Confidence and Self-Esteem

Confidence & Self-Esteem are terms that are often used interchangeably. They are not technically the same but are closely connected. Boosting self-esteem leads to greater confidence. Confidence in one area can lead to confidence in other areas, and greater confidence can sometimes serve to boost one’s self-esteem.

Self-esteem is related to how we feel about ourselves in general, in terms of positive regard and how much we respect & value ourselves; our self-worth.

Confidence is related to action, our belief that we can succeed at doing something. Confidence is “domain specific”, which means that you can be confident in one aspect of your life, but not at all confident in another. For example, you could be confident about being a great cook but not at all confident about swimming. “I am confident that I’m great at public speaking but not at all confident about running a marathon!”

Negative Self-Talk is one of the obstacles to self-esteem and confidence.
What are we saying to ourselves? This is a process of awareness, being mindful of what we are thinking.
Very often, our words may have originated from a parent, sibling, teacher, or someone else who had a big impact on us in our childhood. Our power now lies in realising that even though the original voice may have belonged to someone else, it has now become our voice, our self-talk. The good part? If it belongs to us, we can change it.
Only we have the power to change our current limiting beliefs.

Some steps we can take to help develop Confidence:

  • Focus on Strengths: We are all capable of doing some things. Focus on what we can do as opposed to things we cannot. A credit for trying. Pats on the back (to ourselves, really!)
  • Seeing the process: Accepting ourselves on the path to improvement, not only when we have achieved our goals.
  • Take Risks: New experiences seen as opportunities to learn rather than win or lose situations. Seen this way, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. Otherwise, we turn every new choice into a possibility for failure, and stand in the way of our own personal growth.
  • Become aware of our self-talk: Only when we know what we are thinking can we start to change it. For example, when we catch ourselves expecting perfection, reminding ourselves that we can’t do everything perfectly (no one actually can), that it’s only possible to try to do things in the best possible way. This allows us to accept ourselves in this moment, while still striving to improve.
  • Self-Evaluate: Learning to assess our own achievements. Over-dependence on others’ opinions only results in confusion and indecisions. Focusing on how we feel about our work/behaviour/project etc., gives us a stronger sense of self. Our power is ours. Developing our intuition is a good way to access how we feel about situations/people/ourselves.

“Confidence is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.”

ConfidenceWhat would you do differently in your life with improved confidence and self-esteem?

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