The confidence or self-esteem can be a very fickle thing. It is easy to build up our confidence when we are young and then lose it as we age. There are also many people who have a high opinion of themselves but have no confidence in their abilities. Is there something different going on here? Is this a picture of two different people with different perspectives on life?
Some people see the glass half full; they view self-esteem as being good and confidence as being bad. To them, the best compliment they can give themselves is to be confident and know that they will be successful. On the other hand, some people view the glass half empty; they view self-esteem as being so high that nothing can go wrong and they are not even sure if they can do anything right. To them, the best compliment they can give themselves is to be humble and know that they have great potential.
In many ways we all have high or low self-esteem depending on where we came from and what our upbringing has taught us. In the United States, it is extremely rare to find a person who is completely confident and does not have a healthy level of self-esteem. We live in a society that praises and rewards people for being confident and smart. There are very few people who fit this description.
What I find interesting is that those who have a high sense of self-confidence often don’t have a high sense of self-esteem. Why is that? Why do the people with the highest self-esteem usually end up with the lowest self-esteem? This makes no sense to me. I believe it has to do with the fact that confidence and self-esteem are two very different things.
Confidence refers to how much we are willing to risk and take risks. Self-esteem is more related to how we think about ourselves. I have people with high confidence often make poor decisions. They often lack self-awareness because they are not focused on their successes at all times.
Self-esteem can be a double-edged sword. It can also lead to overconfidence. For example, if you are having trouble in a certain area of your business or life then it might be due in part to a low self-image. You need to build your self-image and have high self-esteem to succeed in any endeavor. However, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our high self-esteem that we lose sight of the world around us and our true calling. I often use the metaphor of an onion in my presentations as a way of describing this.
To illustrate this further, imagine that there are three onions. At the bottom level you have what is called the base level, which consists of your most insecure self-beliefs. At the top level you will find your more secure self-beliefs. This is where you feel secure and comfortable working at your potential. If you were to cut off one of the onions you would immediately see that there is a problem and the problem is on the outer level.
We must learn to keep our head at a reasonable level and remain focused on the goal of achieving our highest potential. In my experience, achieving confidence takes time. Many of us feel like we are on a treadmill that keeps going. We want to stop but don’t. Each time we do stop, the momentum picks up and we start to move forward.
Self-esteem and confidence boosters work on building confidence. It is our belief in us that drives us to strive for more. It is our perception of ourselves that defines us. As we begin to build our self-confidence, we begin to feel better about ourselves and our ability to achieve. Our confidence grows stronger with each milestone reached. It is with self-confidence that we are able to move towards our goals.
There are many self-confidence boosters that we can use to increase our self-esteem. Sometimes we need to look within to help us regain some confidence. Sometimes we can work on it by changing the way we perceive ourselves through daily ritual. Others may have a coach or mentor that can assist with these self-confidence boosters.
So, self-esteem vs. confidence are not something that we are born with but something that we can improve through daily rituals and change in perception. If your self-image is low, you can work on building it through daily rituals and positive thinking. When your confidence is high, you can rely on self-confidence boosters to help you reach those goals.