Self-confidence and self-esteem are both vital for your success.
Understanding the difference between these two concepts has made a difference for me, so I’ll share it for you.
The difference, I think, is simple:
Self-confidence is contextual, self-esteem is pervasive.
What do I mean?
Well, think about it for a moment.
There are things you have confidence for. Such as the things you know you do well.
It may be your certain skills you need to perform your job well or to engage in a hobby. It may be talents you have working with your hands, such as woodworking, artistic pursuits, or playing a musical instrument.
Self-confidence is with us when we are working at a level we are comfortable with.
When the bar is raised the level at which we need to work or perform expects more from us, our confidence wanes.
If we are asked to do something we’ve never done before our confidence isn’t there and anxiety develops.
For example, a heart surgeon may have tremendous self-confidence performing heart surgery, but ask him to do knee surgery and he won’t.
Now, if this heart surgeon does everything correctly and still loses one of his patients, his confidence will remain strong if he has high self-esteem.
If he has low self-esteem, he will question his skills, he live in blame, have trouble forgiving himself and believe he no longer deserves to be a heart surgeon.
Self-esteem is closely tied to resilience. High self-esteem individuals will be highly resilient and find it easy to bounce back from setbacks, low self-esteem people will generalize failures and struggle to bounce back.
High self-esteem will allow you to maintain your confidence after making mistakes and facing setbacks, while confidence is fragile in low self-esteem individuals.
The other big issue with self-esteem relates to self-worth and feeling of deservedness.
Low self-esteem people will question whether they are worthy of praise or deserving of the success they say they desire causing them to engage in self-sabotaging behaviors.
The final difference I’ll speak to here is that self-confidence is much easier to create because of its contextual nature.
The pervasiveness, and long-term, subconscious nature (it is tied to childhood upbringing) of self-esteem makes it much more challenging to overcome and takes consistent focused attention.
I’m fascinated by this topic and hope to write more about it. I encourage you to submit your questions to me via e-mail or by leaving a comment at the online blog article here