by Ipinnaiye Opeyemi Isaiah
Published on: Feb 22, 2006
Type: Opinions

Young people have suffered from various set backs because they lack self-esteem. Self-esteem is a very vital ingredient in achieving success and greatness in life.
Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. It is based on the value you place on yourself; the job you do; your achievements; how you think others see you; your purpose in life; your potential for success; your strengths and weaknesses; as well as, your social status and independence.
Young people with high self-esteem are more likely to believe in themselves, have a sense of importance and self-respect. Self-esteem affects how you will approach new tasks or challenges and how you interact with others.
It plays an important role in every aspect of life. For example, when choosing a career; you need to have confidence in yourself: the basic fact is that there are no easy courses; but with determination, hard work and goal setting, you are sure of performing excellently, irrespective of the challenges you encounter.
Teenagers with low self-esteem may avoid challenging activities, or may give up quickly, quit or cheat when things are not going well for them. A child with low self esteem may also be a bully, bossy, have a low level of self control, and may have difficulty in interacting with people.
Rick Pitino, in his book, “Success is a Choice” described people with low self-esteem as often unfocused and easily frustrated. He said they tend to be under achievers, lack discipline and have poor organizational skills; they find it difficult to finish things, have a sense of discontent, and exhibit sensitivity to criticism, or envy of others.
As a student, you can read till day break (TDB), but if you do not have sense of trust and confidence in what you are studying, the time spent in reading will be counter productive. Self esteem is vital for achievement. You must not only feel good about yourself, but also feel like you can perform and can accomplish great things.
Having self-esteem is not basically related to your good looks, height, or the social and economic status of your family, but it is accepting your faults, and emphasizing your good traits.
Parents can always help to build the self-esteem of their children by spending a lot of time with them, especially doing activities that they enjoy. Children can be allowed to be part of the decision-making process that affects them; this will help them to learn responsibility and feel like their parents trust them.
Parents should learn to praise their children and pay attention to them, teaching them how to manage success. The children too should appreciate their parents’ commendation. When children become adolescents, their self esteem drops because of the physical, mental and social events attached to this stage of development. Parents can help at this time by making sure that they understand and are prepared for all the changes their children are passing through.
The way you feel about yourself has a huge effect on the way you treat yourself and others. It also affects the kind of choices we make. Here are some things you can do to protect or reinforce your self-esteem:

1.Spend time with people who like you and care about you.
2.Ignore people who let you down or treat you badly.
3.Do things that you enjoy and are good at.
4.Reward yourself for your success.
5.Develop your talents.
6.Be your own best friend - treat yourself well and do things that are good for you.
7.Make good choices for yourself and do not allow others to make your choices for you.
8.Always do that you believe is right.
9.Be true to yourself and your values.
10.Set goals and work to achieve them.

If you assume responsibility for improving your life, learning to control yourself and putting time and effort into good causes, you will like yourself better and others will admire you. A good student feels responsible for doing well, while an unserious student blames teachers, the school or the test.
Building self-esteem is a necessary life building skill, which will help young people resist peer pressure and develop positive attributes.

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