• Self-esteem is not the same as self-confidence.

  • A person can have confidence but lack self-esteem.

  • We list many approaches that can assist youth to gain self-esteem.




  • refers to how a person feels about themselves and their beliefs about their own worth and value;

  • is the matrix through which a person determines their relation to themselves, to others, and to the world;

  • influences our choices and decisions;

  • makes it likely that people will take care of themselves;

  • gives them the confidence to explore their full potential;

  • develops from experiences and situations that have shaped how a person views them self.



  • is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation;

  • is to trust in oneself, and in one’s ability or aptitude to engage successfully or adequately with the world.



  • People can have very good self-esteem and yet lack in confidence.

  • A person can feel confident in some situations, yet not in others.

  • Some people are confident but have very low self-esteem. In such cases, low self-esteem can be well hidden.

  • People usually find it easier to build their self-confidence than their self-esteem. Sometimes they try to fill the emptiness with status, income, possessions, relationships, etc.



Those with higher levels of self-esteem:

  • are more positive;

  • strive towards the fulfillment of personal goals and aspirations;

  • cope with mistakes by trying again, even if they fail at first;

  • exhibit higher academic achievement;

  • are motivated to take care of themselves;

  • are open to growth experiences and meaningful relationships;

  • are tolerant of risk, quick to joy and delight;

  • are accepting and forgiving of themselves and others;

  • make good decisions about themselves which enhance their lives;

  • treat themselves with respect and take care of their health, community, and environment;



  • can hinder motivation to learn;

  • can be a challenge in developing friendships;

  • may even lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression;

  • may cause people to prop themselves up with externals such as income, status, or notoriety;

  • can have people leaning on crutches such as alcohol, drugs, etc.



When a person has healthy self-esteem they:

  • come to value themselves;

  • think of themselves as worthy partners and capable problem-solvers;

  • develop a healthy balance of liking who they are and recognize ways to grow and to develop;

  • feel that they have positive characteristics and skills to offer to other people;

  • feel they are worthy of being loved and accepted by others;

  • feel deserving of their fair share of resources like food, shelter, love, time, respect, and dignity;

  • are likely to be happy;

  • make and keep positive friends;

  • are likely to persevere in working through difficult situations that occur in relationships;

  • see challenging situations as opportunities to try something new;

  • are less likely to stay in abusive or negative situations;

  • are more likely to take care of themselves physically and emotionally;

  • are likely to persist in difficult pursuits such as education or mastering an occupation.



  • Those with inflated self-esteem based on a sense of entitlement face difficulties.

  • They come across as arrogant and are often isolated and avoided by peers.



  • Create a youth group which regards them as important and special.

  • Have them focus on others instead of themselves.

  • Assist them to gain perspective by serving the needs of others.

  • Discuss how they can take self-esteem into their own hands.

  • Use their talents in a way that makes them proud. Realize that actions always speak louder than words.

  • Discuss that negative comments on social media are not very significant.

  • Praise participants in a specific and genuine way.

  • Set up projects/programs to help participants appreciate their own improvement and growth.

  • Encourage them to present their accomplishments to the group.

  • Enable them to take on roles to help them feel important in the group.

  • Engage participants in the conversation about their interests.

  • Encourage them to talk about their favourite hobbies, sports, and other interests.

  • Discuss how to deal with adversity.

  • Acknowledge their frustrations and how to develop strategies for improvement.

  • Encourage a sense of belonging and even assign an easygoing partner to assist.

  • Inform parents of their child when he/she does something noteworthy.

  • Encourage diversity of ages, backgrounds, culture in the groups.

  • Provide the opportunity to create relationships with peers from a variety of backgrounds.

  • Enable them to feel useful and valuable by contributing to creative ideas.

  • Review how can they have an impact on other people’s lives.

  • Discuss the skills that are being sought after in the workplace and how they can learn them.

  • If you hear any negative statements suggest positive statements that they can say to replace the negative ones.

  • Discuss replacing negative words such as worried, frightened, upset, tired, bored, not, never, can’t with positive words.

  • Review perfectionism as no one is perfect.

  • Perfect performance is not normal or expected at all times.

  • Review what they can learn from failure and to view challenges as opportunities to learn.

  • Review how to cope with strong feelings such as anger, sadness, disappointment, jealousy, and frustration.

  • Encourage participants to develop their own coping techniques that work best for them.

  • Review the benefits of having healthy coping methods to deal with uncomfortable feelings.

  • Discuss how meeting challenges makes them less fearful about entering into challenging situations.

  • Encourage healthy expressions of individuality.

  • Enable them to handle the conflict between what other people want them to be interested in, and what they find interesting.

  • Discuss how they can build their own character by defining things which are especially important to them.

  • Discuss what the benefits are of working hard to meet and exceed expectation.

  • Understand the effects of expectations that are either too high or too low.

  • Listen carefully by giving them your full attention.

  • Encourage youth to do a self-assessment.

  • Avoid criticizing children by asking children to assess their own behaviour.

  • Remind them that, despite their problems, they are unique, special, and valuable. They deserve to feel good about themselves.

  • Advise them to pay attention to personal hygiene and clean clothes that make you feel good about yourself.

  • Review how a healthy diet, regular exercise and enough sleep affect their self-esteem.

  • Encourage them to do more of the things that they enjoy.

  • Help them set a challenge that they can realistically complete.

  • Discuss the things that they have been putting off and how they might tackle them.

  • Be nice to people, and do nice things for them.

  • Get others on board.

  • Advise them to tell their friends and relatives what you are going through and ask for their advice and support.

  • Advise them to avoid people and places that treat you badly or make you feel bad about yourself.

  • Note that what may be trivial to an adult may actually seem important to children.

Now that is a long list.

These topics and activities can be regularly introduced over time.

Many of the above topics can be researched and presented to the group by the participants.

What are your thoughts and comments about assisting our youth gain self-esteem?

Please forward them, please see the “How Can You Help?” section below.



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There is a guide available which assists parents and others working with youth.

The guide enables a person to be proactive in the success of a child’s future.

It contains activities to assist youth to gain critical soft skills.

They will become more resourceful and independent when they practice and gain these skills.

The guide is available from Our Future Leaders.

Request the Parent’s Guide here


What are you going to do to assist children to become our future leaders?

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

Posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Hi,
    A great article on self esteem and confidence. These two are used interchangeably but they are different.
    This article will help to understand the difference and the concept of these two.
    Thanks for sharing useful knowledge

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