Validate each achievement you have, no matter how small you think they may be
Let’s answer a few questions, shall we? Do you have a high self-esteem? Do you have a high self-confidence? Can you have a high self-esteem but low self-confidence or low self-esteem but high self-confidence? Maybe you are asking right now — are they not the same?
People often interchange self-esteem and self-confidence thinking that they are one and the same. However, these two are actually different from one another with one being the much bigger concept than the other. According to author and psychotherapist Emily Roberts, self-esteem refers to “how you feel about yourself overall.” This refers to how positively you regard or love yourself. Self-esteem is a more stable concept as it has been developed from your own life experiences. These experiences “have shaped how you view yourself today,” which comprise your self-esteem. Meanwhile, self-confidence refers to “how you feel about your abilities,” which means that this can vary depending on which situation you’re in. Unlike self-esteem which is more stable, your self-confidence in various aspects of your life may not be equal.
For example, when it comes to your relationships with your friends and loved ones, there is such a thing called a social self-confidence. This refers to how much you feel about your social abilities, such as interacting with others or being a friend to your own set of friends. In these relationships, you can have a high self-esteem but low social self-confidence. If you are in this situation, it is important to address this as it may impact the quality of relationships you have with others — whether they are your friends, family members or co-workers. So, what can you do to improve this?
You can build your social self-confidence by scheduling your social life, thinking positive about social tasks, performing social explorations, engaging in conversations gracefully, learning how to handle failures, managing your emotions, mitigating disagreements and — probably the most important —having a little fun and a little laugh. Practicing these can surely lead to your “social success.”
Further to filling up your social calendar, author Jenny Florence explains that there are measures, which she calls “the seven golden rules,” that you can undertake when either your self-confidence may be low or even when you think it is your self-esteem is taking a hit:
- You have to learn to listen to yourself and respond to yourself with care and support
- Turn off your “inner critic”
- Have a reflective rather than a reactive attitude
- Don’t be too harsh on yourself, but rather be kind to yourself
- Reward yourself for your efforts or for a job well done
- Be supportive of your own learning process
- Validate each achievement you have, no matter how small you think they may be
By doing these, you allow not only your self-confidence to grow but also your own self-value. By working on these, you will be able to understand yourself and eventually develop a positive image of yourself.
Not sure about your self-esteem? Why not take the Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale. You can also visit your nearest mental health professional for assistance.
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