The Difference Between Self Esteem and Self Confidence

Two of the most frequent questions that arrive here at CANDo Life Skills are:

Aren’t self esteem and self confidence the same thing?

How can I improve my self esteem and become more confident?

We regularly use the words self esteem and self confidence in our everyday lives, sadly however, we just as regularly use them incorrectly.  Because discovering the difference between the two could help you discover the answers to the above two questions, we’re going to delve into this mucky puddle and seek a little clarity.

Contrary to popular belief, self esteem and self confidence are NOT the same thing.

Personally, I find the easiest way to understand the difference is to look at it as having a strong, healthy, super effective Inner Imp Self-Esteem who is part of my being/make up/inner team.  I then like to imagine this Inner Imp doing things with self-confidence and then accessing himself on his abilities and how well he did. The more my Inner Imp Self Esteem and I experience or practice something, the more confident we become at doing it.

Everyone seems to love an example so here you go:

Think back to the first time you used the device you’re on now (computer/iPhone/Notepad/Mobile?).  The chances are you were unsure, didn’t feel hugely self-confident about your ability to use it, what all the buttons did, how to take it back if you did something wrong; generally, you probably took longer to do things and you had less self-confidence in your skills.  But look at you now!  You’re surfing the net like a pro, tapping away on the keys absentmindedly and clicking on command keys with supreme self-confidence in your ability.  As your skill with the device grew (through your experience of using it), your self-confidence grew and your Self Esteem developed another muscle that contributes to your whole being BELIEVING in your abilities.  Your Inner Imp Self Esteem may now be more willing to try that different, newer device that’s just come on the market, perhaps he’ll voice a confident opinion when someone talks about the device or maybe help someone who’s just got it and is learning how to use it!!!

Although they are separate things, self esteem and self confidence are intertwined.  The more self confident I become by experiencing things (both positive and negative) and practicing activities, the stronger and more effective my Self Esteem Inner Imp becomes.

Self Esteem is BEING.  It’s about Team You believing in your abilities.

Self Confidence is all about DOING and becoming confident in what you’re doing. 

By DOING and practicing things to become more self confident, you improve your Inner Imp Self-Esteem’s self-esteem.

Clear as mud right?

Delve a little more deeply into the murky waters by subscribing to our CANDo Get-Up and Go-Go Newsletter and you’ll get to know more about all the Inner Imps that make up Team You and how to get them working effectively.

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