Updated: Sep 26, 2019
“Belonging starts with self acceptance. Believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic.” - Brene’ Brown
The feeling of worthlessness is common in teens and adolescents. Low self-esteem impacts many areas of life including friendships, family relationships, and self care. It can lead to substance abuse and mental health issues as well. Increased use of social media, a society that focuses on appearance, and the pressure to succeed in school and sports cause consistent pressure to look and perform better.
According to the study Real Girls, Real Pressure: National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, and in relationships with family and friends. This belief can fuel negative self-talk and lead to teens and adolescents engaging in self-defeating behaviors. This might show up as substance use, rebellious behaviors, seeking affirmation through social media, relationship issues, body image problems, and in many other ways.
By looking at the lies that teens and adolescents tell themselves and teaching them to replace these lies with truths, teens can begin to feel empowered and take ownership of their choices. Studying their unique personality type and better understanding their needs and how they show up in relationships can also be a powerful step towards self-acceptance.
Counseling can help teenagers and adolescents navigate the many challenges they face, including the feelings of worthlessness. They will learn the importance of boundaries, come to recognize the self-defeating talk and behaviors they engage in, and start to replace unhealthy patterns with those that honor themselves and others.
In the counseling environment, teens and adolescents will become more comfortable with showing up as their authentic selves. They will be listened to with empathy and accepted in a non-judgmental environment. They will learn and develop new friendship skills and explore coping strategies for the challenges they face. They will learn to appreciate what makes them unique and come to believe that they are enough.