With a healthy self-esteem, you’ll feel happier, enjoy better relationships and be more likely to achieve your goals.

Having a low self-esteem is not cool and can negatively affect your life. But, let’s face it – sometimes the way you feel about yourself can take a real knock. Rebecca Mamabolo, from loveLife’s call centre, describes self-esteem as how you view yourself: “A high self-esteem means you believe in yourself and value yourself, while a low self-esteem means you don’t.”

The problem with low self-esteem is that it can lead you to doing negative things, like taking drugs or having unprotected sex. “If your self-esteem is low, you won’t care so much about taking good care of yourself by exercising and eating healthily either,” says Mamabolo. “With a low self-esteem, you’re also more likely to get into abusive relationships, which can leave you feeling lonely and sad. You’re also less likely to leave a cheating partner who could give you HIV.”

Mamabolo adds that having a low self-esteem may cause you to choose the wrong career because you don’t trust your own decisions, and feel it’s better to just follow whatever course, diploma or degree your friends are doing. “It’s also harder for you to achieve your goals if you don’t feel good about yourself,” she says. So, remember to respect yourself so others can do the same!

3 steps to boost your self-esteem:

  1. Be confident about your background. Whether you come from a poor or rich family, be proud of where you come from. But remember: you’re not defined by your zip code. Only YOU have the power to dictate where you go in life.
  2. Surround yourself with positive, loving people who treat you with the respect you deserve. If you hang around people who are always negative and put you down, you’ll start believing what they say and this could dent your precious self-esteem.
  3. Everyone has potential. Just because you struggle with Maths or Science, doesn’t mean there is nothing you’re good at. There will always be something that’ll make you shine. Think about your positive qualities if you want to raise your self-esteem. Write a list of 20 things you like about yourself (your friends and family can add to the list too). Look at the list often, especially when you need a boost. Love life and Make YOUR Move to be the best you can be.