Previously Ottawa Holistic Wellness
9 Practical Ways To Help Low Self-esteem and Lack of Confidence in Young People

9 Practical Ways To Help Low Self-esteem and Lack of Confidence in Young People

So many young people these days suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.

The pressure especially from peers to conform, and fit in is enormous. The pace of life is increasing all the time, they are expected to be instantly contactable at all times and they are becoming less and less present and grounded in the real world.

The lack of confidence and low self esteem creates an inability to stand up for themselves and may trigger bullying and isolation. They become plagued by fear and anxiety, feel unloved and unlovable, undeserving and inadequate. This can lead to depression, panic attacks, and a withdrawing or avoidance of social interaction.

It can also result in a lack of achievement due to an inner belief that it is better not to try than to try and not succeed.

There can be many reasons for this lack of confidence and low self-esteem, some examples are:

  • Failing to achieve parental expectation or standards
  • Not meeting peer expectations or standards
  • Being on the receiving end of other people’s stress or distress
  • Parents who fight, or who are separating or separated
  • Physical and / or emotional neglect or abuse in the home or outside
  • A feeling of being unsupported, a lack of interest, affection, love, praise or reassurance
  • Belonging to a group that other people are prejudiced against or being the odd one out

Often this low self-esteem and lack of confidence is formulated in childhood. It is the result of a child’s perspective of the world and those around us and can affect the whole of our lives unless we work to bring about a change.

Ways to improve low self-esteem and confidence

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as just telling the person they are great and giving positive feedback. In fact, that seems to have the opposite effect.

As a parent, it is helpful to ensure that your child feels supported;

  • Spend the time to listen to them, support them in their life challenges.
  • Make sure to give them a hug or show affection every day.
  • Acknowledge their efforts, even if they do not succeed and avoid the ‘could do better’ attitude.
  • Encourage them to find the things they are good at and support them in that field. We cannot all be hockey players or mathematicians!  Perhaps your child is good at art, or music.
  • Encourage them to write a journal and then to look at the good things and achievements for that day.
  • Try to be non-judgemental about mistakes your child makes, discuss these mistakes with the perspective that although it may not have been a wise choice it is a positive experience and a great learning opportunity. Perhaps discuss some of your own not so wise choices and look at how they have positively impacted your life.
  • Create the attitude that it is okay to be human, none of us is perfect. Display this attitude when talking about yourself.
  • Perhaps your child would consider enrolling in a martial art such as karate or aikido
  • Question their negative view of themselves and the messages they are receiving – why do they think that / why does it matter what peers say / think.

Outside support

We cannot do everything alone; sometimes we need a little help.

There are a number of healing modalities that can be beneficial in improving self-esteem and confidence and in bringing about a change in how we view ourselves and the world.

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnosis works with our subconscious to shift our views and beliefs.  It can provide tools to be used at times we are feeling vulnerable, depressed or anxious.

It can also help to release emotional baggage that we may be carrying.

Counselling and Psychotherapy

Talk therapy can be extremely helpful. The opportunity to work with a non-judgemental person outside of our immediate family and social group, they are non-biased and independent. They can bring a different perspective on our issues, and help us develop coping strategies.

Reiki / chakra balancing

Energy work will assist the body in better balance. It can help to release negative emotions and generate more self-love and self-worth. In turn, this leads to an increased confidence.

When we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and accept that we are a beautiful person despite that weakness and areas that need work then we have less need for acceptance from others.

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This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.