Self-confidence vs self-esteem

   These two terms are often used to transmit the same idea about self, but in fact there are two different aspects. Self-confidence refers mostly to trust, whilst self-esteem refers to the opinion we have about ourselves. One of them can be at a high level, whilst the other one on a low level.

   For example, let’s say we’re looking to buy a new car. There are four possible combinations. We can think we can buy one and we think we deserve one (in this case, we have high self-confidence and high self-esteem); we think we can’t buy one, but we think we deserve one (low self-confidence and high self-esteem); we think we can buy one, but do don’t think we deserve a new car (high self-confidence and low self-esteem) and finally, we think we cannot buy a new car and we also think we don’t deserve a new car (in this case, we have a low self-confidence and a low self-esteem).

   From my example, the last scenario is the hardest to overcome. When we think we cannot do something (low self-confidence) and we also think we don’t deserve that something (low self-esteem), we would find very difficult to go after that thing. The self-confidence is easier to be built compared to self-esteem, the last one being deeply rooted in our past. Self-confidence is linked to our fears so we can overcome it by searching deep down and finding the courage we need to do stuff. The self-esteem needs much more than that. When we have a bad opinion about ourselves, we won’t have enough energy to do anything because we don’t think we deserve it so this will lead to putting little effort. We’re just sabotaging ourselves to get where we think we deserve to be.

   What do you need more of? Self-confidence or self-esteem?

66 thoughts on “Self-confidence vs self-esteem

  1. I think this is a good topic to show what can be achieved when we go into ourselves, and understand the more ‘negative’ parts that are part of us. There are plenty of legends where heroes or Gods go into some form of underworld, and emerge to great victory and joy.

    Imagine the feeling then, when we do the same within ourselves?

    1. Great analogy with the heroes or Gods! I think it is the same thing. And just as them, we will face lots of difficulties among the way.

  2. Self confidence vs self esteem; So do I trust myself enough to believe in myself ? If you’d ask me this in my early years, then no; now, my self confidence rivals my self esteem. I embarrass easily, so I always lacked self esteem to try anything for fear of failure; now, I trust myself enough to try at least once in anything

    1. That’s awesome! I think that if you find something you love, a second attempt is required even though there is a high chance of failure. We usually try to fight failure when it can be our companion.

  3. A great read! I volley between the two. However, moving forward I will consider the ideas in this piece. Hopefully it will help me find balance between the two. Thank you 💜💜💜

  4. I think it might be evident that my self worth fluctuates almost as much as my BGLs but I’ve come to understand more of myself through my perpetual symbolic self flagellation. Objectively I recognise I am worthwhile thus the rise in self confidence. However I have had such inconsistent reactions to my “just being me” that I learned that “just being me” is wrong.
    It wasn’t until this year that I actually believed I was worth loving and worth while. And as such, so came undone my whole self schema and my bodily health function autonomy. And I’ve since been trying to scrape myself back together. And I think.. I’m doing okay. I think I’m going to get through this and it will be okay 🙂

    1. I’ve just reached that point of starting to believe I’m worthwhile and worth loving. It’s a shock to the system. Nice to see that you’re finding a way to scrape yourself back together…gives me some hope, too 🙂

      1. You have no idea how good I am at scraping stuff together. (That’s how I work miracles, I just randomly gaffa tape two goats and a gum boot together and call it it). I imagine myself with a paint scraper and an angry cleaner getting gum out from under tables. That’s me keeping it together 🙂

      2. I say these things because i think its funny. And it makes me laugh, and it helps me to feel better about myself. You know like you have all these different versions of yourself (the you as you are, how you see yourself, how every single other person sees you etc lol)… And I think it’s funny to imagine giving a “tour and introducing you to the characters” like from a movie or tv show or something. It makes me smile. And then I roll my eyes as I realise I’ve just made another extra long comment about bullshit lol

      3. Lol, I can relate to the last bit. I’m always looking back at emails I’ve written and thinking they’re way too long and rambling.

    2. Yes, it will be okay. Sometimes we see only the bad in ourselves and this make us believe we don’t worth being loved. We fail to realize we’re more than that and we fail to see the good parts, or if we see those parts, we say it was luck, other people or whatever.

      1. Oh darling. You are preaching to the choir about being “more than the sum of ones parts” haha.
        Being I’m ever so.. quintessentially (more frustrating than anything) different.. I struggle because for some reason I’m actually feeling my emotions or something.. in my body. Like.. headaches with stress; empathy sympathy and sorrow in my damn chest; anger and anxiety and stuff I end up getting bowel issues. This is so annoying

      2. I’ll prepare a post about it. Thank you for the idea! The main idea is that most of us get to a point that we actually feel physical pain because of the stress and other types of mental pain.

  5. Both. Self esteem is the hardest. It’s something I’ve had to build slowly, but it’s still fragile and easily torn down by external things. I think true self esteem is that which can’t be torn down by anything outside of ourselves.

  6. Self-confidence. Your piece made me think of TLA. We may trust that we can manifest things in our lives. However, it truly only works when we know without a doubt that we deserve it to manifest in our lives. That is the part that’s usually lacking and why some people think that TLA doesn’t work. This, they give up on it.

      1. That’s true. In my experience, TLA presents me with opportunities; but, I have to do the leg work to turn those opportunities into something. It’s like, if I send out my desire for a Mercedes and expect it to roll down the hill into my driveway, I’ll be waiting for a very long time. 😁

  7. As a survivor of childhood emotional abuse, I grew up with a distinct lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. My parents spent many years tearing them down – I have now spent many years building them back up. As a student of psychology, as well as one who has spent years in therapy, it still was a difficult battle – and one I still work on every day. The self-confidence came first, but it took having to flee to a domestic violence safe house to realize that I still had very low self-esteem. Two years later, I have done a lot of work on self-discovery and awareness, and I see the results as I begin to finally develop some self-esteem. (as to how, I will post on The Goddess Path how I went about it, this comment is already WAY too long! LOL!)

  8. Have personally verbally discussed with friends and family that confidence and self-esteem are two completely different things. Confidence can sometimes be the one to help someone get on a stage and make a speech in front of hundreds of people while low self-esteem would be the one to say, “I was bad at it and I embarrassed myself in front of all those people. They hated me.”

    Your post is very good, and I agree that they are two different things with different functions in mentality.

    1. I think it’s awesome that you talked about this with your friends and family. We need more awareness in this area so we know what we need to do to improve one or the other. Thank you! 🙂

  9. Good points!

    You may be interested in reading Nathaniel Branden’s book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, which really defined self-esteem and set the bar for it’s study.

    In it, he says self-esteem has two aspects: self-efficacy and self-respect.

    I recently wrote an article on self-efficacy in my blog:

    1. Yes, they are related. It’s easier to grow the other when you have one. If none is “available”, it would be very hard develop them. Not impossible, but very hard.

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