Open any magazine, look through the shelves in the book store, listen to any call-in radio show and you're bound to hear about the hottest of hot topics...building self-esteem. What exactly does this buzzword mean? Webster's dictionary defines it as, "a confidence and satisfaction in oneself." In other words, it's the result of comparing how we'd like to be and what we'd like to accomplish with how we actually see ourselves. When do we build self-esteem? We begin building self-esteem as very young children. Early on, girls have less positive body image, a factor that greatly contributes to self-esteem, than boys. Why does it get worse in adolescence? Low self-esteem in adolescence is based primarily on appearance and peer acceptance. If a friend doesn't include you, you're left feeling unimportant, or just not good enough. How does how you feel about your body affect your self-esteem? The modern world glorifies the impossible perfect body, leading the rest of us to feel that we fall short. Too many teens are obsessed to look like the airbrushed stars and pop idols they glorify. Too often it seems that self-esteem is tied to weight. Girls fall into the trap of believing that they are only as good as the scale says they are. Building self esteem depends on attitude, and attitude —which is everything —is something we can control. Building self-esteem tips Find something that you excel in. Whether it's music or sports or academics or dance, nothing is guaranteed to build self-esteem faster than being successful. Lean on your family for support. Try to see yourself though your grandma's eyes. Figure out who you are, where you came from, and what you're all about. Think about the kind of life you want to lead. Be proud of your uniqueness. Stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on the parts of yourself you like the best. Adolescence is a turbulent time charged with conflict and mood swings. Be proud of the job you're doing surviving this decade. Dwelling a bit on your abilities, skills, and accomplishments will help with building self esteem. Try to silence that inner critic who seems to find fault with so many things you do. That inner critic belongs to you, not your parents or your teacher or your friend. You can decide the message it will send. Make sure your expectations are realistic. Building self esteem is a positive goal; just be sure to aim for accomplishment, not perfection. Exercise. You'll unload stress and feel stronger and happier. Each day, practice writing down three things about yourself that you wouldn't change. Do a good deed. Tutor someone, help clean up your neighborhood, be part of a fund-raising effort for a good cause. Feeling like you're making a difference will definitely improve self-esteem. Straighten up, smile, and look straight ahead. You'll look and feel more confident. Don't hesitate to ask for professional help if you need it. Healing emotional hurt and building self-esteem , sometimes takes some expert guidance. It takes work, but the payoff of better relationships, sticking with a project until it's done, and dealing more easily with disappointments and mistakes is worth every second! Learn about building self esteem and get helpful tips and advice at BeingGirl.com.