We often here confidence and self-esteem talked about interchangeably, but they refer to different aspects of your psychological makeup and both are important in how they make you think, feel and behave.
Confidence refers to a belief in your abilities, qualities, and judgement. You may be looking to apply for a new job, take on a fitness challenge or just feel comfortable in a crowd. Having confidence gives you a feeling of certainty about your abilities to achieve that goal or task. Confidence can vary depending on the situation – you may feel confident in water but not with heights - and can be influenced by factors such as past experiences, feedback, and preparation.
Self-esteem, on the other hand, refers to your own subjective evaluation of your worth or value as a person. It is the opinion or judgment we have about ourselves based on our perceptions, beliefs, and experiences. It involves feelings of self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-love. A person with high self-esteem generally has a positive opinion of themselves, feels good about their abilities and achievements, and is comfortable with who they are. On the other hand, a person with low self-esteem may have a negative opinion of themselves, doubt their abilities, and struggle to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Self-esteem can be influenced by a variety of factors, including your upbringing, life experiences, relationships, and cultural values. It can impact many aspects of your life, including your emotional well-being, relationships, and career success. Therefore, building and maintaining a healthy level of self-esteem is important for your overall well-being and success in life.
Here are six ways to build self-esteem:
Practice self-compassion: Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and empathy. When you make a mistake or experience a setback, practice self-compassion by speaking to yourself in a kind and supportive way.
Focus on your strengths: Identify your strengths and focus on developing them. When you use your strengths, you will feel more confident and capable. It can also be helpful to celebrate your achievements and recognise your progress towards your goals.
Set realistic goals: Setting and achieving goals can boost self-esteem, but it's important to set realistic goals that you believe you can achieve. Start small and build up to more challenging goals over time.
Surround yourself with positive people: Spend time with people who uplift and support you. Avoid spending time with people who are critical or negative, as this can bring down your self-esteem. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help you feel more confident and capable.
Take care of yourself: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being can improve your self-esteem. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
Take a moment to pause and be still: Engage in a relaxation method such a Sophrology, which helps you to reconnect with your mind and body and listen to the thoughts in your head. Self-awareness will help you to focus more on the positive thoughts and take ownership of your mental and physical wellbeing.
If you are struggling with a low opinion of yourself, it’s worth investing the time to make positive steps to re-building your self-worth. You may be confident in achieving your goals, but only by combining that with strong self-esteem will you be able to feel longer term contentment and improved wellbeing.