The Standard


September 14 to 20 2014


Raising Your

Self Esteem

Edson Chivandikwa

Self-esteem is a significant aspect of one’s wholeness.

Teenage years are a period of the development

of a self-concept and identity formation.

Low self-esteem can cause a lot of complications

in these determinative years and even prolong into

adulthood. Self-esteem refers to the evaluation of

oneself; it is about how one feels valued, accepted and

loved by those around him or her. It is not a fixed identity

but can transform as situations change.

Causes of low self-esteem

Low self-evaluation can be a product of criticism or

ridicule by parents, siblings, friends, peers or authority

figures. On the other hand, it can emanate from

self-criticism and self-inflicted degradation. Belittling

oneself, especially in comparison with others can

erode one’s self-image. Setting unrealistic expectations

for ourselves can also have an abrasion effect on

our self-esteem if we fail to meet those expectations.

Sometimes we want to achieve unrealistic feats when

we clearly do not have the requisite qualities to match

those exploits.

Consequences of low self-esteem

Those who suffer from low esteem usually feel upset

about themselves and others, depending on who they

blame for the situation. In most cases, one’s self-care

declines and thinking narrows and focuses on the


What can be done to restore self-esteem?

First one needs to identify the triggers to low self-esteem.

These triggers may be situational (for example

the presence or absence of some people). Those who

suffer from low self-esteem need to adjust their selfimage,

especially when their expectations of themselves

are too high and unrealistic. Most significantly

they need to know themselves and their potentialities

and peg their targets realistically.

A common problem with low self-esteem people is that

they unnecessarily compare themselves with others.

This should be avoided since it is self-defeating. Instead

of comparing oneself with others, one should

concentrate on self-care: good health excellent appearance

and a healthy mind and self-assertiveness. Low

self-esteem people should use the assertive “I” to express

what you feel, think, want and see. They must

not allow themselves to be abused or demeaned; they

should boldly say no.

Remember: self-esteem is learnt within social situations;

it is not inherited. You can transform it!


for new term

As the new term starts, whether you’re a student, a teacher or a parent. you

may need some motivation to get off to a good start:

1. “Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too

busy later.” - Dana Stewart Scott

2. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change

the world.” - Nelson Mandela

3. “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to

acquire it.” - Albert Einstein

4. “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” - Victor Hugo

5. “You learn something every day if you pay attention.” - Ray LeBlond

6. “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you

educate a generation.” - Brigham Young

7. “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” -

Sydney J. Harris

8. “Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

9. “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time

to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” - Oscar Wilde

10. “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ

from the dead.” - Aristotle

11. “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a

lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you

a lesson.” - Tom Bodett

12. “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the

people who prepare for it today.” - Malcolm X

13. “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” - Edmund


14. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

- W.B. Yeats

15. “School prepares you for the real world... which also bites.” - Jim Benton

16. “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school

like I did.” - Yogi Berra

17. “What is the most important thing one learns in school? Self-esteem,

support, and friendship.” - Terry Tempest Williams

18. “Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him

how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.” -- Confucius

19. “In a school community, someone who reads a book for some secretive

purpose, other than discussing it, is strange. What was she reading for?”

- John Irving

20. “Just don’t take any class where you have to read BEOWULF.”

- Woody Allen

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