Former children's minister Tim Loughton said last week that improving educational outcomes is the key to tackling youth unemployment. He's absolutely right, and it is early intervention programmes like ours that can help to ensure the most disadvantaged young children and teenagers are able to achieve their full academic, and personal, potential.
Many people cant find it within themselves to say anything positive and take pleasure from flagging up someone's shortcomings. Don't make it about you, as these people need to feel superior because they are so insecure and the only way they can do so is project their own flaws onto another person. They do it with everyone.
Over the years I have done extensive research, read endless authorised biographies, studied body language and carefully observed the communications skills of highly successful people. I learnt it wasn't about luck but about choosing the right attitude, taking action, changing behaviour, taking one step at a time, one goal, one priority at a time, a day at a time.
If you're hairier than you think you should be, try using a cream with acid, or maybe destroy your follicles with a laser, or take a pill to balance your hormones so that other people can look at you without being repulsed - don't worry about the hysterical depression that comes with it - it's worth it!
Everyone on this planet has a childhood story about low self-esteem and we often don't realise how damaging they can be in later life. Even the great and the good like Jen Lawrence, Jessie J and Rebecca Adlington have all come out saying they had troubled teen years. Low self-esteem is a major cause of eating disorders, depression, anxiety and addictions.
Racing at 90mph, head-first, down an artificially frozen hill with more twists and turns than Silverstone... with no steering... on a tray. It takes a special kind of person to take up the Skeleton, with a unique set of skills: split-second decision making, nerves of carbon-fiber and razor-sharp clarity of mind...
What is it you really want to do? Push away any thought that has anything to do with what someone else needs, wants or expects from you and look only at your desire. Just allow yourself that, at least. Shove away the 'shoulds', and most of all ignore the fear. Just look at what you really want and enjoy how delicious it feels to immerse yourself in it.
It is as a teenager that we face the greatest test of self-esteem. We become aware of how we look, how others see us and worst of all we become aware of a world that judges us. From every angle teens are told to be prettier, sexier, skinnier, to wax, to colour and to fake it. Very few talk about anything other than they we look.
Problem skin can have an incredibly negative impact on the way we feel - prolonged problems can cause low self esteem, anxiety and sometimes, in extreme cases, depression. The last thing we need are false, often expensive, 'quick fix' promises (and there are a LOT of them out there). Can a good facial really help improve problem skin?
Often when growing up many of us were shamed for not being perfect, criticised harshly for not getting things right first time, even mocked or ridiculed, emotionally or physically abused, or ignored. If any of that resonates with you, the chances are fairly high that unless you have re-framed all of the punishing lessons you learned as a child you will have low self -esteem.