Advice to improve self-esteem

Tue 03 May

Self-esteem. Self-image. Self-value. Self-confidence. Have you heard these terms before without quite considering what they mean?

They’re about our attitude towards ourselves, and form the basis of how we relate to our surroundings. 

Check in with yourself, maybe you can make some adjustments - to strengthen your own self-esteem:

Do you criticise yourself?

Which expectations do you have to yourself? Are they unreasonable? Think about it the next time you notice that you’re in contact with your inner critic, and listen to what it is saying. Are you fair to yourself? If you treat yourself like you treat a good friend, you’ll feel much better.

Do you compare yourself to others?

Is it he or she that knows everything and does everything right you’re thinking of? Think again. Can it be right that someone does EVERYTHING – absolutely EVERYTHING right?

Do you worry about what other people think about you?

Were you aware that most of us have negative automatic thoughts that sometimes strike us like a lightning bolt? And of course usually at an awkward moment. Don’t believe them – they only want to ruin it for you!

Do you feel that it’s only a question of time until you’re exposed as not good enough?

It’s often the case that we look for signals that confirm our own perceptions of ourselves. We can act as our own worst enemy, and thus reinforce the feeling of being inferior or of less value than others. It’s probably your inner critic at it again. Take it to task, and tell it how great you are.

Do you dread doing or saying something others may have an opinion of?

It’s at that point the self-critical voice really takes over and you’re completely convinced that everything is true. Take note here, try to listen and wonder about what is happening.

Do you think it is difficult to find a place in social groups?

Then that’s exactly what you must do. Dare to see others and be seen. This way you build self-confidence together. Baby steps are sufficient – one millimetre at a time.

Do you try to feel better by doing everything PERFECTLY?

This can be tiring and is quite inappropriate, as you as a student have a lot going on at the same time. Maybe choose a couple of areas you want to focus on, other areas can be added later. Have you heard of Project Perfect? (Cf. Ida Fladen in NRK -TV/2013) It’s guaranteed to be hectic, tiring and virtually impossible to achieve.

Do you avoid taking risks because you’re afraid what other people think about you?

Good self-esteem is about loving yourself and allowing yourself to feel good. Take chances that appear, dare to try and fail.

Do you think it’s difficult to say no because you’re afraid of ruining your relationships?

If you say YES when you mean NO, you’re not being honest to yourself. That’s what can ruin good relationships. Practice understanding your own needs and put the boundary where you want it to be.

Talk to someone!

And – perhaps most important of all: Talk about it! With a friend, a family member or with a psychologist/therapist on campus.

Find psychologist/therapist on your campus here...

... or book an appointment if it is your first time with us.