Tag Archive for: Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence

Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence: What’s the Difference?

Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence: What’s the Difference?


When it comes to self-esteem vs self-confidence, we’re all guilty of sometimes confusing these two terms and thinking they mean exactly the same. However, self-esteem and self-confidence are not synonyms, although they are very similar. 

For you to understand the difference, we will examine these two terms. You will not be confused for long once you understand what self-esteem and confidence are, and it can also help you better understand those around you.


What Is Self-Esteem? 

Your self-esteem is your level of self-worth and appreciation. It also includes your life experiences and relationships with other people, shaping and altering your sense of self-worth.

Self-esteem, as the term suggests, is about how we estimate or value ourselves. It’s a concept deeply rooted in our feelings, ideas, and actions. The term ‘estimate’ (aestimare) originates from Latin and means ‘to appraise, value, rate, or estimate.’ Understanding this origin can enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the concept of self-esteem.

Strong self-esteem is a powerful attribute. It liberates individuals from the need for external validation, such as money or prestige. It fosters acceptance of oneself and others, encourages risk tolerance, and opens doors to new experiences. This understanding can inspire and motivate you to nurture your own self-esteem. 


What Is Self Confidence? 

The term “self-confidence” describes the assurance we possess in particular areas of our lives. It is our conviction that we can accomplish our objectives and overcome obstacles. Unlike self-esteem, self-confidence is more outwardly focused and frequently easier to develop. 

Since knowledge and experience are the sources of confidence, our confidence level increases with our level of experience. The term “confidence” is derived from the Latin word, which means “to trust.” In other words, one has to have faith in their own abilities and their capacity to interact with others to be self-assured. 

Successful experiences usually result in increased self-confidence, which increases self-confidence in those domains even more. Most people, however, rely more on their self-confidence than on improving their self-esteem to be happy. The issue with this is that, unless we rise to a new challenge, our success is usually fleeting. 


Impacts of Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Low self-confidence or self-esteem are common problems for many people. For some, it just affects certain circumstances, while for others, it can be crippling or limiting.

If you lack these qualities, individual unpleasant or disappointing events might negatively impact your self-esteem or confidence. This might lead to a vicious loop of self-fulfilling prophecies, discouraging you from attempting them because of your pessimistic outlook on the future. Of course, this produces unsatisfactory results.

For example, if you lack confidence in yourself and receive negative feedback from your boss, you may think, “What else can I expect? I am stupid. This experience proves it, so I may as well give up.”

If you feel good about yourself and get negative feedback from your superior, you could ask yourself, “Where did I go wrong? I’ll research it so that I can improve next time.” You don’t feel less of a person despite your disappointment with the poor evaluation.


How to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Luckily, there are many ways to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. After all, these two terms have a great impact on all areas of your life, so it’s in your interest to improve them. 


Start with Self-acceptance

Regardless of the circumstances, feeling better about yourself and other people is facilitated by increasing your self-acceptance.

We all make mistakes, and accepting them can make your life a lot easier. By engaging in self-acceptance exercises, you can:

  • Acknowledge that making mistakes is a vital part of learning 
  • Consider how you could approach challenges differently or change your approach to get different results.
  • Review your actions and try to change them without self-blame.


Learn More about Yourself

Pay attention to the situations or ideas that make you feel more or less confident or good about yourself. Be honest and list all your accomplishments, big and small. Once you are used to celebrating small wins, you will feel more confident and encouraged to tackle bigger projects. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments helps. 

Consider that you are the only person with you 24/7. As you are beginning to learn more about yourself, focus on your own growth – which is something you are actually in control of. This means considering your goals and the aspects you would like to enhance or modify.


Challenge Your Thinking Patterns

When describing oneself to others or to yourself, be mindful of the words you use. We frequently show others more generosity and kindness than we do ourselves.

Acknowledge and confront your inner critic and try to convert them into your friend, not your enemy. After all, our inner critic is trying to protect us from negative experiences, and acknowledging its function allows you to become friends with it.  

Pay attention to the messages that help you respect who you are, and ignore the ones that doubt your worth or capacity. Use affirmations and constructive self-talk to rewire your brain every day, wherever you are.


Make Positive Changes in Your Life

To boost your confidence and sense of self-worth, you could decide to make some adjustments in your life. Consider the things you can change to feel better about yourself. For instance, you could wish to change your career, relationships, education, or acquire new skills.

Create a strategy that will entail specific objectives you want to achieve. Also, provide a timeline so you don’t feel stressed about this strategy of positive change. If it feels overwhelming for you, divide the objective into actionable steps and add them to your calendar. That can save you time and energy and keep you accountable at all times. 


Final Words

Whether you have low self-esteem or self-confidence, accepting that you’ve got the power to change it is crucial. As people, we’re all different, and we have unique experiences in life that can result in lower self-esteem or self-confidence. However, there are many ways for you to change that and start living a more confident, richer life! 

If you continue to struggle with boosting your self-esteem or self-confidence, consider reaching out to a therapist and working on it with them. Therapists can help you acquire a valuable set of techniques for this area and discover what is causing your low self-esteem or self-confidence. 


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