The difference between self-esteem and self-confidence

What is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence and how to strengthen each?

What is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence? These two expressions do not have exactly the same meaning, and knowing their differences helps us achieve self-knowledge! These two words are somewhat related, but we can say that they do not have exactly the same meaning. Hence, knowing the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence is necessary to develop both. In this article, we have discussed the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence. In the following, after we have examined the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence, we provide essential tips that will help to increase our self-esteem and self-confidence.
In order to better understand the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence, you must be familiar with the meaning of each of these terms.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem refers to the opinion we have about ourselves and revolves around how we feel about ourselves as a human being. In other words, to have self-esteem is to consider ourselves a valuable member of society. Simply put, high self-esteem depends on accepting ourselves as we are.
Basically, respect for oneself or others is related to one’s worth. Therefore, if we value ourselves a lot, we will have high self-esteem. On the other hand, if we think we have little value as a person, we will have low self-esteem as a result. Next, we will define self-confidence, so that you can better understand the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence.
Self-esteem means that I am capable and valuable and I have the qualification of a happy and successful life. In addition, all creatures and humans are valuable and deserve a happy and successful life.
When you have healthy self-esteem, it means that you are sufficiently aware of your achievements and abilities, you are happy with who you are, and you love yourself. That’s why you express your feelings easily, you don’t blame yourself and you value yourself.
Self-esteem is the characteristic through which we think, feel and act, representing our relationship with ourselves, others and the world. People with healthy and high self-esteem do not need to rely on appearances such as income, status, or fame, or things like alcohol, drugs, or sex. On the contrary, they face the society and the environment by maintaining their respect and health. They can fully devote themselves to work and relationships because they are not afraid of failure or rejection. Of course, they may be hurt or suffer from disappointment, but withdrawal will neither hurt them nor diminish their efforts. Due to their high flexibility, they are receptive to experiences in which they can grow and try to have meaningful relationships. They are risk-taking people and seek happiness and pleasure. In general, people with high self-esteem are more comfortable with themselves and others. They forgive and cope with life’s problems more easily. Self-esteem issues should not be ignored, as self-esteem is the filter through which you live your daily life and is the foundation of how you interact with the world in both personal and business relationships. To have a healthy self-esteem, don’t constantly evaluate yourself, which leads to negative behaviors, such as constantly pleasing others or always being submissive. A person’s lack of self-esteem is manifested through a person’s thinking, behavior, decision and action. A person with low self-esteem will tolerate bad behavior, accept less than what they deserve. Because he does not believe that he deserves anything better.

A white paper on which there is an eraser, a blue pencil, a yellow pencil and a lamp

What is self-confidence?

Self-confidence refers to the faith we have in our abilities or in various aspects of our lives. For example, we may be confident in our skills as a speaker or in our work life and believe that we are a good employee. We should also say this in the continuation of examining the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence that confidence in certain aspects of our lives also makes us more willing to face the challenges of related fields. Also, this self-confidence makes us more motivated and willing to take on more responsibilities in those fields.
In general, the positive mental image that you have about the ability to do work and having the skills to do your own work is called self-confidence.
According to many studies in this field, having high or low self-confidence is generally meaningless. Because self-confidence should be measured in different fields.
for example
I have high self- confidence in public speaking.
I have good self-confidence in writing office letters.
My self-confidence in e-learning is high.
Therefore, it is better to always express your sentences in the form of “My self-confidence is high or low in a certain work”. Because in this case, the negative charge of the sentences will be reduced and you will feel good about yourself.
Self-confidence is specifically a person’s ability and aptitude to achieve success or interact with the world. A confident person is ready to face new challenges, take advantage of opportunities, deal with difficult situations and accept responsibility when things go wrong. Just as self-confidence leads to successful experience, successful experience leads to self-confidence. Although experience contributes to our confidence, it is possible for a person to be highly confident in one area, such as cooking or dancing, but very low in another, such as math or public speaking. Confidence grows over time and with experience. Self-confidence is not a characteristic that people naturally have, but rather a characteristic that they must work on in order to create, produce, and maintain. Confidence is not something you set out to have from the beginning and then be 100% on it from day one. Confidence grows with experience, time, growth, evolution and development.
Self-confidence and self-esteem do not always go hand in hand, it is possible for a person to have high self-confidence but at the same time have low self-esteem. People often confuse confidence with self-esteem, for example many entertainers and celebrities can give speeches in front of thousands of people, but then they can get hurt and even kill themselves with drugs. Some athletes try their best and have complete confidence in their athletic abilities, but even winning an Olympic gold medal doesn’t make them happy. Think of all the celebrities who are unhappy with their lives. Despite receiving awards such as Oscars and years of living in the best areas and receiving positive feedback from people, they are not happy and feel dissatisfied because their self-esteem is low and their self-confidence only belongs to their field of work and fame.

A staircase is drawn on the blackboard with white chalk, with a man climbing up the stairs and reaching a lighted lamp.

How to gain more self-esteem and self-confidence?

Now that we know the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence, it is time to examine the methods of increasing both. It can be roughly said that most of us struggle with low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence in some specific situations. Even if there is a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence, that doesn’t mean we can’t improve them at the same time! In general, the mistake we often make is to think that focusing on a certain area will increase our self-esteem. While it is necessary to focus on the overall improvement of our character, in order to grow both of these elements hand in hand. Below are some solutions that help to do this.

1-Use positive affirmations in the right way

If we can use positive affirmations correctly, they can have a profound effect on our self-esteem. Normally, if we have low self-esteem, constantly emphasizing statements like “I will succeed” does not affect our motivation. Because such statements are very different from our real opinion about ourselves. In fact, the right way to use positive affirmations when we don’t have enough self-esteem is to make those sentences realistic and accessible based on our current mindset. For example, let’s repeat the opposite statement with ourselves: “I am getting closer and closer to success every moment.”

2-Trying to accept admiration

Although there are several differences between self-esteem and self-confidence, making an effort to accept praise can help boost both. Sometimes, some of us have low self-confidence and are the most resistant people to the praise of others. Having such a feeling towards the admiration of those around us, we should try to accept others’ admiration towards us with good manners and turn this into a habit for ourselves. Even if it is difficult for us to do this.
The “Pretend until it becomes a reality” approach is an important part of creating a positive self-image. It means creating an image that is closer to the viewpoint of others. In order to stop dismissing the admiration of others as our unconscious reaction, we must try to put together a set of simple responses. Then practice using them regularly so that it becomes an unconscious response for us. When we reach this stage, we can be sure that our self-esteem is improving.

3-Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

Despite the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help boost both. The way we treat our physical and mental health has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, it can be said that a healthy self-care routine automatically increases our self-confidence. Here are some simple tips that we can use to improve our self-esteem and self-confidence:


The food we eat directly affects our physical health, emotional health, and in turn, our self-confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, by having a healthy and balanced diet, we become a healthier, stronger and more energetic person. This ultimately makes us feel good about ourselves.

A wooden container containing peanuts, walnuts and pistachios


Studies have shown that physical activity can significantly improve a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. In other words, having a healthy and proportionate body makes us have a good mental image of our body and increases our self-confidence.


Meditation is not only suitable for calming the mind, but it can also increase our self-confidence. First of all, meditation helps us understand and accept ourselves. At the same time, with constant practice we learn to avoid talking to ourselves about negative thoughts. Thoughts that can damage our self-esteem.

Record events

Record events is essentially a creative form of meditation that helps restore self-esteem and confidence.

Adequate sleep

A healthy sleep pattern keeps us feeling fresh, optimistic and ready to face the problems around us. Meanwhile, irregular or insufficient sleep can negatively affect our emotional state and self-esteem.

4. Follow up on goals and promises

Setting goals for ourselves is easy, but following through on them can be much more challenging. Although there are several differences between self-esteem and self-confidence, following through on goals and promises can help boost both. If we work hard to pursue our goals, we will respect ourselves more when we achieve them. Even if we fail to achieve these goals, we will still be satisfied with ourselves. Because we know that we have put our best efforts to achieve our goals. Such an effort makes us develop a stronger sense of self-confidence and less fear to face new challenges.
Remember to apply this principle to keep the promises we make to others. In this way, not only do we respect ourselves for keeping our commitments, but others also respect us more. In other words, following this law has a greater advantage to improve our relationships with others and also increases pride and self-confidence for us as a respectable person.

5-Follow up your progress

A good goal-achieving exercise is to break down your goals into smaller goals and track your progress. This helps us evaluate our goals based on specific criteria. For example, instead of saying, “I want to exercise more,” we can say, “I exercise for 30 minutes every day.” Then we can easily track our progress towards our goal and see if we are reaching our goal or not. This work makes us stick to our goals and at the same time our self-confidence increases; Because we will see our progress over time.


Issues related to lack of self-confidence or self-esteem are problems related to all human beings and can arise at any stage of life. Although there are some differences between self-esteem and self-confidence, both of them can be examined with the right approaches and solve the related problems. Of course, knowing the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence is crucial to improving both problems. Therefore, first of all, time should be devoted to the knowledge that the root of each person’s problems comes from his lack of self-confidence or lack of self-esteem. After that, an appropriate approach can be taken to improve the individual. In this article, we examined the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence and also explained the methods of increasing self-esteem and self-confidence. You can also share your questions and criticisms with us.
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