As a famous artist once sang, “I am beautiful, no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down."

Christina Aguilera blowing a kiss to a cheering crowd.

Beautiful is a self-esteem anthem! Many of us have belted out this song out like we were Ms. Christina Aguilera herself, but why can these words be so hard for us to truly believe?

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. It can affect your inner voice, the way you communicate with others, resiliency, and social skills.

Sometimes you might find yourself in a new environment:

  • a new job

  • a new school

  • a new state/territory

  • a new country

  • a new phase of life

These all come with new challenges. You may start doubting yourself and notice low self-esteem, like thinking poorly of yourself or struggling to handle everyday challenges.

Uno card reads:

Have no fear! There are several things you can do to help build self-esteem in a new environment so you can conquer the challenges you encounter.

1. Reaffirm Your Strengths

First, go back to basics and remember what you’re good at. Are you a phenomenal writer? Always able to make your friends laugh? Amazing at doing handstands?

Man enthusiastically stating,

Seriously! Squelch the negative thoughts about yourself and give yourself credit for the talents you have.

You can even write down a list, and you’ll be amazed at how awesome you really are. 

2. Cultivate Wholesome Connections

Positive relationships with others help lift us up and provide a safe place to go when we need help.

Depending on your new environment, you can lean on people you already know, or you may need to forge some new relationships. Consider connecting with:

  • trusted family members 

  • trusted friends

  • a mentor figure

  • a classmate

  • someone from a school/social club

  • someone from a class on a hobby

Forrest Gump waving enthusiastically.

There are potential positive relationships all around you! Just remember to pay attention to how people make you feel. Positive relationships should fill you up and make you feel good, especially when navigating the challenges of a new environment.

You can also reach out to your doctor or another healthcare professional to help you find the right strategies for you.

3. Take Care of Yourself

To feel your best, you have to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

Moira Rose saying,


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Try to notice how the actions above make you feel when you do them and after you do them. Prioritize the ones that make you feel best!

4. Treat Yourself With Kindness

When you're in a new environment, it’s easy to feel like you can’t do anything right and may never adapt.

David Rose saying,

But that’s just not true! Adjusting to a new routine, environment, or anything novel is challenging and stressful.

Self-affirmations, or saying positive things about yourself, to yourself, can reduce stress!

It's also a good idea to practice self-compassion when you're being hard on yourself. This will help you build your self-esteem and conquer your new situation.

Try It!

Lucas has just moved to a new city for an exciting job opportunity. He has never lived anywhere but in his hometown, and he's feeling nervous about his new job.

What should he do to help build his self-esteem?

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Join a running club to keep up his favorite form of exercise and meet people with similar interests.

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Establish a routine that helps him feel a sense of familiarity and allows him to eat and rest well. 

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Act confident at his new job by finding answers to his questions independently so that his colleagues will view him as capable.

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Call home frequently to stay connected to his friends and family at home.


What should he do to help build his self-esteem? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Start building up your self-esteem today!

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