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What We Think of Ourselves

Let’s explore the first component of self-esteem, what we think of ourselves. Let me ask you a question here, what do you believe your teen thinks of themselves? What words have you heard come out of your teen’s mouth when they are either very happy or frustrated? Are they saying things that are encouraging or discouraging; because what they believe about themselves comes from both their heart and their mind—their heart in the sense of emotions and feelings. Now, depending on the intensity of those feelings (either good or bad) those feelings get transferred to their mind and then they are formed into words which come out of their mouths—reinforcing the concept that as a person THINKS of themselves, that’s what they believe they ARE and will act accordingly which reveals if they have a high value of themselves or a low value which can equate to a high level of self-esteem or a low one. Now, on a side-note here, if someone has a high level of self-esteem, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are over-confident or cocky, it means that they have a high level of respect for themselves, a high self-worth or a high value of their life and therefore they expect to give the best of themselves. The same goes for one with a low self-esteem, this doesn’t mean humble or sacrificial, it means a low self-worth, a low value of their life as a human being. Now this first component, what we think of ourselves, dictates whether your teen has a high or low self-esteem based on their opinion of themselves. What your teen puts onto their self-esteem scale through their thoughts, emotions and actions will reinforce this.

What Other People Think About Us

Now let’s explore the second component of self-esteem what other people think about us. Now here’s my next question for you…what do you hear other people say about your teen? You know, when you’re hanging out with your family, your friends or even your teen’s teachers and their friends. What are people saying about your teen, are their words encouraging or discouraging? Now, with this one, I’d like to take it a step further, what do YOU say about your teen? What do you say about your teen especially at peak states such as when you are happy with them or frustrated? What words come out of your mouth and fall onto their self-esteem weighing scale? Remember, your words are powerful! With your words you have the ability to build up your teen or tear them down.

Now let’s take a closer look at this point. I’d like you to think about something specific that recently happened where your teen had a great accomplishment. Perhaps it was athletically or academically, or even socially; you know, something where your teen received some sort of recognition for their ability. Maybe it was Most Valuable Team Player, or they got an “A” in one of their classes or they did something kind for someone. When you found out about it, what did you do or say to your teen? Did you stop what you were doing and give them your undivided attention and even go as far as to call in other family members or friends into the conversation? Did you listen to your teen as they described the challenges they faced and overcame during their accomplishment? Did you tell your teen how proud you were of them? If this is how you handled your teen’s last accomplishment, you are depositing a high value onto their self-esteem scale. On the other hand, if you can’t remember a recent conversation with your teen where you were praising their accomplishments; this would be a good time to start. You see, if you are not one of the biggest champions in your teen’s corner of life, they will look for someone or something else to fill that role.


  • RM/IU (Respect Most/Improve Upon) Technique

    So far we’ve covered what self-esteem is and isn’t, now let’s move to a step-by-step technique that will help you improve your teen’s self-esteem called the RM/IU technique. The RM/IU technique stands for Respect Most and Improve Upon. Over years of conducting corporate training seminars, I’ve implemented this technique and here’s how it works. First you think about things you respect most about your teen, hence the RM part of the equation, then you think about what areas they could improve upon, hence the IU technique. In just a moment I’ll walk you through the process of how to do this for maximum results. First though, if you’re in a position right now to write your answers down that would be great, as you’ll create a list to refer back to and build on; otherwise, you can listen along and picture your answers while I ask you some questions. If you need to “pause” this program to ponder or write, that’s fine…take the time you need. Now…I’m going to ask you some questions, then make some suggestions and then I’ll give you a moment to reflect on your answers.

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