What is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence? How does self-esteem differ from self-confidence? This question has always been a subject of controversy even among experts in personal development: the differentiation between self-esteem and self-confidence.
I – What Is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is, in psychology, a term referring to the judgment or evaluation made of an individual in relation to his or her own worth. When an individual does something that he thinks is worthwhile, he feels valued and when he evaluates his actions as being in opposition to his values, he reacts by “lowering his esteem”. According to some psychologists, the expression is to be distinguished from “self-confidence” which, although related to the first, is related to abilities rather than values.
There are several definitions of self-esteem. In this article, we propose this: “Self-esteem is the aptitude to feel a favorable feeling towards oneself, which is born of the good opinion that the person has of herself and of the value that she gives herself.” (Fourgeyrollas, Cloutier, Bergeron, 1998).
In other words, it is a favorable opinion (or not) that we forge ourselves.
Self-esteem is born of a comparison between the image of an “ideal self” (what you would ideally like) and what you are (more exactly, what you perceive of yourself). One could say that self-esteem goes through the ideal self (what you would like to be) and the self-image (how you perceive yourself).
Self-esteem is the “value” you give yourself, the overall appreciation. She goes hand in hand with self-respect. It is the measure of your “love” for yourself. It is linked to a representation of values. It is also related to your past and the images that you have been taught.
This covers all areas: physical appearance, social status, profession, intellect, emotional life, etc.
As types of self-esteem, we distinguish 2: high self-esteem and low self-esteem.
*** Strong Self-Esteem
High self-esteem may involve the following characteristics:
– A firm belief in his words and principles, always ready to defend himself in the face of adversity, and self-confidence.
– Ability to make choices that seem correct, without guilt vis-à-vis others.
– Ability to move forward, regardless of past or future events.
– Ability to fully solve a problem without hesitation or difficulty; he can ask the opinion of others.
– Consideration does not feel inferior or superior to others and accepts differences specific to others.
– Resistance to manipulation, collaboration with others.
– Admission and acceptance of shared opinions and opinions, whether positive or negative.
– Ability to fully appreciate a variety of activities.
– Sensitivity to the needs of others; general respect of social laws.
*** Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem may show the following characteristics:
– Important self-criticism, creating a habitual state of self-dissatisfaction.
– Hypersensitivity to criticism; an individual with low self-esteem feels easily attacked and permanently resentful of criticism.
– Chronic indecision, often as a result of an exaggerated fear of making a mistake.
– Perfectionism, which leads to wanting to do something perfectly or without error, (he finds himself worried), especially at the risk of causing frustration.
– Guilt, which leads to ruminations of mistakes made in the past.
– Irritability, or constantly on the defensive even without apparent reason.
– Pessimism, generalized negative point of view.
When an idea is badly received, an individual with low esteem can take it personally and feel devastated. This can have serious consequences when the physical or moral personality, actions, or ego of an individual are directly targeted. These individuals raise their self-esteem if they succeed in achieving a goal they have set for themselves; however, they may return to low esteem if they fail again.
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II – What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is not something innate and I do not think there is any “medicine”. The main action must be psychological.
The concept of self-confidence or self-confidence is commonly used as self-confidence in personal judgment, ability, power, and so on. Self-confidence is increased from experiences that control particular activities.
It is a positive belief that in the future, one can usually accomplish what one wishes to do. Self-confidence is not the same thing as self-esteem, which is an evaluation of one’s own worth, whereas self-confidence is more precisely the ability to achieve a goal, what a meta-analysis suggests being a generalization of self-efficacy.
Abraham Maslow and many others after him emphasized the need to distinguish between self-confidence as a generalized personality trait and self-confidence regarding a specific task, ability or challenge (self-efficacy).
Self-confidence usually refers to general self-confidence. This is different from self-efficacy, which psychologist Albert Bandura has defined as a “belief in the ability to succeed in specific situations or to accomplish a task” and is, therefore, the term that more specifically refers to self-confidence specific.
Psychologists have long noted that a person can have confidence in herself about performing a specific task (self-efficacy) (for example, cooking a good meal or writing a good novel) even if she lacks confidence in and of itself, or conversely to have self-confidence even if it is not effective in performing a particular task (for example, writing a novel). These two types of self-confidence, however, are correlated with each other and can, therefore, be easily combined.
Here, in this article, we retain as a definition this: Self-confidence, represents the confidence you have in your potential, in your abilities.
This trust is based on beliefs, “beliefs” that you have about yourself. It’s your ability to believe that you are or are not able to accomplish certain things.
Self-confidence is linked to your actions, your abilities, your talents.
Now that we have tried to understand self-esteem and self-esteem, it is important to understand the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence because self-esteem and self-confidence have complex relationships.
III – What Is the Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence?
“Self-confidence is very important in life” – you hear that every day. Almost as often as: “you have to build your self-esteem”.
But do you know that between these two notions there is a difference in size? And more importantly: do you know which one is more important to your success?
1 – Ideas About Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
First and foremost, it may be necessary to bend the neck of ideas about self-esteem and self-confidence. The opinions are divided into 3 main categories:
– Those who happily associate one with the other concept: many people confuse self-confidence with self-esteem. Why? Because on many personal development sites, one is encouraged to acquire one or the other, without specifying that they are different.
– Those who think that self-esteem is a view of the mind and that trust alone responds to everything. Interesting authors such as Anne-Louise Nesme plainly claim that “self-esteem does not exist in itself”. But in fact, everything suggests that trust and self-esteem are both essential and that one can have one without the other. Hence the importance of differentiating them well in the first place.
– Those who think that while being different, the two notions go hand in hand. And again, the facts show that this is not always the case. Many people I know are trustworthy but have low self-esteem. And they are more numerous than we think.
2 – Make the Difference Between the Two
That’s why you need to know what differentiates self-esteem from self-confidence. Go! Let’s not waste time! Let’s explore the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence.
Self-esteem is built early, from childhood. It is usually defined as “the perception and self-assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses when compared to our values”. Did you note the idea of values? It is capital because the development of self-esteem is based on the moral values we have received.
It is sometimes said, and rightly so, that self-esteem consists of representing to oneself how one considers oneself to be valid. This sensation is built in the family. If you have received referrals and encouraging, caring words, and strong moral values, you will almost always have positive self-esteem. Expressions such as “You are unique”; “You are a good boy”; “I’m proud of you” and “I love you” help improve self-esteem among the youngest.
Confidence in itself is something else: The author Jean Garnot proposed a definition that seems to me to be very precise and complete. He says that this term refers to “a realistic and timely assessment that we have the resources to deal with a particular situation”. It is not a permanent feeling, even if it is reassuring. You have the self-confidence necessary to face a specific situation. It can happen that this feeling is at the peak of a problem and that you completely lose your means against another. It is, therefore, a feeling more fleeting than the self-esteem that is seen through the actions that one poses.
*** the Dividing Line Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
Self-esteem is a reflection of “what you think of yourself”, whereas trust is a reflection of “your ability to do things”.
For example, you may have a lot of confidence in yourself, your ability to act, but still suffer from low self-esteem (because of an idealized and utopian image of what you should be, for example).
You can be very productive (thanks to your self-confidence), but at the same time be extremely hard on yourself and others (low self-esteem).
You could, conversely, have a good level of “self-esteem”, but a lack of confidence in you. In this case, your productivity, your dynamism, and your achievements could leave something to be desired because you do not believe in your ability to accomplish things.
On the other hand, you would tend to be nice and nice with others, since you already are with yourself (self-respect leads to respect for others, self-love leads to the love of others).
Did you know? Self-esteem and self-confidence are like two sisters, half-rivals, half-accomplices.
Some people have both poor self-esteem and a low level of self-confidence. Needless to say, this is the most difficult case to experience…
Not only do these people not respect each other, do not love each other enough (and therefore cannot love and respect others), but they are also not productive, they do not reach easily their goals and chances of success are generally low.
Do you still want to see the differentiation between self-esteem and self-confidence? Read some examples below.
*** Examples of Differentiation
To properly assess self-esteem and self-confidence, you can evaluate yourself through a few examples. Suppose you are preparing for a job interview. What do you need? A good dose of self-confidence, so as not to lose your means. But you could be intimately convinced of your potential and your abilities, and therefore have sufficient self-esteem. But if you constantly think “I will not be up to it,” it is a sign that self-confidence is lacking.
Another useful example: you can succeed in your professional life, set up and carry out several objectives head-on. And yet, you think deep inside of you “I do not love myself much”; or “I’m not worth much”. You probably do not lack confidence in you, because it takes to undertake and dare. But your self-esteem can be very mediocre, perhaps because of a troubled or difficult past.
3 – Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: What Does Your Success Depend On?
Self-esteem and self-confidence are both involved in your success in different ways. You must work these two aspects of your being, being aware of their specificities.
– To improve self-esteem: keep in mind that it is linked to values, images, representations of yourself and an ideal self. Ask yourself, “What do you think you should be in life?” Is this really what you want to be?
Would not these images be exaggerated or downright false? Or simply instilled by others?
Also think about your way of seeing yourself, of esteeming yourself: do you really deserve a little respect?
Where does this bad image come from? (Sometimes, in-depth work will trace mechanisms buried in your past …)
– To improve your self-confidence: you will have to act on your skills, on your current abilities. It is a “lever” that seems easier (in any case easier than digging the past …) but it is also complex.
It’s simple: if you want your confidence in you to increase, increase your abilities (intellectual, manual, etc.).
Learn something that is useful to you (why not something completely new), perfect yourself in a field that is important to you, go on a course in a discipline, in a sport, and so on. Be aware of the progress you’ve made (even if it’s just a guitar lesson!) And congratulate yourself.
Work constantly to improve yourself, even by small things. Your self-confidence will gradually increase and will help you achieve even more things, more easily.
Self-confidence is built with training and experience. Self-confidence is essential: without it, you will not take any initiative and will not succeed.
But self-esteem is also unavoidable. Make sure you have values that you want to defend, and that they fit your needs and emotions. Accept to take chances, to go wrong and accept your failings without thinking that you are a failure. This is the royal road to more self-esteem.
Although different from one another: self-esteem and self-confidence are among the pillars of personal development.