Building a solid self-esteem can feel a lot like the seemingly ceaseless “climb” portion of spin class. (You know, the part when the teacher cues you to dial the resistance all the way up for the length of an Ed Sheeran workout remix?) Your effort is constant, and yet, you may feel like you can never quite reach the top. Well, the findings of a recent review paper published in the journal Psychology Bulletin suggest that becoming BFFs with who you are—like so many other things in life—really just happens with age.
The study’s authors defined self-esteem as “a person’s subjective evaluation of his or her worth as a person,” and gathered data from 300 published studies to look for patterns that spanned people of all ages, birth years, genders, and nationalities, The Cut reports. They found that the strength of this enviable trait consistently hiked upwards as the years went by, plateaued at adolescence (duh), then reached its highest point right a 60 years old. After that, the subjects’ view of themselves remained in the same range for about 10 years before slowly declining in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
They found that the strength of this enviable trait consistently hiked upwards as the years went by, plateaued at adolescence (duh), then reached its highest point right a 60 years old.
In one light, yes, it’s kind of sad that it takes us nearly six decades to really settle into feeling truly at home in our own bodies. On the other hand, though, it’s kind of cool that the friendship we form with ourselves—like all relationships—is one that’s constantly evolving, and weathering the highs and lows that are just, you know, life.
Miley Cyrus may have said it back in circa 2009 Hannah Montana days—”Life’s a climb, but the view is great.” She just forgot to mention one thing: The vistas on the way up aren’t too shabby either. (Especially when you’re sharing them with yourself).