Psychology

What is the Difference between self Confidence and self Esteem



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The words confidence and self esteem are really close.  They are often used interchangeably, and it is not really, “wrong” to do so.  The words do have subtle and important distinctions, though, that should be noted.

♦  What is self-esteem?  ♦

Self esteem is the term for how you value yourself.  A person with high self esteem usually also has self confidence.  That is a big part of the reason that the terms are often seen as interchangeable.

Your self esteem has no bearing on reality or actions, though.  A person may be a superstar.  They may be a “hard charger” who is able to get things done.  To the world this person is both confident and full of self esteem.  They may in fact actually be confident of their abilities to handle any situation. 

It still could be possible for this paragon of confidence to suffer from low self esteem.  They could feel worthless and small.  Their confidence could be a reaction to their own feelings of inadequacy.  Even though they have no rational reason to feel low self esteem they very well could.

♦  What is confidence?  ♦

Confidence is sometimes more rational.  You can build confidence with success.  For instance, if you are scared to death of speaking in public, but get a job as a teacher, you will be forced to perform this task daily.  Overtime you will get better, you will begin to feel less and less nervous, until one day you will actually be confident.

A good self esteem is a launching point for confidence.  With a high self esteem you can begin most tasks feeling  more confident than others.  But self esteem does not “make” you confident in any action any time.

A person with a “high” self esteem is likely to also be confident in many things.  But faced with something they think they are “bad” at are just as likely to lack confidence as anyone else. 

♦  Confidence and self esteem are linked.  ♦

Confidence and self esteem are linked.  They can feed off of each other, they can work together to “grow” each other.  The fact remains, though, that they are independent emotions and a high self confidence does not always equal high self esteem and vice versa.

♦  It is like peanut butter and chocolate.     ♦

Confidence and self esteem are two great tastes that taste great together, but that does not mean that they always go together.

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