There are many theories about self-esteem, but, really, the only one that matters is: yours.

What makes you feel great? Because that is your route to finding your own self esteem.

Sometimes all it takes is one success to make us believe in ourselves. What if you don’t have that success? Find it! There has to be some challenge that you could take on. Something. Redecorate your lounge by yourself, learn to change the spark plugs in your car, learn how to bake bread, write a novel, sell a short story. Don’t make it something to do with your education or your job, make it something personal!

Why do I say don’t make it about education or your job? It’s not because I don’t recognise academic achievement, or believe that gaining a university degree is anything other than a huge success, or that I don’t value careers and promotions. But. Don’t confuse academic success with personal success, for my personal opinion is that the two are completely different affairs. Why? Think of your reason for seeking academic achievement? To please your parents, or your teachers, to outdo your friends, to get into a good college? How often do you do it to just for yourself? As youths we get so caught up in pleasing everyone else, trying to be what they want us to be. If we are lucky we grow out of that as we reach adulthood, but you would be surprised how many adults are still trying to live their lives to please everyone around them rather than to please themselves. It is a tragedy.

Career success? If it was done to please you and not to impress anyone else.

Do not define yourself by your job/career, for many people make that mistake: I am a lawyer, I am a doctor, I am an office manager, I am a carpet layer. Yes, be proud of your job, whatever it is, and do the job well, whatever it is. But do not limit yourself to that job. You are a doctor, yes, a poet, yes, but you are also much more than that!

Choose something to conquer, and when you have achieved that, know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I have a black belt in RyuKyu Kempo, and when I received that I knew that there was nothing that I could not achieve. I realised that my dreams were attainable, if I just kept going. Like I say: “I’m still chasing my dream, but I’m gaining on it!”

Many people quit and never know that they were almost at the finish line. For me that would have been like quitting RyuKyu Kempo at 1st Kyu—and I would have kicked myself over it for the rest of my life.

To not try is worse than any imagined failure.

As you reach teenage years and adult years, try to live as the best person you can be, and know that you are being the best you can be. Do not condemn yourself for the times you fall down, for most of us do fall down, frequently—but we get up again, each time! And as you be the best you can be, and give life the best effort you can give, value yourself for that. Judge yourself for this and accept that judgement and not the judgement of people who seek to put you down and criticise you.

Accept only the highest value you place on yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Robyn is a writer of visionary fiction. She is also a spiritual counsellor and teacher. Born in New Zealand she currently resides in Singapore, and has been writing since she figured out that pens make marks on paper. Visit her website to read about her novels, and also to read some of her articles and channeled teachings.