Self EsteemSelf-esteem is about how much you feel valued as a person and how much you value yourself. It includes thoughts, feelings and expectations you have about yourself. Self-esteem can have an effect on how you feel and behave, so it’s important to work on viewing yourself in a positive light. However, sometimes, you may find yourself viewing yourself negatively. This is completely normal, but it is important to try to overcome those negative thoughts.
Keep reading for more information about self-esteem and how you can keep yours high.

How to maintain self-esteem

  • Stay positive! When something happens that challenges your self-esteem, remember that making mistakes and being imperfect are part of being human! Remind yourself that nobody’s perfect, and there are plenty of good things about yourself.
  • Set goals. If there are things about yourself that you want to and can change, set realistic goals and start slowly working towards them. Knowing that you’re actively working towards something you want is a great confidence-booster, and you’ll feel even better about yourself when you reach your goal!
  • Accept what you can’t change. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself that you can’t realistically change, work on accepting it. We all have “flaws.” Realize that you’re not defined by them, and that you can still be an amazing person.
  • Compliment yourself! If you’re having a bad self-esteem day, try writing down three things you really like about yourself. It might be hard at first, but you’re sure to feel a lot more confident when you’re done.
  • Be healthy. Exercising and eating a balanced diet isn’t just good for you, but it can make you feel good, too. When you treat your body right, it can be a reminder that you and your body deserve to be treated with care.

The effects of low self-esteem

When you have a negative view of who you are and your worth as a person, that’s called low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can have an impact on various areas of your life and can lead to some pretty serious issues, like depression or drug use.
If you fear low self-esteem may becoming a more serious issue, talk to a trusted adult or check out the resources on our ‘Get Help’ page.

Important Resources

If you’re struggling with low self-esteem or related issues, please check out these resources.

  • TEENLINE Confidential helpline that’s operated by teens, for teens. Call by phone, at 310-855-4673 or 800-852-8336, text “TEEN” to 839863, or visit their message board at
  • 1-800-DON’T-CUT Run by the S.AF.E. Alternatives treatment program, this hotline provides help and information for those who may be struggling with self injury. For more information, visit
  • The Self Injury Foundation’s 24-hr Crisis Hotline 1-800-334-HELP
  • The National Eating Disorder Association The country’s leading advocacy group for those affected by eating disorders offers both a confidential, toll free helpline (1-800-931-2237) and a free online support chat. For more information, visit