Character Chats

What is Self-Esteem?

What is Self-Esteem?

Here at True Balance Karate, we have a social, emotional learning program called True Character. This month, we are talking about self-esteem.

My name is Master H, I am the chief instructor and studio owner here at True Balance Karate. I have two master’s degrees in education. And basically, what that means is that we’ve designed this curriculum to best meet the needs of everyone from as young as three or four, to as old as 83.

And like I said, we’re talking about self-esteem this month. What is self-esteem?

Where Does Self-Esteem Come From?

When we’re talking about it with the kids, we’re talking about it from the standpoint of, I feel good about myself. It comes from a sense of internal pride. It comes from a sense of positive feelings about who you are and knowing where you want to go.

And a lot of times our self-esteem is tied to goals that we want to achieve.

Our self-esteem also plays a role in our peer group, having a positive peer group, a friendly peer group, people that bring out the best in all of us.

And it comes from doing hard things, working through things, being confident with ourselves.

When we have a positive high level of self-esteem, we are making positive decisions for ourselves as well.

Skills We Will Learn

And this month, like I said, in October, we get to work on all of the skills that go along with feeling good about ourselves.

In a couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about how we improve our self-esteem.

And then we’re also going to talk about how we improve the self-esteem of other people around us.

And it helps to know that at the end of the day, what we’re really trying to do is find a sense of that internal pride in who we are.

Small Moments of Pride

I’m reminded about when I was a kid and I was learning to ride my bike and I would fall down and get back up and try again like any kid does. And I would fall down and get back up and try again. And I would fall down one more time.

And I got very, very upset as any parent can relate to their own child getting very upset.

And my mom had looked at me and said, “Why don’t you just quit already since you’re giving up right now anyway?”

And I left the bike right there in the backyard, walked away from it for… I don’t know, 10-ish minutes, gathered myself together. And then I got back on it and I tried it again.

It was at that moment that I was actually successful at riding the bike and that’s where the pride came in. That’s where the feeling really good about myself came in.

That’s where I realized that with a goal, with a plan, with asking for help, with digging deep inside my own person, my own feelings, my own stubbornness, if you will, I was able to achieve that.

How We Teach it Through Karate

And when we’re talking about it with the kids here in karate class, it becomes a discussion of, okay, you’re going to fall when you do a jump front kick.

So what can we do to help you get better? What can we do? What could we say? What could you say to your friend next to you who might be struggling with that kind of idea?

We want to share the positive feelings that go along with being successful. We don’t want to just keep them within ourselves.

And so, as we’re talking about building that self-esteem, we’re talking about again, feeling good about who we are, recognizing what we are really, really good at, recognizing who’s there to support us, who’s there to ask questions of, who’s there to be our best cheerleader and recognizing all other things that impact how we feel.

Did we eat a good breakfast? Did we take care of the things we needed to take care of? Did we sleep well?

Different things like that play a role within our self-esteem, along with our outlook on the world around us.

Thanks and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here