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Self Esteem

A student performs significantly better when a student feels good about herself or himself. But unlike schools, higher education institutions do not focus as much on positive nurturing to boost a student’s self confidence and self esteem. A student should be aware of this and not let the reduced positive nurturing lead to loss of self confidence or self esteem.

Everyone needs to work on their self esteem

If you feel you have an issue with self esteem remember it is not unusual and many students have this issue for different reasons. Confronting the issue though and getting past it will help you perform better and succeed more.

Although educational institutions correctly treat all students as equal the fact is that each student is unique. This makes the self perception of the student very important as it has a direct impact on the academic performance and the social life of the student. A student is a learner waiting to acquire skills and discover the talents that lie in the student. And therefore it is quite possible that a student does not feel there is much to feel positive about when starting their higher education.

It is quite common for students to have undue feelings of fear, anxiety and apprehension.


We all have something to feel positive about

But there are reasons why a student should have a positive outlook as well. A student should have broad awareness of the student’s strengths and resources.

Self esteem is built when you feel in charge and take responsibility for your responses to situations irrespective of the outcome. If an outcome is not favourable it matters less what other people say, it matters more what you say to yourself. If you take responsibility and judge the outcomes yourself, then others will not be able to damage yourself esteem.


Success is not about winning, it is about being able to overcome challenges

Make sure you are able to focus on positives. Think of times when you have been successful. Take care though, that success is not really about winning, getting a medal or becoming rich. We all are successful at many things but choose not to think much of them. Think of successes at doing things that seemed challenging but later you could learn them. Like say riding a bicycle. Each person would have some such achievements to remember.


A student is young and will learn a lot with time

If you catch yourself talking negative things to yourself often, such as I am not very smart, or I can’t dance or I am not good at talking with people don’t let it make you feel bad about yourself. Instead focus on the benefits of a frank assessment of yourself. Remember you are starting in your life and you can learn these things. Accept yourself the way you are and then act upon making the changes you want to see happen. If others around you put you down it is best to ignore them, letting them get to you is what will encourage them.


You are not alone as you build yourself esteem

Remember students are never alone. All students will have fellow students they can reach out to. Fellow students may be faced with a similar situation and can help one another overcome feelings of alienation or inadequacy.

Self esteem goes hand in hand with personal and social responsibility. If you are able to take personal and social responsibilities self esteem will build naturally.

We all have strengths and we all have access to resources. Once we have broad awareness of our strengths we will be able to cope with situations and be self confident. Remember strengths are about having good qualities, it is not a competitive strength that is important. If you are honest that is a strength if you have a natural ability to understand others it is a strength.

Avoid running down others. That is never a solution. It only makes you more vulnerable to the actions of those who run you down.


Get motivated and act

Self esteem will also build when you are motivated about something. For that you need to build a vision and plan what it is that you want to do. It is more important to choose what you would really enjoy doing and ignore perceived limiting factors. That way if there is a limiting factor that emerges you will have the will to take it on and overcome it.

Once you have success in achieving goals that are challenging, yet realistic, it will help you know for sure that once you decide you are able to do what you want to do. After meeting the first few goals, you will soon start being able to visualize you have already met the goals even as you are working towards them, this will give you momentum and make you more likely to succeed in achieving the next goals.

Self esteem is built by taking action. If you will act, things will start to change. Everything may not go as per plan but if your respond to how things develop you will be able to make corrections and sustain your self confidence for the rest of your life.



Sharing of positive comments among students helps build a sense of worth, nurtures a feeling of belonging and develops trust.

Groups of students can have fun time together where people can open up by answering questions such as:

What is your best way to spend a holiday.

What would I do if I had all the knowledge in the world.

What would I do if I had all the money in the world.

Students can also reflect and share significant aspects of their life to others. They can share what they believe are positive personal qualities, values, hopes and dreams. Observing other students and noting their positive qualities and abilities will help one recognize one’s own strengths better.