1. Welcome the participants to the workshop. Explain that they will explore what self-concept and self-esteem mean as a group and then do an exercise about self-esteem individually. They will also look at what is needed to build self-esteem.

2. Start the activity by asking the participants what the terms ‘self-concept’ and ‘self-esteem’ mean. As they share their understandings of what these concepts mean, write their responses on a board or flipchart so everyone can se them.

3. When everyone has had a chance to share, use the explanations below to summarise what self-esteem and self-concept are.

Self-concept is the accumulation of knowledge about the self, such as beliefs regarding personality traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, goals, and roles. Beginning in infancy, children acquire and organise information about themselves as a way to enable them to understand the relationship between the self and the social world.

Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. We create this picture of ourselves from:

   •    the feedback we receive from other people who act like a mirror, giving us a picture of who we are
   •    expectations of our society. If we are different from what they expect, this can lower our self-esteem.
   •    our own experiences. Every time we achieve something positive, our self-esteem rises
   •    imagining the future.

If we have low self-esteem, it is difficult for us to assert ourselves, make decisions or take responsibility, because we feel our decisions are bad or that our plans will fail.

4. Now give each participants a copy of the ‘How do I see myself?’ worksheet, and give them about 10 minutes to complete it. Explain that the statements on this worksheet are about self-concept and self-esteem, and they should answer them as honestly as possible. Explain that this worksheet is for their private use, and they will not be asked to share what they have written.

5. When everyone has finished, ask for volunteers to share how they feel about the outcome of the worksheet. If nobody feels comfortable sharing, move on to the next points.

6. Conclude the worksheet activity by explaining:

“Self-esteem is not a static feeling or concept. Our self-esteem changes as we go through different stages in life, and is sometimes more positive and stronger than other times. Sometimes we have more self-esteem in certain situations than others.”

Facilitator note:

If any of the participants seem particularly sad or unhappy after doing the self-reflection worksheet, make sure to follow up with them at the end of the workshop, to see if they are feeling better. It can be difficult to realize that you have a low self-concept or self-esteem. Talk to the person about what made them sad, and have a positive and constructive discussion about ways the person can make positive changes in their life.

7. Explain that you will now discuss how people can improve and positively develop confidence and higher self-esteem.

8. Divide the participants into groups of five or six people, and ask them to discuss the following question:

“How can we build self-esteem and confidence?”

9. Give the groups about five minutes to work on this.

10. Now ask the groups to share what their group discussed and agreed on.

11. Summarise this discussion by reading the following notes on building self-esteem and confidence:

There are four conditions that need to be met for an individual to have high self-esteem:

   •    Connectedness: feeling attached and connected to others; feeling as if we belong and are respected.
   •    Uniqueness: the sense that we are special, different from everyone else.
   •    Power: feeling in control of our lives: ‘l am competent’, ‘l have responsibilities’. To build this feeling we need options and responsibilities from which we can choose.
   •    Role models: to build self-esteem we need to have good role models.

What builds self-esteem?

   •    Telling each other when we have done well, the things we like about each other, and our strengths.
   •    Knowing that each of us is special and unique.
   •    Understanding that each of us experiences life in our own way.
   •    Trying to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and accepting one another.
   •    Our family and friends help us feel good about ourselves through their support and words of encouragement. We can encourage others to support us by supporting them.
   •    Being good at something helps us to gain confidence. When you feel low, remind yourself what you are good at.
   •    We all make mistakes – that is how we learn. We do not need to feel bad every time we make a mistake. Understand that you will make mistakes sometimes and forgive yourself for those mistakes.
   •    We need to believe that we can achieve things. One small step can lead to another until we have travelled a long way.

12. End the activity by thanking the participants for their honesty and openness in talking about themselves and their self-concept and self-esteem. Remind them of the four conditions that need to be met to improve self-esteem:

    a. A feeling of connectedness.
    b. Knowing you are unique.
     c. Understanding you have the power over your own life and can make changes.
    d. Looking up to role models and others you admire for inspiration on how to live.

WORKSHEET: How do l see myself?

This worksheet has a number of statements that relate to your understanding of yourself and how you see yourself. The worksheet is for you to think about your self-concept and your self-esteem. It is for your eyes only, so be as honest with yourself as possible.





Other people find me interesting.




It takes me a long time to get used to anything new.




I do not like the way l look.




I have trouble controlling my feelings.




I want to achieve to the best of my ability.




If a friend were in trouble, l would most likely drop him or her rather than get involved.




I do not get angry very often.




I handle most of my problems well.




I am happy most of the time.




I find it hard to get along with people.




I do not finish most things l start.




I always try to be fair.




I try to do what l think is right.




I am seldom at ease or relaxed.




I wish my body was shaped differently.




I do not know what to do in many situations.




I like to meet new people.