Imagine you're in a job interview and you get asked about your strengths.

Would it be easy to come up with an answer? Or would you immediately start thinking of your weaknesses?

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The answers you choose may be telling you something about your current level of self-esteem.

Having healthy self-esteem is important because it impacts relationships and overall life satisfaction.

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What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how we view ourselves and our worth.

It's what determines our thoughts about ourselves, how we treat ourselves, and whether or not we like ourselves.

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It's different from confidence. Confidence is mostly related to specific skills, while self-esteem is our perspectives of ourselves as a whole. You may know that you're great at swimming, but still not like yourself very much.

Self-esteem also fluctuates based on things that happen to you, which means you can go from high to low self-esteem, or low to high.

Low and High Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem typically means that you're very critical of yourself and don't give yourself much love or appreciation.

When you have low self-esteem, you don't feel good about yourself and can therefore feel anxious or sad regularly.

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High self-esteem is characterized by feeling as though your thoughts and ideas have value, and that you are someone who deserves love and success.

When you have high self-esteem, you can easily be proud of your accomplishments and are less likely to dislike yourself for mistakes.

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If you have low self-esteem, what might you think if you did poorly on a math test?

Benefits of High Self-Esteem

Having high-self esteem can make a big difference in your life. For example, people with high self-esteem have been shown to have:

  • improved social relationships

  • higher success in work/school

  • better mental and physical health

  • fewer anti-social behaviors

And what's even better is that the benefits add up the longer you've had high self-esteem, and help you navigate through your life.

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How to Increase Self-Esteem

To be clear, having self-esteem that's too high can result in narcissism, where you feel not only like you're important and good, but more important and better than everyone else and therefore do not care much about others.

The goal should be to have a healthy level of self-esteem. This can be achieved when you:

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  • Stand up for yourself

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  • Practice positivity

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  • Recognize your strengths

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What is one self-esteem building strategy you can use in preparation for your next math test?

Take Action

Everyone experiences the effects of their self-esteem differently, and each person has a different journey to increasing their self-esteem.

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