Siju Ade


Feminism and its aggressive drive in recent times have opened our eyes to a lot of issues bordering on women, chief of which is self esteem.

How we value ourselves, our self-worth and how we perceive our value to the people around us, and by extension, the world is a great way to describe self-esteem. In the case of women, it reflects an overall subjective emotional valuation of her own worth, more because women are emotional beings.

Several studies have shown that men have higher self-esteem than women. A study by American Association of University women stated in 1991 that ‘girls lose their self-esteem on the way to adolescence’.

Little wonder why particular attention is being paid to grooming a more informed generation of highly confident women.

Girls in the adolescent ages show rugged standpoints on a variety of matters however, this changes as they mature into dating ages. They begin to soft pedal and relax on these beliefs in a bid to be more attractive to the opposite sex. They take on new interests and assume new personalities.

Thankfully, this trend is changing and it is indeed interesting to know that the next generation of women do not have to be stifled to be accepted, or in the dating scenes, lovable.

The mischaracterization of women and their worth has caused too much damage in our world. From acceptance in places of worship to the wrong beliefs that certain positions in the workplaces cannot be held by women. Sadly, the society will not take on the responsibility to undo this harm, the onus is on every woman to recognize and take their positions.

Successes or failures are hinged on ones perception of worth. Therefore, it is safe to say nothing is as important as how you feel and think about yourself.

The following highlights practical ways women can improve their self-esteem.

  1. Get a mentor. Have you seen a women whose strength and confidence you admire? Move close to them. Learn from them. Glean.

Many successful women are willing to help others navigate their paths because they know, more than anyone else, the hard-work, courage and strength that brought them this far. They also understand the importance of a support network.

  1. Become self-reliant. Little successes have a way of boosting self-esteem. Rather than call in a handy-man to fix the cable set-up or even the kitchen cabinet, roll up your sleeves! There is something about the feeling of accomplishment on little things that spur us on to achieve greater tasks.
  1. Positive thinking. This may actually be the very first step to take. It shouldn’t actually be a one-time event, the process should be a never ending one. The power of positive thinking cannot be over-emphasized. Positive thinking has been known to position or set people up for success and success, we already established is a great booster of self-esteem.

‘I am enough’. ‘I can do this’. ‘I am intelligent’.

  1. Attention to self. Feel good about yourself. In saying feel good about oneself, particular attention is required to be paid to hygiene, dressing, diet and general welfare. The effect of these is especially powerful. Being confident in your looks is another essential ingredient in attaining and maintaining a rich self-esteem.
  1. Be more assertive. Stand for what you believe in. Put you foot down on issues. An assertive person is more is more in charge of her emotions, after all, whatever happens, you were a major factor.

Be more in control of the places you visit and the people you let into your circle. Don’t give room to people that make you feel less about yourself. Be surrounded with people that know and appreciate your worth.

  1. Know your strength. Find your strength and build on it. Encouragement comes from when you excel at the things that you do well. Again, the feeling of success is powerful in building self-esteem. When this is achieved, it becomes easier to stretch and push further.

Finally, the points mentioned above is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template as some women have had their esteem severely damaged by years of abuse and neglect, requiring professional help.

A psychotherapist should be seen in such instance. A professional that will help to uncover the circumstances that led to such levels of severity and help in developing a workable plan to rejuvenation.