You’re confident, but do you have self-esteem? Or, is it the other way around? Or could it be both? Confidence and self-esteem are closely related, and they can influence one another but they aren’t exactly the same. Both are good to have, and good to keep in check, but they develop in different situations.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is all about the way that you see yourself. People with good self-esteem feel like they are generally good at things and generally good with people. As a result, they are not afraid to try new things and to place themselves in challenging positions of opportunity. A healthy sense of self-esteem is developed in challenging but controlled situations in which people are supportive but don’t just tell you what you want to hear.
When your self-esteem is too low, you may be afraid to try new things and may lose interest in doing things that you once enjoyed or were good at. Low self-esteem may develop from a failure or series of failures. In this case, it can only be recovered by a combination of support and encouragement from others and from getting up and trying again.
Low self-esteem can also result from an emotionally abusive environment. In this setting, some people are able to develop a positive self-image despite the abuser or abusers. Most often, however, the best way to remedy this situation is to leave it.
When a person’s self-esteem is too high, they may think that they are more important or more valuable than other people. They may look for opportunities to abuse power, break rules, or engage in risky behaviors. High self-esteem can develop after a success or series of successes. In this case, it may be checked by a failure, a challenge on authority, or simply a challenge. It may also develop in environments that are too supportive – in which people praise the good that one does but do not point out errors or concerns. In this case, the individual usually has their self-esteem checked when they leave the environment or experience challenges on authority.
What is Confidence?
Confidence is a little different in that it can change in different situations and environments. A child who is sheepish and nervous at home may feel ready to take on the world when they get to school where they are surrounded by friends and supportive teachers. An adult who keeps his head down and his mouth shut at work may feel like a king when he returns home where he is able to fix a chair for his wife or help his kids with homework.
Just like self-esteem, confidence can be too high or too low, having the wrong amount of confidence for a given situation can lead to problems. When a person is too confident, they may take on challenges that they are not ready for. When they are not confident enough, they may not try to come up with new ideas or offer their help in times of need. Like self-esteem, net confidence is a combination of experience in similar past situations and the overall level of support from the environment.
How are Self-Esteem and Confidence Related?
Confidence and self-esteem also impact one another. A person with high confidence in a number of situations may feel increased self-esteem. If they feel that they are fit to handle a number of situations, it makes sense that they should be more satisfied with who they are as people. Because confidence is based on experience, experience is necessary to build it. That means that people with lower self-esteem are less likely to feel confident because they are less likely to build confidence by trying new things.