People often confuse these two terms. Many assume they’re the same thing, but this isn’t true. You can have a great deal of self-esteem and very little self-confidence. The opposite is also true. Having both is important. You’ll be more successful y más feliz contigo misma if you can cultivate both qualities.
- Self-confidence is situation specific. You can have a lot of self-confidence regarding your ability to do math, host a great celebración, or to play a sport. You can simultaneously have zero self-confidence in your ability to cook or sing. Self-confidence is the amount of trust you have in yourself to do a task well.
- Self-esteem is the general impression you have of yourself. Self-esteem is a form of self-love. It’s how pleased you are with yourself in general. You can have a lot of self-confidence and very little self-esteem. The opposite can also be true.
- Self-confidence is easier to build. Self-confidence is the result of preparation and success. For example, if you prepare well for an exam, you’ll have confidence in your ability to do well on that exam. When you have a history of doing well at something, you’ll develop self-confidence in that area.
- Self-esteem can’t be built with achievements, but self-confidence can. A wall full of trophies and premios can really boost your self-confidence. However, it may do little for your self-esteem. You can be great at something without valuing yourself.
Building self-confidence is work. If you want to be confident at something, you’ll need to practice until you’re consistently successful. Practice until you’re good at something and you’ll develop self-confidence in that area of your life. Learning to love yourself more will help you build self-esteem.
- Identify your values and use them to guide your decisions. List your values and refer back to your list often. Think about changes you can make to your life to live according to your values. Failing to adhere to your values is a leading cause of low self-esteem.
- Reject perfection. If you’re trying to be perfect, you’re going to fail. If you consistently fail at living up to a standard, your self-esteem will suffer. Lower the bar to something achievable and give yourself the chance to be happy with yourself.
- Volunteer. Spend some of your time each week helping others. Find an organization that serves a cause that you feel empathy for.
- Manage your self-talk. If you spend all day insulting yourself, it’s tough to feel good about yourself. There’s no way to permanently shut down your inner thoughts, but you can manage them. Stop yourself when you notice negative self-talk and turn it to something positive.
You can have one without the other but it’s much more powerful to have both. You can be wildly successful with just self-confidence, but your successes will never make you happy or satisfied. Both work together to create a fuller life experience. Build self-confidence in the areas that serve you. Build your self-esteem so you can love yourself.
Dr. Patty Jiménez is the Founder of Recetas. She obtained 2 Masters in Theology and Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry specializing in Latinx theology and ministry. She has over 27 years experience in Catholic Ministry and is a spiritual director and training as a wellness coach.