How many of these teenage self-esteem statements would you agree with?
- If you wake up in the morning and your bangs look weird, your day is ruined.
- An A-minus or B-plus on an exam in one of your better subjects is upsetting.
- It doesn't pay to try out for the school play because chances are they'll never pick you.
- Sometimes your to-do list is so long, it wakes you up in the middle of the night.
- If you worked a bit harder in school instead of going out with your friends, your grades would be better.
- The movies and the mall are rewards for after your schoolwork is done.
- You're the first person to show up for basketball practice most of the time.
- You have lots to accomplish before you can feel successful. It's embarrassing to talk about your achievements because they're really no big deal.
If you agree with more than five of these teenage self-esteem statements, read on.
There's nothing wrong with setting high standards for yourself. Most successful people do. But if you think you can be an all-around superstar all of the time, you're dooming yourself to be disappointed. Setting unrealistic expectations makes life hard. The next time you find yourself trying to be Miss Perfect, remember these teenage self-esteem tips:
Stop harping on past mistakes.
The day you wore two different shoes, the stupid thing you wrote in that hot guy's yearbook, the basket you missed in last year's basketball finals...file them away in the experience file. If the memories of when you failed minorly haunt you, you're wasting your time. Teenage self-esteem is already low, so use the moment as the topic of next semester's humorous personal essay, or take from it how not to make the same error again. Move on.
It's really hard to be you.
Give yourself credit for your successes. You're handling keeping all those balls in the air beautifully.
Define what's good enough.
What is thin enough, popular enough, smart enough or strong enough? Only you know that for yourself, not your parents or your friends. Think about what's most important to you. Decide what area of success is most meaningful and prioritize your time. Then back off in other areas. Balance is key for having positive teenage self-esteem.
See yourself through your grandma's eyes.
Take pride not only in your successes, but also in the hard work you put into your life. Appreciate the effort, not just the results. Make a list of your accomplishments. Look around and count up all the people in your world who admire the person you are. Include the friends who think you're funny, the aunt who remembers your kindness, the teacher who was impressed with your test mark, the coach who remarked on your focus, etc. This will boost your teenage self-esteem!
Being perfect is bad for you.
Overdoing it can take a destructive toll. Aside from being exhausting, it leads to headaches, stomachaches, breakouts, fatigue, and recurrent colds. Not to mention a variety of symptoms attributed to the anxiety that accompanies fear of failing. There is a huge distance between perfection and failing. That's where 99.99% of the world lives. Join us.
Try being spontaneous.
Living on the spur of the moment may not be your style, but why not give in to it sometime? Free time, free of to-do lists and schedules, is as enlightening for your heart and soul as studying is for your brain. And lots more fun.
Get off the moving train.
If you're worried that no matter how hard you try, it's not good enough; if you realize you can no longer live up to all the expectations, take a deep breath and ask for help. Take some time to daydream, to be creative, to be grateful for the wonderful ingredients that make you you.