‘Confidence in one’s self, abilities, and self respect’.
A simple definition to a seemingly complex word. Self esteem can have several definitions depending on who you ask. For me, the meaning of self esteem is how you feel about yourself overall.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always had the best self esteem, growing up and being surrounded by social media where everyone tries to look perfect all the time can really mess with a person's head, and it certainly did with mine. I was convinced that if I looked like how these certain Instagram girls did, or the popular girls at my school I’d feel better about myself. I tried to make sure I was on top of social media trends.
When I was a junior in high school Snapchat had just come out it was the biggest thing that everyone in my school literally everyone was talking about it. So naturally I downloaded Snapchat just because all my friends had it. I also straightened my hair literally every day of highschool up until my senior year, because that’s what all the cool girls did. I also got blonde highlights in my hair because every other girl did too. I ended up getting Instagram when it was brand new as well and used all of the filters and made dumb posts like everyone else. I was a robot just following the trends. I thought that because I had done all of these things I was going to have an amazing amounts of self esteem.
I’m sure you already know that it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. It damaged my self esteem and it took a long time to build it back up to a positive and confident type of place. I was deeply unhappy, and I was surrounding myself with people that didn’t care about the same type of things I did. I was just doing what I thought I needed to do to be happy like all these people on social media and people I knew in my actual life.
Going into this young adult phase of my life of being in my twenties, I’ve realized that finding self esteem in a world of negativity and noise can be difficult but it is possible. I wouldn’t say I’m master at figuring out how to improve my self esteem, but I am well on my way into a better self esteem space so to speak.
To start off, I unfollowed a lot of accounts that I felt like weren’t going to give me the type of positivity I was searching for and went from there.
I followed a lot of accounts that I think spread light, love, inspiration, and positivity. Most of them are influencers, I know it may seem contradicting right? But these ladies that I follow are total girl bosses and it’s pretty much my favorite thing. I found most of them from Youtube, and oddly enough podcasts. They are the type of ladies that are inspiring and are always posting things about body positivity, and loving themselves. Which I think are amazing ways to build up self esteem.
Outside of social media, I’m still working on figuring that all out. I started dressing in clothes that I found comfortable and made me feel good in my own skin, I started embracing my wavy hair and stopped attacking it with heat and products unless it was absolutely necessary.
Currently, I’m still in the process of surrounding myself with people who are happy for me and my successes even if they’re just tiny achievements it still means the world that they’re excited for me. Cutting off the negativity can be difficult, especially if the negativity is coming from a trusted friend. But once they’re out of your life it’s a freeing experience and it definitely helps increase self esteem.
I think the big secret is, nobody truly has it all together when it comes to having self esteem. There are always going to be up and downs, when it comes to finding self esteem but eventually it’ll all come together.