem too scary? Maybe see if a friend will go along.
  • Be your own BFF. Make a list of things you love about you. Are you friendly, funny, creative, or hard-working, for example?
  • Celebrate your successes. Try to really enjoy your achievements. Record them in a journal, tell your friends, or hang up pictures or other reminders.
  • Tell your inner critic to be quiet. If you have a mean thought about yourself, see if you can change it to something positive instead. For example, if you think, "I'm dumb," try remembering a time you did something smart.
  • Don't compare yourself to others. Someone else may have tons of online friends or a "great" body. But everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
  • Practice being assertive. Try to express your thoughts, opinions, and needs. It feels great to know you can speak up for yourself! (Of course, you want to do this without stomping on other people's feelings.)
  • Find ways to feel like you're contributing. It feels great to help. You might do chores at home or volunteer in your community.
  • Set realistic goals. Aim for a goal that you think you can reach. Then make a plan for how to get there. If you pick something very hard, you may get frustrated and quit.
  • Forgive yourself when you fail. Nobody is perfect. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes. And it's good to know you can pick yourself up and keep going!
  • Find true friends. Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. Real friends like you for you.
  • Honor your background. It can be great to feel proud of who you are and where you come from. Read about exploring your culture and what girls have to say about their unique identities.

If you try working on your self-esteem for a while and still don't feel good about yourself, reach out for help. Talk to a parent or guardian, doctor, school counselor, school nurse, teacher, or other trusted adult. An adult may be able to suggest other things you can try, and it may help just to talk about how you're feeling. Also, sometimes low self-esteem can increase your risk for depression and other emotional problems. An adult you trust could help you get treatment if you need it.

Amazing powers

"In most superhero movies and books, the enemy is a human or monster who gets killed at the end. But for too many girls, the enemy they face is criticism from themselves. They look in the mirror and say, "I'm too fat," or "I'm so ugly," or "I hate my hair." If I were a SuperShero, I would be the Voice of Confidence. I would be able to become invisible, fly, and walk through walls. I'd find a girl or boy who is lacking confidence and whisper, "You can do it!" or "You are amazing." They wouldn't hear my words out loud; they would hear them in their head and gain the confidence to do what they need to succeed."
Jessica, New York

Reprinted, with permission, from "New Moon Girls" magazine; New Moon Girl Media, Duluth, MN,


Content last reviewed January 07, 2015
Page last updated February 19, 2015