Self Esteem vs. Self Confidence
Self confidence is a feeling of trust in your own abilities, qualities and judgment. For example, knowing you can ace an exam or job interview. Related, but slightly different, is self esteem: a belief in your own high intrinsic value. For example, thinking you are loveable despite your human imperfections.
It’s possible to have high self confidence and success in certain areas of life, but low self esteem. In fact, many type A, high-achievers are familiar with this imbalance. This can result in feeling inadequacy and less-than-healthy coping strategies. It can mean you’re highly motivated to work (or date), but primarily to prove you are good enough, rather than to add something to other people.
I’ve personally been surprised that the most successful, beautiful and wealthy people I know often don’t love who they are deep down.
The Benefits of High Self Esteem
High self confidence and esteem can support healthy levels of assertiveness, autonomy and resilience in challenging situations. We are less likely to under-sell ourselves; to over-give to others; or to drive ourselves to burn out.
Research also suggests benefits for our relationships. Issues with low self esteem mean we are more likely to put others down to attempt to feel better about ourselves. There is also a special comfort that comes from being around someone with high self esteem. They are less likely to act as if they have something to prove to you; and more likely to discuss things that are vulnerable, or outside of themselves.
Buoyant self confidence can make the winning difference to the outcome of a client meeting or date. And to trust yourself to make good decisions under pressure. Studies have shown that high self esteem also positively correlates with reported happiness levels.
Six Ways to Boost Your Self Confidence and Esteem:
- Notice and turn overly self-critical thoughts around. Observe when your thoughts are self-critical or self-doubting. Then ask yourself whether you would speak to a close friend in that way. Try reversing negative thoughts…