How we view ourselves, how we fit into the world around us, and the confidence we feel performing different tasks throughout the day are referred to as our self-esteem and self-confidence. Both are traits we can develop, and both can be lower or higher depending on the situation and circumstances.
Let’s define the difference between the two, then look at how you can build your self-confidence and self-esteem.
What Is Self-Confidence And Why Is It Important?
Self-confidence relates to how confident we feel in individual areas of our lives. We may have high self-confidence in some areas, and in others—not so much. For example:
- You may be confident about your skillset as the head nurse, but not as confident when you must present your numbers in the quarterly meeting. Even when your numbers are strong, you may lack the confidence to speak in public.
- Baseball might be your favorite sport, one you’ve played since elementary school. But when you must sub and play shortstop instead of first baseman, you may lack confidence.
- A musician may have a shelf full of Grammys and awards but may have severe stage fright.
When we aren’t confident, we often second-guess ourselves. The quality of our work or performance may suffer, even though it doesn’t reflect our whole person.
What Is Self-Esteem And Why Is It Important?
Self-esteem is how we regard and evaluate ourselves. It’s a self-rating of sorts. However, self-esteem also weighs in on how we accept ourselves. It’s often how we perceive ourselves compared to others. But, our self-evaluation isn’t always accurate. We believe it to be true, but that doesn’t mean it is true.
In one of the examples above, we described a Grammy-winning artist with stage fright. However, a Grammy-winning artist could also genuinely believe they aren’t that good. This would be an example of someone who has low self-esteem.
People-pleasers often have low self-esteem. They typically don’t know how to ask for what they want and determine their value and worth from the opinions of others.
A person can even have high self-esteem and low self-confidence. For example, they may believe they’re the best baker in the room, but their low self-esteem may keep them from entering a baking contest or even baking for a school fundraiser.
Unlike self-confidence, low self-esteem can negatively impact every area of our lives. It can leave us selling ourselves short and living a life that is unfulfilling and inauthentic.
How To Build Self-Esteem And Self-Confidence
The approach to building confidence and esteem are different, as confidence is typically limited to individual situations and circumstances.
How To Build Your Self-Confidence
Begin by clearly identifying the areas of your life you’re not confident in.
If it’s something like speaking in meetings or small group settings, facing your fear is required. Practice makes perfect, so join a local public speaking group or a networking group that will provide you with the opportunity to speak in public. Consider giving presentations to trusted friends and family.
Almost every area where you’re lacking in confidence will require you to expand your knowledge base and practice your new skill.
Maybe you excel at running your start-up but aren’t confident discussing the financial side of things with your accountant. Even though you have a trusted accountant, your financials are a skill that can and should be learned.
So, take a live or online class, read books, and do research online. Ask more questions when the opportunity arises. The more knowledge you gain and practice you have, the more confident you will feel.
How To Build Your Self-Esteem
Self-esteem requires a significant amount of interpersonal work. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but building your self-esteem may include:
- Working with a therapist to learn targeted techniques.
- Creating personalized affirmations.
- Being as kind to yourself as you are to others.
- Elevating your friend group and who you spend time with.
- Learning to delegate and say no.
- Investing more time doing things you enjoy.
- Reading self-development books.
- Learning how to accept compliments.
Can Therapy Help With Self-Esteem?
Yes, therapy can help with self-esteem in a few different ways. It can help you:
- Connect past experiences to current esteem issues.
- Recognize and strategize against your negative self-talk.
- Develop self-compassion and prioritize your feelings and goals.
- Establish healthy boundaries in places that will have a rapid impact.
- Pursue passions and set goals you want but have put on the back burner.
Even with therapy, boosting your self-esteem is not a quick fix. Take your time and be kind to yourself. You’ll feel more empowered some days, and not so much the next.
How Can I Be Confident Instantly?
Whether you’re just having an off day and are lacking in overall confidence or are facing a challenge head-on—these tips will help you to instantly boost your confidence:
- Pop on an upbeat song or play your go-to motivational playlist.
- Call someone who knows how to lift you up.
- Dress for success, in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
- Practice deep-breathing exercises.
- Keep your nutrition clean and healthy.
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk to shake off some of your nervous energy.
- Strike a power pose like the superman pose, or at least improve your posture.
- If it helps to calm your nerves or racing mind, take an Organic CBD Gummy.
These tips will teach you how to build your self-confidence and self-esteem. But remember, wellness must always be personalized. Identify what works for you and keep building from there.