Self-Esteem Issues in Adolescents

Bewildered mind drifting in the ocean of ideas, changes, concepts, and hormones’ teen years are largely treasure trove of these experiences.

Self-Esteem Issues in Adolescents: Teenage girl hiding behind a teddy.

Our entire childhood feels like a fantasy movie set up in a far off distant wonderland. Each of us being the lead character of our own stories, we build this speculation up in our minds that our wish is a command for others. This is the time in our childhood when absolutely everything seems achievable. I used to think that I for one could be the person to start a colony on Mars because why not?  

Self-Esteem Issues: The Reality Check

Just as we enter teenage it feels like somebody just unplugged the wires and you are thrown out in the ‘real’ world. Everything around us changes right from the physical appearance to the constant deliberation of self-analysis. Sudden exposure to this horrific experience is what teenage looks like. This reminds me of a certain verse from the theme song of the famous sit-com, Friends (So no one told you life was gonna be this way!).

Lack of self-esteem is a serious issue in teenagers which is very often ignored by the society in general. The reasons behind it may vary in every case. But the scenarios where such issues are instigated tend to be more or less similar. Most of the families at some point have a discussion where the question ‘Who we want to be?’ is raised. But due to the way we are conditioned, the boundary of this question limits itself only to the career perspective of our lives.

The concept of ‘embracing yourself’ the way you are or rather the way you want to be is still alien to not only teenagers but most of the people around us. Since the beginning, we are trained to mold ourselves as per the societal norms. 

Here we almost disregard a crucial fact that as a child who is seeing a completely new aspects of life needs time to process it. They need a warm environment to sink in but instead, they are forced to fit in anyways. The approach towards teenagers needs to be changed. If we keep molding ourselves based on the standards that were set decades ago there’ll be no possible way to bring any kind of modification. We need to break the existing frameworks to construct our own safe spaces. They need someone to whom they can speak their heart out. We can initiate conversations and just watch them flow.

Self-Esteem Issues in Adolescents: Lonely teenager.

Understanding The Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

People often misinterpret the concepts of self-esteem and self-confidence. They might seem to have the same meaning but that’s not the case.

Self-confidence is the faith or assurance that one has for their specific abilities, talent, or capability to perform a certain task. The amount of self-confidence in a person might vary in different scenarios.

While self-esteem largely speaks about how we feel about ourselves. This includes emotions, influence of our peers, our approach, the way we interact, and even our perception about life. 

A person might have decent self-esteem and yet face issues like lack of self-confidence whilst it can also be the other way around.

Similarly, the concept of self-fulfillment needs to be explained to everyone. Every human has ambitions and goals, first of all, we need to start embracing our goals. We need to make sure that society or peers shouldn’t be the ones influencing our aims. The moment when you achieve your goal despite all the obstacles is when the worth of self-fulfillment shows. Prioritizing yourself and your satisfaction is necessary. 

Apart from the lack of self-esteem teenagers face other issues like body image, academic stress, domestic conflicts, bullying, even financial conflicts and it goes on.

Some of these issues are solid reasons for the constant decrease in self-esteem.  

Self-Esteem Issues in Adolescents: School girls sitting on benches.


After a lot of effort, we’ve now begun to acknowledge mental health as a legitimate issue. Having conversations about emotions is still in itself a taboo. Every age group tackles its own set of problems, so what separates teenagers from others? For teens sometimes life might be like some clutter of issues, expectations, failure, responsibility, and whatnot. The hunger for maintaining a social image, gaining popularity, and basically doing everything ‘right’ is constantly burning in them. But the image or persona they choose for themselves largely depends upon the opinions of people around them.

This is the time they make new friends, each possessing their unique view of the world. Whilst standing in others field of vision, teens often tend to lose their perception towards the world. 

First of all, talk to them about their feelings. Seldom we address the fact that even they have issues and issues that are equally serious to the issues adults face. There is always this constant need for validation. At times when that mark of approval goes missing, the self-doubt function is instantly activated. It invades your brain with the entire chain of thoughts. The fear of rejection rises and tackling it becomes more and more difficult. Even the thought of people conveniently setting you aside bring nightmares. Amid this carnival of events, they also have to make decisions that determine their entire future.

Needless to say, all of this is terrorizing. Each one of us has experienced this first hand, least you could do is offer the teenagers a helping hand they seek for. Make them feel confident about themselves.

Every so often just for the sake of getting that acceptance, they choose to blend in the group. In such cases, the person’s distinctiveness is at stake. This largely affects their personality and self-esteem. It even makes them question their aspirations and dreams. Teenage is a graveyard to numerous thoughts and ideologies, just because they were supposedly ‘unrealistic/unreasonable’. 

Self-Esteem Issues in Adolescents: Mom loving her daughter.

We need to know the ways to accept ourselves. We often tend to teach the teenagers what I call “The Art of Denial.” If we don’t get to know ourselves there won’t be a scope for improvement. The most essential thing to comprehend is that ill-treating yourself is NOT going to make you more likable or significant in the eyes of others. Respect for oneself is the aim that needs to be fulfilled.

“Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Harper lee

Swara is currently an intern via Escribo. You may reach out to her through Instagram

P.S. Also read our article on Why Is Self-Care An Absolute Important?

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