Self-confidence & Self-esteem

Creating a positive sense of self

“Self-confidence” is an attitude we hold about our own ability to achieve and to make good judgments. When we have healthy self-confidence, we set realistic yet positive expectations for ourselves. We know our limitations, but still have faith in our abilities even when our expectations are not met. We trust that we are able to make good decisions for ourselves and do not often feel the need to question our judgement or seek approval from others before going ahead with our plans.

At some point in our lives everyone will have moments where we do not feel confident in ourselves or our abilities. When these attitudes persist they can have a debilitating effect on our motivation, performance and sense of self.

As children move into adolescence and then adulthood, their sense of self is constantly changing. Unsure of who they are and what they want from life, young people often feel lost and question what they may be capable of.

What can cause low self-confidence?

The most common causes of low self-confidence are:

  • Unrealistic expectations and demands
  • Overly critical parents and teachers
  • Bullying and teasing by peers
  • Past experiences of failure

Sometimes however, despite all the positive encouragement they are given, children and young people still struggle with self-confidence.

Low self-confidence is not always associated with lack of ability

When people set expectations for themselves, or attempt to meet others expectations, that are unrealistic, they may feel as though they have failed or their efforts were not good enough. From an outsider’s perspective, these people are consistently achieving, often above what is necessary. Despite this, the inner perfectionist tells them that they have failed to meet expectations, and therefore what they have achieved is not good enough.

Lack of performance is not always an indicator of a person’s ability

If they believe that they are not capable of succeeding, often a child will lack the motivation to push themselves. They will tell themselves that they wouldn’t be able to do it anyway, so why should they bother. These limiting self-beliefs can often cause a child to be quiet and withdrawn. They may shy away from any opportunity which they perceive may cause them to be judged, such as speaking in front of the class or getting involved with extra-curricular activities.

Not all children with low self-confidence will behave in this manner however. Sometimes the least confident children are the loud ones, the troublemakers in the classroom. They will act as though academic performance is not important to them, as a way of protecting themselves from potential failings. Their foolish behaviour is their way of avoiding judgement from their peers and teachers when they do not meet expectations. This ensures that their performance is not taken as a reflection of their ability, but rather that they didn’t care enough to put the effort in.

This can be very frustrating for parents and teachers as they can see that the child has so much untapped potential, if only he or she would try harder. It is important to set realistic expectations for their achievement, but also to remember that the child may not share your beliefs about their ability. A lack of confidence in themselves could be holding them back from reaching their potential.

Self Esteem

“Self-esteem” is how we feel about ourselves. It is a judgement we make and the beliefs we hold about our personal worth. When we have healthy self-esteem, we perceive ourselves to be worthy of happiness, love and affection. We feel as though we are valued by others, and are deserving of their time and acceptance. When a mistake is made or we experience failure, we are still able to view ourselves positively.

Low self-esteem often stems from insecurity, a feeling that in some crucial way we are inferior to others. Physical appearance is a source of insecurity for many people, in particular weight, height, skin and hair colour. Peer pressure and bullying often contribute to the development of low self-esteem. Such negative personal attacks often leave a young person feeling rejected by their peers. This rejection is then internalised, leading them to believe that they are unworthy of others attentions.

People with low self-esteem are often:

  • Overly critical of themselves
  • Hypersensitive to perceived criticism or rejection from others
  • Dissatisfied with their achievements
  • Indecisive as they fear making mistakes

Low self-esteem can make it difficult for young people to interact socially with others. Because they view themselves in a negative light, it is often hard for them to believe that they will be liked and accepted by others. If they have had experiences with bullying or rejection in the past, they may also struggle to form close relationships because they feel unable to trust other people.

People with low self-esteem often over conform in an attempt to be accepted by others. They find it challenging to stand up for themselves and their opinions because they fear that in doing so they will be rejected. Consequently they may go along with things that they do not agree with or find uncomfortable to gain acceptance.

Some mental illnesses, such as depression and mood disorders, can contribute to the development of low self-esteem.

Interfusion Dance Studio

Interfusion Dance Studio - where students can grow in confidence and develop a passion for expressing themselves through Dance.

Location

  • East Auckland

Specialities

  • Dance
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Kereru Psychotherapy & Counselling

Are you battling with a situation you need to discuss in a supportive environment? We believe that with specialised support, children, young people and their families can discover the strength to endure the toughest of times.

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Bullying
  • Family Relationships
  • Parenting Skills
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Trauma & Grief
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AUT Millennium

We provide world-class swimming facilities and highly trained swim teachers for children of all ages learning to swim, those who are at a competitive level and everyone in-between!

Location

  • North Shore

Specialities

  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
  • Water sports & activities
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Paterson Burn Optometrists

At Paterson Burn we care about encouraging good eye health in every sense which is why we aim to be leaders in the New Zealand optics industry by following a simple principle, to focus on you and your family, providing comprehensive and advanced eye examinations and treatments.

Locations

  • Auckland
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Specialities

  • Eyesight
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  • Testing for Learning Concerns
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Little Kickers Auckland East

Little Kickers is the largest global provider of Football classes to children under 7. Little Kickers gives your child a positive introduction to sport by teaching high quality Football (Soccer) skills in a friendly, fun, pressure-free environment. With four different classes tailored specifically to the needs of children between 18 months and seven years, and 40 venues throughout New Zealand, It’s the perfect way to ignite an enthusiasm for sport that will stay with them for life.

Location

  • East Auckland

Specialities

  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Holiday Programmes
  • Indoor Sports & Activities
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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Michael Vaughan

I'm a fully Registered Psychologist with 30+ years experience working with children's emotional & behavioural development in U.K. and N.Z. My light-hearted, positive approach can help your child and your family.

Locations

  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • South Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
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Tough Love

TOUGHLOVE is a non-profit, self-help organisation that provides ongoing education and active support to families, empowering parents and young people to accept responsibility for their actions and stop destructive behaviours.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • East Auckland
  • North Shore
  • South Auckland
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anger
  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Behaviour Concerns
  • Bullying
  • Depression & Mood
  • Family Relationships
  • Parenting Skills
  • Pre-employment, Careers & Life Skills
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
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Stress Knot

With a passion for helping young people & families thrive, I offer a client centred approach to overcome emotional challenges such as anxiety, trauma & grief, depression & family relationship issues.

Location

  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Anxiety, Fears & Phobias
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
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Professional Ear Care

A friendly, professional clinic providing diagnostic assessments and solutions for your child’s ear health and hearing challenges. This private clinic allows easier access to clinical nurse specialist ear care when it is needed most.

Locations

  • Central Auckland
  • West Auckland

Specialities

  • Coordination, Motor Skills & Mobility
  • Hearing
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  • Testing for Behaviour Concerns
  • Testing for Learning Concerns
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The Performance.Net East Auckland

We tutor Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre. The ‘big idea’ of this education is to nurture and promote skills that will be the key to future success. Our aim is to develop young people who can present themselves to the world with pride and confidence.

Location

  • East Auckland

Specialities

  • Dance
  • Drama, Theatre & Musical Theatre
  • Extra-Curricular
  • Gifted & Talented
  • Self-confidence & Self-esteem
  • Social Skills
  • Under 5s Skills & Activities
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