Tips To Increase Your Self Esteem And Confidence

Whenever one is beset by a situation that he or she is unsure of – facing someone admired, having to perform in front of an audience, or simply talking to others – he or she is facing a goodly amount of stress. Confident people are usually able to face these situations without blinking; but the rest of us will probably melt away and try to run away from the situation.

For most people facing this kind of low self-esteem, these situations present an opportunity for them to make fools out of themselves. This is a very embarrassing prospect.

If you are one of the millions of people that would like to stop fidgeting in front of others, trying to squirrel out of such situations, and being so unsure of yourself when facing presentations, here are a few tips to set you on your way.

1. Competence is Confidence – Some organizations, like the Toastmasters, help those afraid to speak in public toughen up by stressing this credo – and it really works. One secret to confidence and self-esteem is to be able to trust what you are able to do. This comes with a lot of practice and study. Whenever you practice a given skill, you increase your own confidence in your capability to perform even in front of other people.

Before a big presentation, study up. Try to know everything about the topic before you step in front of the audience. If you have practiced way before the presentation, you will be in a better position to knock their socks off.

Practicing in front of supportive people you trust will help you get feedback on how to improve your performance.

2. Believe in Yourself – One of the reasons people are not confident in themselves is the fact that they are already convinced that they will fail even before anything happens. Never underestimate the power of the mind. If you believe you will fail, you indeed will! A better exercise would to be to believe that you can succeed. Set your mind towards succeeding and you probably will!

3. Take Criticisms, whether Good or Bad – Most people are bad at taking criticisms. Instead of taking the criticisms personally, use every comment and suggestion to make yourself better. However, you will also have to look out for some criticisms that were never meant to benefit you. Ignore them and move on.

4. Remain Calm at All Costs – Panicking never benefited anybody. If you are suddenly in a situation where you are unsure of what to do or what will happen, keep your composure. If you don’t know the answer, say so calmly. If you do not know what to do, it would not be bad to admit it. However, beneath your cool fa

Building Your Child’s Self Esteem


It’s one of those things that all parents want to provide for their children and one of those things that many feel they do not know how to do: raise a self-confident child. Self-esteem oftentimes seems like a fragile, distant thing that we all know what it is but don’t know how to develop. Your self-esteem is a compilation of how you feel about yourself. It encompasses everything from your confidence in relationships, to your body image, to your work life. So how do you foster this “thing” in your children?


We teach our children “honesty is the best policy.” This applies to how we deal with our children as much as it does expecting them to be honest with us. When it comes to your child’s self-esteem, he or she will know or be able to sense if you are not being honest. For example, if art is not your child’s top skill, don’t say that his or her drawing is the best you’ve ever seen. Your child will know it’s not, and will not believe you the next time you say something meant to be positive, no matter how honest it is. Instead, tell your child something genuine about the piece or the effort. Make non-judgmental statements such as, “You really used your imagination in making the flowers many different colors.” This simply states your observation, rather than a false statement.


Also, understand that your child and your child’s behavior are two separate things. This can be very hard to remember, particularly when your child is acting out in ways that make you crazy or that are unsafe. However, when you discipline your child for the behavior rather than the person, you can positively influence and foster self esteem. Why? If your child feels that you are mad, because of who he or she is as a person rather than for the behavior, this can negatively affect your child’s self-esteem. Using “I” statements helps with this. Say something like, “I don’t like it when you leave your toys scattered all over the floor,” which also addresses the behavior, rather than, “You are a slob,” which attacks their character.


Let your child make some decisions. Children are in a situation where everyone else is constantly telling them what to do, when to do it, where to go, and more. When children are allowed to make some choices, even if it’s something small, they learn to be self-reliant. You don’t want your children growing up feeling dependent on others for direction. Simple choices such as what to wear (you can offer two or three choices) or choosing a special lunch item will foster your child’s being able to think independently.


Encourage your children to try new things. While there’s nothing wrong with encouraging your child’s talents–this will help build self-confidence as well–it’s also important that your children learn to experiment. Trying new things helps everyone overcome fears of the unknown and helps us learn to deal with success and failure. If a child never learns to try new things, this can create problems later in life. After all, most people do not live in world where everything is the same day after day. Life is constantly changing, whether it’s a move to a new city or starting a new career. If children are experienced at trying new things, even if small, life’s bigger transitions will be much easier–such as leaving for college and starting a career.


Dominican University study: Working with animals increases self-esteem in children

Students from Dominican University of California worked with Afshin Gharib, a professor of psychology, to survey children and young teens participating in weeklong humane summer camps.

Marin Humane educators have always believed that children who learn to be kind to animals develop empathy and compassion.

“Now we have the data to prove it,” and that’s thanks to a Dominican University study, said Darlene Blackman, director of community outreach at Marin Humane.

Over the past three years, Dr. Afshin Gharib, a professor of psychology at Dominican, has been working with his students to survey children, ages 7 to 18, who participated in a weeklong humane education summer camp offered at the animal shelter’s Novato campus.

Blackman joined Gharib this week to present the study at the National Humane Education Conference in Seattle, while 19-year-old Danielle Davis, a second-year psychology major at Dominican, presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Memphis.

The study shows that working with animals not only teaches empathy toward animals and other people but it improves self-esteem.

“That’s the interesting message,” Gharib said. “The children who participated in the camp would also build self-confidence … and more internalized locus of control, meaning, they felt more in control of the paths in their lives.”

The presentations were on data collected over the past two years only, Gharib said. Overall, he and his students have worked with about 700 children in programs at the Oregon Humane Society and an animal rescue team in Iowa.

In Marin, Gharib and his students issued a survey on the first day of each camp. The test included measures of self-esteem, locus of control, attitudes toward animals and empathy toward other people. The same test was administered on the final day of camp. They were able to test 365 children.

By the end of the week, scores improved by about 5 percent for attitudes toward animals and 2 percent of increase in self-esteem; children actually showed improvement on every measure.

“What’s most impressive is that in only a weeks’ time the children showed improvement,” Gharib said. “This shows why humane education is useful, and it’s valuable to support these programs.”

The Novato nonprofit offers one-week camps for children in grades 1 through 12. The participants learn how to care for pets, participate in crafts, games and other activities designed to teach humane treatment of animals.

Each year, they are able to accommodate about 220 children in its summer programs. Registration is full already for this summer, which will see about 250 children, said Lisa Bloch, spokeswoman for Marin Humane.

Blackman, who has been working at the Marin Humane for the past 25 years said the nonprofit leaders are excited about the results and hope to expand their summer and after-school humane education programs.

“Our programs are making a difference for kids,” she said, noting that the data is validating.

As for Davis, she’s excited to be able travel and to share her work.

“I was able to learn more about what makes humans empathetic and the role that animals can play in that process,” she said. “Fortunately, our research yielded positive results.”


Adrian RodriguezAdrian Rodriguez covers Mill Valley, Belvedere, Tiburon, Corte Madera and Larkspur for the Marin IJ. He also writes the weekly business column Movers & Shakers, which appears in Friday’s paper. Reach the author at or follow Adrian on Twitter: @adrianrrodri. Reach the author at .