Everybody loves an ego boost. The word of encouragement from the colleague, the compliment from the spouse or the pat on the back from the boss work wonders for our sense of self-esteem.

Self-esteem is a very modern idea and one that is talked about abundantly within schools, workplaces and self-help books. The way we feel about ourselves is instrumental in affecting the way we treat others, the way we behave and the way we work. It has become the everyday individual’s responsibility to protect their self-esteem.

‘Miriam is quick in the centre but loses heart. Joyce understands the game but could move a little quicker; Audrey places herself well but lacks height.’ 

I recently came across this extract from the sports notes section of the annual magazine from a girl’s school in the 1930s.[1]

Undoubtedly, for many of us, comments like this would sound completely foreign in the context of schools and workplaces as modern sentiment has steered us towards prolific positivity and away from the unfiltered responses of previous decades. Especially in schools, to speak of any student’s performance and potential in any way other than glowing is unacceptable in a modern context. 

In this short video clip, 6-time bestselling author and trend forecaster Michael McQueen examines some of the latest research in how to build resilience, mastery and a Growth Mindset in young people. Giving constant praise and affirmation has been proven to not work in building true self-esteem - so what does?