Increasing Self-Esteem and Confidence
The terms self-esteem and self-confidence are often used interchangeably when referring to how one feels about themselves. Although they are very similar, they are two different concepts. It is important to understand their roles when looking to improve your overall sense of self.
What is Self-Esteem?
Refers to how you feel about yourself overall; how much esteem, positive regard or self-love you have. Self-esteem develops from experiences and situations that have shaped how you view yourself today.
Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and can vary from situation to situation. Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. (It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism.)
Self-esteem is affected by physical ill-health, negative life events such as losing your job or getting divorced, deficient or frustrating relationships, and a general sense of lack of control.
People with long-term low self-esteem generally see the world as a hostile place and themselves as its victim. As a result, they feel reluctant to express and assert themselves, miss out on experiences and opportunities, and feel helpless about changing things. All this merely lowers their self-esteem even further, and they end up getting caught in a downward spiral.
Our self esteem is instilled in us during our formative years through childhood. Being constantly criticized by family, friends, and society tends to slowly strip us of our feelings of self worth. Our low self esteem strips us of the self confidence to make even the smallest of decisions. Basically self esteem is the value you see yourself having in the world. “Am I worthwhile human being?” Answer that question with a yes and the chances are you have pretty high self esteem. It’s not a quality that changes very much since it is related to a broad sense of personal value or self worth. If you have high self esteem at work, you probably have it in other areas of your life too, because this is a reflection of how you see yourself. People with high self esteem tend to see the universe as a pretty friendly place.