Have you ever gone through a fun house at a carnival and passed by the distorted mirrors? You stand in front of one and the reflection is a teeny tiny upper body and huge lower half. The next one makes you have bug eyes but super small lips. You likely laugh and enjoy the silliness because you know that is not how you really look. That is not your true reflection.
Girls with a lack of confidence are looking in a distorted ‘mirror’, so to speak. One that shows only their flaws, faults, and failures. Perhaps they are actually looking in a mirror and picking apart their body features. Maybe it is their own negative thinking towards themselves that leads to feelings of worthlessness and doubt. There are many factors that may contribute to low self-esteem: negative self-talk, media messages, perceived lack of connection, and bullying are a few known ones.
For the purpose of this post I want to offer some ideas to foster positive self-esteem for your daughter or a girl you know.
Self-Esteem Boosters for Adolescent Girls:
(extracted from No Body’s Perfect by Kimberly Kirberger, 2003).
1) Get to Know Yourself: What is important to you? What makes you happy? What do you and don’t you like? Sure, you may have some flaws. Everyone Does. What positive qualities do you have that outweigh any flaws?
2) Stay True to Yourself: Now that you’ve thought about your positive qualities and have done some self-reflection, can you think of ways that you’ve let others influence you in a bad way? How can you tell what is real from fake? Staying true to yourself involves knowing who you are and staying away from the crowd, especially if the crowd is making bad decisions.
3) Be Responsible for Your Happiness: There is something I tell many of my students:You can’t change how people act, but you have complete control over your decisions. You can only change yourself. This involves being honest with yourself whether your decisions are leading to happiness or negativity.
4) Don’t Worry About What Others Think: It’s very difficult to let go of worrying, especially if you think someone thinks bad or has said something bad about you. But remember, you can only control yourself. It’s impossible to know what someone is thinking of you, so you might as well be the one to think the best about yourself!
5) Let Others Love You!: Have you noticed yourself pushing love away? For example, a friend may give you a compliment and you don’t pay attention. When someone offers you their time by listening, checking in with you, spending time with you, and showing you RESPECT (very important, girls) – they are trying to show you love. Let them love you!