Life Skills

Building Self-esteem

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What is self-esteem? 

Self-esteem is the level to which an individual values, appreciates and approves of themselves. Typically, low self-esteem is linked to negative life-consequences, whilst higher self-esteem is linked to relatively more positive life experiences.

Common factors associated with low self-esteem

  • Childhood abuse
    Individuals with experience of abuse in childhood are more likely to have low self esteem
  • Cultural or environmental expectations
    Failure to adhere to the societal expectations or values of one’s society can lower one’s self-esteem due to a decreased sense of belonging and increased feelings of guilt
  • Gender
    Research has found that men are more likely to have lower self-esteem than women
  • Abusive relationships
    Relationship abuse can disrupt one’s sense of independence and increase feelings of shame, which in turn, can decrease self-esteem levels

How to build your self esteem and where to seek support 

There are several things you can do to improve your self-esteem, which include:

  • Finding and joining a support group
    Connecting and sharing with others who are struggling can increase one's sense of belonging, as well as providing a safe space to communicate one’s feelings. Support group programs or events can be found in various settings hosted by government, non-profit organizations, or community services. You can head to Seribu Tujuan for several help options.
  • Participating in programs dedicated to increasing self-esteem
    Research has found that early childhood and adolescent intervention, such as self-esteem-based education and guidance programs, are effective in increasing one’s self-esteem.
  • Participating in a sports club or community activities
    Active participation in social groups can increase an individual’s sense of worth and belonging
  • Exercising
    Achieving progress within workouts can increase one’s confidence in their ability to complete activities. It can also encourage the development of a positive body image.
  • Practicing positive self-talk
    Research indicates that positive self-talk can increase one’s self-confidence and self-acceptance. This can also result in an increase in task performance, further encouraging the development of self-esteem.


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