High self-confidence can come from low self-esteem!
A lot has already been said about self-confidence, not only about how it can help in very practical daily life but also the several things that can help each one of us to develop higher self-confidence.
What is the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem?
The difference is that self-confidence is about what you do and self-esteem is more about who you are. Self-confidence can be about what you are good at doing, at work or at home. Self-esteem is the value you give to yourself, your identity, who you are and the value or estimation (esteem) you give yourself.
Being self-confident comes from the belief that things can be done, that the capacity and ability to do it is present.
Self-confidence is always related to performance.
We have no doubt that, most of the time, being self-confident is the belief that creates real possibility to achieve different results (we are being very self-confident now!). It is the possibility of leaving your comfort zone to create new, optimum results for individuals and teams.
Starting a task with “I can do it” brings a totally different energy and mind-set to the task and probably a totally different result as well.
The question is: is self-confidence enough?
In other words, can you leave self-esteem out of this equation for success?
You can, but it will probably have big consequences in the long term!
Self-esteem is, contrary to self-confidence, belief in yourself. It is the belief that you are enough already and that you are the best of you in every moment.
This supports the idea that even if you will not do anything right, you will still love yourself just the way you are.
In a society that is based on performance, maintaining a high self-esteem requires work.
From a very young age, children are incentivised to perform. The simple two-word sentence “well done” makes children addicted to performance to receive attention and love from adults. This is because, more often than not, they only receive admiration and attention from parents, teachers, family, etc. when they do something.
And this performance story never ends. After comes university, work, relationships… everything seems like a game of “can I do it better?” or “Am I doing enough?”
Of course, you can always do it better. Human beings are able to improve their skills very quickly. The question is: Will you ever be satisfied with yourself?
The behaviour of being self-confident can be a mask for a low self-esteem. Not always of course, but in our experience as coaches, an exaggerated self-confidence is sometimes just the perfect mask to not deal with the fear of not being enough, or not having the skills to do something.
We can recognize a good level of self-esteem in someone that can deal with failure, accepts losing things and games, accepts their own limitations and points of development, and has strong self-awareness; but also someone that does not put their existence and value in the things that they do or have achieved. High self-esteem is the ability to love and respect yourself as a full human being. It is the possibility of being seen just like you are.
If your child is trying the big slide in the park for the first time and is screaming: “Dad, Mum, look!” you just need to scream back “I SEE YOU!” rather than “well done”. This is just a simple change you can create to start working on self-esteem rather than putting it on self-confidence. You exist no matter what. You are seen, and valued, just for who you are, and not for what you do.
It is a responsibility of each one of us to develop our self-esteem by looking more inside of ourselves. Examining more about who we are, and less about what we are doing. But it is also a great responsibility to provide our children with a safe environment to allow their self-esteem to grow and to be there for them when they most need it!
Self-esteem will make you more resilient than self-confidence. Because when the job ends, the skills are not needed anymore, or what you do does not matter, so all that is left is who you are. And that is already great. But for some people it is the beginning of the end. And you want the end to be the beginning of something new.