Character Chats

Why is Self-Esteem Important?

Why is Self-Esteem Important?

Here at True Balance Karate in Downers Grove, Illinois, we have a social-emotional learning program called True Character. And this month, we are talking about self-esteem.

I’m Master H., owner, chief instructor here at the studio. I have two master’s degrees in education. Basically, what that means is that we have worked very hard to create this curriculum that best meets the needs of our youngest students all the way up to our oldest students.


And like I said, we’re talking about self-esteem.

Last week, we talked about what self-esteem is. And for everybody, we defined it as I feel good about myself. It’s that sense of internal pride. It’s that ability to recognize what we’re doing well, and then using that to help us overcome what we might be struggling with.

The Impact of Positive Self-Esteem

This week, we are talking about, why is self-esteem important?

Essentially, it comes down to being able to make good, healthy decisions. When we feel good about ourselves, we can recognize what that good choice is and what that bad choice may be.

And for our younger kids, we work on helping them recognize it through some of our character worksheets back here.

One in particular is about healthy eating. It’s about choosing an apple over a chocolate chip cookie or choosing to eat vegetables over chips.

And so we want to encourage those positive choices. We want to continue along that path that helps everybody feel good about themselves.

Within my own house, both of my kids are now in high school, and I don’t have as much choice as I would like over what they eat.

However, we’ve had conversations about, how can we put the vegetables into our meals? And how can we make sure that the plate looks balanced? And as we make those more positive choices, we feel physically better, which helps our emotional state feel better, which is tied to our self-esteem. We’re able to recognize, what is those positive choices?

My own self? I’m working with a nutrition coach. And I was not always the best vegetable eater. And we’ve worked on ways to shred up the vegetables and hide it in things. We’ve worked on ways to just make my plate look a little bit more balanced as it goes along.

And so as we’re talking about feeling good about ourselves for our self-esteem, we’re talking about making these positive food choices.

We’re talking about making positive choices with friends.

Self-Esteem At School

Maybe we’re at school and we see one friend picking on somebody else. When we have a positive, solid self-esteem, we feel confident enough to walk up and say, “Hey, that is not the right way to go about that. That is not cool.”

That just reminded me of a time that my daughter was in eighth grade, and one of the eighth-grade boys was not being respectful to any of the eighth grade girls.

She was at a friend’s house for a party. And she walked up to him and said, “You know what? That’s just not cool. You need to knock it off. We’re done with what you’re saying, and it’s not respectful. And we’re done.”

And he had a few words to say to her, but she had enough awareness of herself and enough self-esteem and enough confidence in who she was, that she was able to get him to stop. And then they both walked away.

So it’s a matter of having that ability of that sense of self of who you are that impacts your positive decisions.

Self-Esteem in Decision Making

When I was taking my kids to daycare and they were, I don’t know, three, four years old, I remember one of the daycare teachers told me that the more decisions that I was able to allow them to make as they’re younger, actually helps them make more positive decisions when they get older.

So as simple as letting them choose the clothes they were going to wear. Or which vegetable did they want to eat, broccoli or green beans? I didn’t care because they got a vegetable.

And lo’ and behold, now I’m looking at two high schoolers that actually make really good decisions and are confident in those choices. And that’s what we want.

We want to raise the self-esteem of everyone around us, so that they are confident and respectful, and able to make decisions, and able to problem solve, and able to help those around them. And that is why self-esteem is so important.

Thanks, and we’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