The Triangle of Self-Perseverance: Confidence, Self-Esteem and Approval

Confidence, self-esteem and approval are all tied very closely. Combined, I call this the triangle of self-perseverance.  They are interwoven and when out of balance, we can’t be the best version of ourselves. Like a science project that successfully shows cause-and-effect when elements are evenly poured, so too happens with the proper mixture of confidence, self-esteem and approval. Through building one’s confidence we see self-esteem emerge; however, the challenge is where we seek our approval.  For many teens, they look to their peers for approval and if they don’t receive the acceptance they seek, this can damage their confidence and ultimately their self-esteem. So keeping the triangle of self-perseverance in balance is not easy.

Confidence is that undefinable ability or feeling we have that tells us that we can do it.  That we are smart enough or strong enough to take something on, win or lose.  It provides us with a sense of self where we are comfortable to try something and not fear failure, but look upon it as a growth opportunity. This builds resilience in all of us which in turn squashes fear and cultivates self-esteem.

Self-esteem is how much you like who you are and how much you accept and respect yourself. Healthy self-esteem can serve much like a shield of armor against the challenges of the world.  Self-esteem will change throughout your life, so the key to positive self-esteem is to stay confident in who you are and to surround yourself with good people who give you a healthy dose of reality as well as approval.

Approval or acceptance comes in many forms from interactions with parents, teachers, coaches to friends and colleagues.  However, ultimate approval comes from a place deep within that says, “I’m ok with me. I accept me for who I am.” Getting to that place can be tough for many of us.  During the critical teen years, youth look to their peers more than anyone else for approval. They also need to see this approval reinforced at home and school by caring adults in their lives. This is how the delicate balancing act of confidence, self-esteem and approval come together.

To raise confident kids, we must reinforce their success and failures; give them room to grow and build autonomy. Through this process, confidence will ultimately blossom.  Then we must encourage them to take on challenges big or small and praise them for their successes as well understand their defeats. This is where their self-esteem will be tested. Remember, valuable life lessons come from failure. As Robert F. Kennedy said,  “Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.” Encourage them to keep going, teach them perseverance and resilience will follow.  Ultimately, they will grow strong, trust in themselves and look inward for approval.  Through this symmetry self-perseverance will ultimately be found.

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About Carol Langlois
Dr Carol is a former University Dean and Associate Provost, trained therapist, researcher, educational consultant and writer. During her training, she counseled hundreds of clients in one-on-one sessions as well as in group settings where her work was with college freshman dealing with transitional and developmental issues on campus. Her primary research focus is female self-esteem development among teens. Her published dissertation “The effects of single gender versus coeducational environments on the self-esteem development and academic competence of high school females” focused on 15 year old girls in the Bay Area where her research findings showed disturbingly low levels of self-esteem across the board. This staggering discovery has led her to further research this topic. She is working on her second book called Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image, which is a compilation of interviews with teens girls on the topic of self-esteem while offering an effective and practical system designed to RAISE (Resilience, Attitude, Independence, Self-Respect and Empowerment) teen self-esteem. In addition, she runs groups for non-profits interested in adding self-esteem training into their overall mission. carol@dr-carol.com

4 Responses to The Triangle of Self-Perseverance: Confidence, Self-Esteem and Approval

  1. A.U. Miyan says:

    Its really a healthy article… I’ll be very thankful if you are able to get some more detail on self esteem… Thanks… :)

  2. Pingback: The Fear of Failure Destroys Your Self-Esteem | Get Self Esteem Now!

  3. Susan says:

    Great post! Good reminder for even us overgrown teens posing as women! :-)

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