UHCS provides free, confidential, one-on-one counseling sessions to students seeking services for a variety of concerns. This includes working on self-esteem and confidence. Increasing your self-esteem can be an important part of dealing with depression, anxiety, or social difficulties. It is also a worthy goal in itself!
Attending college or graduate school is an amazing opportunity to learn who you are, become more of who you'd like to be, and to build confidence and self-esteem. But it can also present huge challenges to self-esteem: you may be in a time of transition, doing work that is more difficult than ever before, and making new friends or negotiating new relationships. It is understandable that you may doubt yourself a bit! In addition, some people struggle with basic questions of whether they are a worthy person or not. This may be an on-going difficulty, and times of change or stress can make these concerns even more immediate and painful. In either case-a dip in usually higher self-esteem, or longer-term struggles with not feeling "good enough"-there are effective ways for you to make changes and to genuinely increase your self-esteem.
Healthy self-esteem is present when we have a positive, yet realistic view of ourselves and our abilities. It involves a combination of healthy pride (accepting our strengths and identities; having self-respect) and healthy humility (accepting that we are imperfect; we're still learning, and that's OK). Self-esteem allows us to know at a deep level that we are neither less valuable than others, nor more valuable than others. It means feeling equal to other people, and knowing you are equally worthy of respect, care, and love.
Self-confidence is closely related to self-esteem. It is more the external behaviors that stem from healthy self-esteem. Self-confidence particularly relates to believing you can be effective in the world, feeling able to handle situations and to achieve goals. It is a form of courage that allows you to try things you're not necessarily good at, to take appropriate risks, and to be willing to make mistakes in the service of learning and growth.
5 Tips for the Care and Feeding of Self Esteem: