Have you ever said that you need to build your self-esteem? Or that you wish you had more confidence? We have all said this at some point in our lives.
You may not realize that the two terms are not synonymous. They do in fact relate to two different things. And they are equally important to our day-to-day life.
The Importance Of Having Both Confidence And Self-Esteem
The importance of having both confidence and self-esteem cannot be stressed enough. They have a direct bearing on our performance at school, work, and sports. They influence our relationships with others.
Is One More Necessary Than The Other?
Both self-confidence and self-esteem are necessary to lead a productive and full life.
People with high self-esteem generally have more confidence, but they are both essential for your mental health and happiness.
Can You Have One Without The Other?
It is possible to feel confident about a specific situation, and have low self-esteem in general. And it is equally possible to have high self-esteem, yet lack the confidence to face a particular challenge.
While it is possible to have one but lack the other, they generally work in tandem. This is why working on one will often improve the other.
What is Self Confidence?
Self-confidence is the trust you have in yourself and your abilities. Do you think you are able, or unable?
Signs of High Confidence
- Believing that you are likely you are to accomplish a task.
- You use the words “I can” often
- You believe in your ability to succeed.
Signs of Low Confidence
- Believing that you are unlikely to accomplish your goals.
- Using the words “I can’t” regularly
- You believe that you lack the talent necessary to succeed.
What Causes A Lack of Confidence?
Low confidence is usually caused by a history of negative experiences or perceived failures. Your fear of repeating these eats away at your confidence, so that you no longer feel able to do things.
Examples are poor performance in exams or being passed over for a promotion at work. There may be other reasons for these events. But people tend to internalize them and feel that they “aren’t good enough” or lack the ability to succeed.
What is Self Esteem?
Self-esteem is the value you place on yourself. Do you see yourself as worthy, or unworthy?
Signs of “Positive” Self-Esteem
- Believing that you are worthy of good things.
- You think your opinions count.
- You usually follow up the words “I am” with positive adjectives.
Signs of Low Or “Negative” Self-Esteem
- Believing that you are unworthy of positive experiences.
- You think your opinions don’t matter.
- You often follow the words “I am” with negative descriptors.
- Pessimism and depression
What Causes Low Self-Esteem?
While a lack of confidence is something that many people face from time to time, low self-esteem often stems from factors in early life.
Extremely harsh criticism from parents or teachers, or cruel remarks from other kids on the school playground. In later life, relationship problems including any form of abuse can take their toll.
These are just some of the factors that may be contributing to low self-esteem. Recognizing the causes is the first step to rebuilding your self-esteem.
Key Difference Between Confidence And Self-Esteem
Here is a simple explanation that will clearly illustrate the difference between the two.
Confidence vs Self-Esteem
Our self-esteem regulates how we feel about ourselves. Our confidence determines what we feel about what we can do.
To put it another way, do you believe that you are a good/bad person (self-esteem) or that you are good/bad at something (confidence)?
While one affects how we think about ourselves, the other affects how we think about our abilities.
Improving Both Your Confidence And Self-Esteem
Now that we know what caused these issues in the first place, what can we do about it?
Both confidence and self-esteem are essential in our daily lives and our interactions with others. And it is possible to improve both. We take a look at how we can do this, below.
How You Can Build Your Confidence
Confidence is something that can be built up even more easily than it is lost. Follow these simple tips to build yours.
Do What You Love
Engage in activities that bring you joy.
Chances are, you prefer taking part in things you are good at. But the converse is also true. The more you enjoy something, the more often you do it. And the better you get at that particular activity.
When we do what makes us happy, we become more confident in our abilities, and that confidence in turn makes us happy. And we’ll be motivated to try new things. That brings us to our next tip.
Try New Things
Try new things, whether it is a new hobby, a different job, or a new workout routine at the gym. The key is to open yourself up to the possibilities of new experiences.
Most of the time, we are afraid to try new things because we think we can’t do them. Without even trying, we decide that we are unable to. Break that self-destructive and confidence lowering pattern right away.
Try something new, it doesn’t have to be a major change. The smallest change can make a difference. You may discover hitherto unknown talents. And that will boost your confidence.
Build Your Own Fan Club
Surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you. And ignore the ones who don’t.
When you have a network of support around you, you will start to feel more able to tackle each challenge that lies ahead.
Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. But there are ways to deal with it. Self-esteem is like a plant, it needs to be nurtured to grow. Follow these tips to build up your self-esteem.
Be Kind To Yourself
Watch how you talk about yourself. Our words can be used to build someone or break someone down. And our words about ourselves do the same thing.
Every day, think of at least one amazing thing about yourself. Something that makes you awesome. You will be less likely to say or think negative thoughts about yourself if you start the day this way.
Even if it is something small, think of something good to say to yourself, about yourself, every day.
Accept Kindness From Others
Be grateful for the compliments and praise you receive from your loved ones, friends, and co-workers. A mistake many people make is to immediately shoot down praise. Know your self-worth, and accept it when others recognize your value.
The tendency to immediately suspect ulterior motives when someone pays you a compliment is a habit that you need to overcome if you want to improve your self-esteem.
Love Who You Are
When you see how much you are loved, you learn to love yourself, too. And when you appreciate, love, and respect yourself for who and what you are, others will, too.
This creates a never-ending cycle that will increase your feelings of self-worth and acceptance.
Learn to love every part of your body. Be proud of all your abilities and achievements. Even if it doesn’t come naturally at first, make the effort to recognize your uniqueness and appreciate it.
How To Lead A Positive Life Every Day
This is a tip that applies to both confidence and self-esteem building. Affirmations are a powerful tool that you can implement in your daily life.
Here are some examples of affirmations that will boost your confidence and your self-esteem. Don’t worry if it feels unnatural at first, or if you don’t really “feel” it when you start using them. That will come. Just make the effort, and say these to yourself every day upon waking up, and before you retire to bed at night.
You don’t have to say them out loud, you can say them quietly, or in your head. But give them a try, and soon it will be second nature.
Examples Of Affirmations
- I am successful in my career and deserve my success.
- I love myself and am loved by others.
- My work is easy for me because I am highly skilled and competent.
- I am worthy of a great job, and I have the talents and skills for it.
- My life is filled with possibilities because I can realize my full potential.
- I can do anything that I set my mind to because I am a capable person.
These are just a few examples, and you may amend them as you see fit, to suit your particular situation.
Not only will you start to feel more positive, and more motivated, but your self-esteem will rise and your confidence will soar.