How To Build Confidence And Self Esteem In A Teenager?

As a parent, you want your teenager to feel confident and self-assured. However, how to build confidence and self esteem in a teenager can be a challenging task, especially during the teenage years.

The teenage years are a time of great change, and they have to face situations that challenge their self-beliefs. During this period, a teen’s brain goes through a process of reorganisation that can leave both parents and teens feeling bewildered, drained, and perplexed.

This guide will explore practical strategies and tools parents can use to help their teenagers develop a positive self-image and build self-esteem.

Knowing Yourself with SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats)

To boost your teenager’s self-esteem, use SWOT analysis to help your teenager gain a better understanding of themselves.

SWOT is a strategic planning and management technique commonly used in business. However, it is also useful for personal development. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


  • Questions:
    1. What are the teenager’s talents or skills?
    2. What positive traits do others often point out about the teenager?
    3. What achievements is the teenager proud of?
  • Examples:
    1. The teenager might be good at sports, arts, or academics.
    2. Others might often compliment the teenager’s kindness or creativity.
    3. The teenager might have won awards or competitions.


  • Questions:
    1. What are the areas the teenager struggles with?
    2. What constructive criticism does the teenager often receive?
    3. Are there any negative habits the teenager wants to change?
  • Examples:
    1. The teenager might struggle with public speaking or time management.
    2. Teachers or peers might suggest the teenager needs to be more organised.
    3. The teenager might want to reduce procrastination or improve study habits.


  • Questions:
    1. What resources or people could help the teenager improve their self-esteem?
    2. Are there upcoming events or activities that could boost the teenager’s confidence?
    3. Can the teenager turn their weaknesses into opportunities for growth?
  • Examples:
    1. The teenager could join clubs, find mentors, or use online resources to build self-esteem.
    2. Participating in a school play or sports event could boost the teenager’s confidence.
    3. The teenager could take a public speaking course to overcome their fear and improve their skills.


  • Questions:
    1. What external factors could harm the teenager’s self-esteem?
    2. Are there any negative influences the teenager should avoid?
    3. What challenges could the teenager face in their journey to build self-esteem?
  • Examples:
    1. Cyberbullying or peer pressure could harm the teenager’s self-esteem.
    2. Teenagers should avoid negative influences like toxic friends or harmful media content.
    3. The teenager might face challenges like setbacks, failures, or negative feedback.

By identifying these aspects, you can help your child focus on their strengths, work on areas that need improvement, seize growth opportunities, and navigate potential threats to their self-esteem.

Applying Self-esteem Sentence Completion to yourself

There are common signs that may indicate low self-esteem. Recognising these signs is the first step towards building a healthier self-image and achieving greater self-confidence.

Figure out how to make your shy child confident.

Applying Self-esteem Sentence Completion to yourself

Here are some typical signs of poor self-esteem:

  • Think others are better than you.
  • Feel bad for what you do.
  • Say sorry a lot.
  • Think everything is your fault.
  • Don’t like to be with people.
  • Get mad when someone says something bad about you.
  • Feel unhappy, scared, ashamed, mad, or not good enough.

As a parent, you can create a safe and non-judgmental space for your children, encouraging them to open communication, actively listen, and be ready to provide guidance or assistance if needed. An effective strategy is to engage your teenager in completing sentences that focus on positive self-reflection, like engaging and completing this worksheet:

• I am so happy now because________________________
• A goal I’ve always had is ___________________________
• I frequently anticipate ______________________________
• I derive power from ________________________________
• I take secret pleasure in ____________________________
• An accomplishment of mine today _______________________
• I enjoyed myself today when __________________________
• I felt a sense of pride when ________________________
• My achievement for today ____________________________
• I had a positive interaction with this individual _____________
• An act of kindness I did ____________________________
• I felt positive about myself when _______________________
• The interesting aspect of today was __________________

For just 5 minutes, 2-3 times a week, to complete the worksheet, your child can explore their thoughts and feelings. By doing so, they can better understand their strengths and capabilities. Over time, completing the worksheet regularly can lead to noticeable positive changes in their responses, an effective way to help a teenager with low self-esteem.

Creating a Journal to Build Self-esteem and Confidence in Teens

Keeping a self-esteem journal is a great way to build self-confidence in teenagers, build self-esteem, and cultivate a positive outlook. This journal includes three sentence completion prompts for each day of the week, from Monday to Sunday.

By following these prompts, teens can reflect on their accomplishments, identify positive traits and characteristics, and recognise the good things in their lives. For example:


  • One thing I did great at today was getting a high mark on my math test.
  • Today I played basketball with my friends, and I’m so happy.
  • I admire how I stood up for my beliefs during a class discussion.


  • Today, I did the household chores.
  • I had a nice time when I went for a walk with my dog.
  • I help an old man cross the street.


  • I did great at making a new friend in my English class today.
  • Today, I was trying a new cake recipe.
  • I was patient when listening to my younger sister’s story.

Brainstorming Affirmations to Encourage Positive Self-Talk

Brainstorming affirmations to encourage positive self-talk is a technique to help teenagers build their confidence and self-esteem. Affirmations are positive statements that reinforce one’s beliefs or challenge negative thoughts. They can help improve self-awareness in teenagers, cope with stress, and focus on their strengths and goals.

To create effective affirmations, follow these tips:

  • Include emotions and feelings that the situation or goal would evoke.
  • Repeat the affirmations daily, preferably in the morning and at night, and say them with conviction and enthusiasm.

Using these tips, you can create affirmations that reflect your personal goals and aspirations.

By repeating these affirmations daily, you can reinforce positive self-talk and build self-esteem. For example:

Goal: To develop my public speaking abilities.


  • I am confident and articulate when speaking in front of others.
  • I am a skilled and engaging presenter.
  • I am at ease and relaxed when giving a speech.

Goal: To be more assertive in my relationships.


  • I am comfortable expressing my needs and boundaries.
  • I am assertive and respectful in my interactions with others.
  • I am confident in advocating for myself and my rights.

Questioning Yourself to Learn Deeply about Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Encouraging teenagers to ask themselves questions is a great way to build their confidence and self-esteem. These questions should help them reflect on their strengths, values, goals, and emotions, which in turn can boost their self-esteem and facilitate self-awareness, positive thinking, and personal growth.

Questioning Yourself to Learn Deeply about Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

There are many types of questions you can ask yourself, such as:

Self-exploration questions:

Explore your interests, talents, strengths, values, goals, and traits with these questions and examples that help you identify what makes you happy and satisfied:

  • What are you most proud of?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What do you value most?
  • What are you passionate about?

Self-affirmation questions:

These questions can help you feel better about yourself by reminding you of all the great things you can do and how awesome you are. They can improve your self-confidence and self-esteem, so give them a try!

  • What do you do well?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What positive feedback have you received lately?
  • What are some compliments you can give yourself?

Self-improvement questions:

These questions aim to boost your skills and well-being by helping you set goals and plan actions. They can enhance your self-confidence and self-esteem by encouraging you to chase your dreams, tackle obstacles, and learn from your journey. For instance:

  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What are the steps you need to take to achieve them?
  • What are some skills or hobbies you want to learn or improve?
  • What are some habits or behaviors you want to change or adapt?

Self-reflection questions:

Here are some questions that can assist you in evaluating your thoughts, feelings, and actions in various situations. These can help you to manage stress, and learn from your mistakes. Let’s discuss a few examples:

  • How do you feel about yourself today?
  • What are some challenges or successes you faced this week?
  • How did you handle them? What did you learn from them?
  • What are some things you can do to improve your mood or situation?

Practising to handle your own Self-Esteem and Confidence based on actual scenarios

Improving self-esteem and confidence involves practicing how to handle challenging situations that affect your self-image. Imagining coping strategies can prepare you for real-life scenarios and develop positive skills.

Here are some examples of scenarios that might affect your self-esteem and confidence:

Scenario: You have a big test coming up, but you feel like you are not smart enough and you will fail

Possible ways to handle it:

  • Challenge your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, such as “I can do this” or “I have studied hard, and I know the material.”
  • Plan a study schedule and stick to it, breaking down the material into manageable chunks and reviewing it regularly.
  • Seek help from your teacher, tutor, or classmates if you are stuck or confused about something.
  • Relax and take care of yourself before the test, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing something that calms you down.

Scenario: You want to join a sports team or a club, but you feel like you are not good enough or you will be rejected

Possible ways to handle it:

  • Identify your interests and passions, and find a team or a club that matches them.
  • Research the requirements and expectations of the team or club, and see if you meet them or can work towards them.
  • Talk to someone who is already in the team or club, and ask them about their experience and advice.
  • Be brave and apply or audition for the team or club, and accept the outcome, whatever it is.

Scenario: You have a crush on someone, but you feel like you are not attractive or interesting enough to ask them out

Possible ways to handle it:

  • Recognise your own worth and beauty, and don’t compare yourself to others or unrealistic standards.
  • Focus on your common interests and hobbies, and try to start a conversation with them about something you both enjoy.
  • Be yourself and show your personality, humour, and kindness.
  • Respect their feelings and boundaries, and don’t take rejection personally. Remember that there are many other people who will appreciate you for who you are.

Practising to promote Other Teens’ Self-Esteem and Confidence based on actual scenarios

Boosting your own self-esteem and confidence can be achieved by helping others to do the same. You can make a positive difference in their lives and yours by being supportive, encouraging, and kind to your peers. Here are some examples:

Practising to promote Other Teens’ Self-Esteem and Confidence based on actual scenarios

Scenario: You notice a classmate who is struggling with a math problem and looks frustrated

Possible ways to handle it:

  • Offer to help them with the problem or explain how you solved it.
  • Praise their effort and persistence, and remind them that math skills can be improved with practice.
  • Share a time when you faced a similar challenge and how you overcame it.

Scenario: You see a friend who is being bullied or teased by another group of students

Possible ways to handle it:

  • Ask your teacher for support/help to stop bullies.
  • Comfort your friends and let them know they deserve to be protected and safe in school.
  • Compliment your friends on their strengths and qualities, and remind them that the bullies’ words are not true.

Summing Up

In conclusion, developing confidence and self-esteem in a teenager requires a cooperative and considerate effort from parents, teachers, and friends.

To help teenagers understand their strengths and weaknesses, fostering a positive self-image and resilience. Regular practice will help them navigate challenges confidently, guiding them to become self-assured adults.

Explore UNIS Hanoi for more helpful information. Our approach, especially through our IB Programmes, deeply integrates understanding complex development and embedding core values.

Enrol now for an enriching journey where morals and values are actively practised and experienced.

Author Profile

UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.
Scroll to Top