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We all recognize the importance of having good self-esteem. With it one can overcome many obstacles life has in front of us. Yet how do we develop it? Where does it come from? Babies are not born with a positive or negative self-esteem. Often by the time children get in school, they will have developed a sense that they are capable or incapable, confident or anxious, etc. Sometimes a person’s self–esteem is changed by events: losses in the family, bullying in school, or awards in school or sporting successes. How a person develops self-esteem is by feeling successful in overcoming life’s experiences.

Many of us have heard repeatedly: “praise the child” to develop positive self-image in others. However this really does not work. Why? Think of a time when someone praised or complimented you on something that you did not feel was up to your own standard. Those positive statements did not increase your confidence, and instead you dismissed the compliment. It is only when we truly feel good about what we have accomplished that another person’s praise feels good, because it confirms what we already believe about ourselves.

If you really want to increase other people’s self-esteem:

1. Catch them being successful,
2. Get them to comment positively on their success and then
3. Compliment them on seeing their own success.

If we want to feel good about ourselves, we will need to do the following three step process:

1. Set a goal,
2. Accomplish the goal, and
3. Pat ourselves on the back for achieving that goal.

If you are interested in developing or increasing your self-esteem, seek a counselor out to help you look at when you developed a poor sense of self-worth, and get some help at working towards being confident in yourself. 
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