What is self-esteem and self-confidence?

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass

Self-confidence and self-esteem are two concepts that are used interchangeably but they are two different things.

A person with high self-confidence and low self-esteem may have experience performing the task multiple times that helped in building their self-confidence. They may also be good at performing various tasks pertaining to a project. On the contrary, a person with low self-confidence and high self-esteem will focus more on their personal ability to deliver their strengths even when placed in a team.

High self-confidence with low self-esteem

Self-confidence is easier to detect in a person because it is detected mostly by one’s outer appearance. For example, my client, John (not the real name) a Vice President of a company is very comfortable sharing his success and achievements on social media. He is happy to confidently commit to projects and deliver them successfully on time. He also gets the help of his team when needed without any hesitation. But he feels empty inside and not worth the life he has. His insecurities are shown by his constant need to please the people around him, especially his friends and relatives. He struggles to say No, even when he wants to because he worries it will result in the other person not wanting to spend time with him or valuing him anymore.

High self-esteem with low self-confidence

High self-esteem can usually be evaluated through assessments or coaching. I would like to give the example of another client here. My client, Simon (not the real name) a Physician has very healthy lifestyle habits. He is comfortable saying No when he feels like it. He bounces back from days that go bad with difficult patients. He accepts his limitations. He also appreciates the blessings in his life like his family, friends, house, etc. But he is not confident enough to take big risks in life. He is afraid he would go wrong if he would make big changes in his life. He tries to carry a heavy burden that could possibly be too much for him just because he is afraid to ask for help.

How people with low self-esteem behave in general?

The following are some of the symptoms that I have encountered in people:

  • They work to a point of exhaustion to feel worthy and to avoid social gatherings and other engagements. Some choose to do too many social engagements to avoid their personal life and reality.
  • Some are indecisive due to the lack of self-worth. They may not value their own opinion and ask others for even small decisions.
  • They need frequent compliments from others but may often take the compliments in the wrong way.
  • Jealousy is a result of a lack of self-esteem that may arise from growing up in a household with other siblings getting more attention.

How people with low self-confidence behave in general?

The following are some of the symptoms that I have encountered in people:

  • They may not trust themselves much to do bigger tasks or take greater risks as they worry that they may go wrong. This could be due to a lack of experience in their field too.
  • They may not be very flexible as they find it difficult to adapt to new situations and circumstances.
  • They may continue to work in the same job/role for years even when they know it is time to look for a new role due to fear of change.
  • They are afraid of committing to anything, sometimes even relationships.

A higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence can boost our chances of success in an organizational setting and life in general. This leads to better handling of difficult situations and better communication skills that yield higher productivity. After all, the better you feel about yourself, the less you feel the need to show off.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. |https://hamnasiddique.com| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

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