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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Developing Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

    Self-confidence and self-esteem are interconnected concepts, yet fundamentally different. Although both are components of our overall mental health and wellbeing, self-confidence limits itself to determining our ability to succeed and achieve personal goals, while self-esteem operates on a more profound level, exploring how we value ourselves as individuals and evaluate our worth in the world around us. To effectively take steps towards developing both self-confidence and self-esteem, it is important to examine how each concept is defined and how they interact with each other.

    Self-Confidence Defined

    By definition, self-confidence draws from the concept of self-efficacy, which is the belief we have in our own individual capabilities and competences. Developing robust self-confidence involves an emotional state that we experience when we are fully aware of our potential and able to rely on our knowledge and skills to achieve our desired outcomes. This emotional confidence is fostered through positive experiences, such as successfully completing a task, reaching an important goal or simply being recognized for our efforts. As self-efficacy grows exponentially greater, the more confident one becomes in the assessment of their capabilities.

    In contrast, low confidence levels can lead to fear of failure or even avoidance of trying tasks all together due to feelings of uncertainty, incompetence and defeatism. It is important to note that being overly confident can also be a detrimental factor, as it can lead to complacent behavior, dangerous risks and a lack of assessing oneself and others’ abilities objectively.

    Self-Esteem Defined

    Unlike self-confidence, self-esteem is a holistic evaluation of an individual's personal worth and is heavily influenced by external factors. This type of self-love typically results from positive reflections on our achievements but is easily diminished by emotionally sensitive or negative activities such as mistakes, criticism or comparison to others.

    Generally, high self-esteem is associated with self-care and respect. People who value themselves as worthy and capable of overcoming challenging obstacles often have healthier self-esteem and can cope with setbacks more mobly than those with lower levels. Conversely, low self-esteem is characterized by feelings such as worthlessness, inferiority and insecurity and leaves a person feeling more vulnerable and powerless to combat difficult situations.

    Relationship Between the Two

    Despite their distinct differences, self-confidence and self-esteem are inextricably linked. Oftentimes, higher levels of self-confidence appear to induce increased levels of self-esteem; as we learn to rely on our capabilities and trust in our aptitudes, we recognize and accept our strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments - resulting in higher levels of self-respect. Through these strengthened feelings of self-worth and gratification, people begin to value themselves more, thus further increasing self-esteem.

    Progressing Positively

    To start developing both self-confidence and self-esteem, it is important to first identify any limiting beliefs or negative biases that may stand in the way of spiritual growth. To reduce the influence of these obstacles, it is essential to replace them with realistic goals and healthy perspectives using positive self-talk and affirmations. Additionally, taking personal responsibility for one’s personal journey, practicing positive habits and seeking out constructive criticism from respected mentors or peers can further facilitate advancement along this path.

    Furthermore, engaging in activities that bring pleasure, allowing oneself to seek new opportunities, acknowledging your successes, surrounding yourself with supportive people and learning from failure are all important steps that should be taken when looking to build up one's self-confidence and self-esteem.

    Taking consistent action to propel ourselves towards reaching desired outcomes is paramount in our quest for greater self-confidence and self-esteem. The road to becoming our own greatest fan may be a long one, but as long as you persevere, you will soon be able to savor the sweet fruits of such labor.

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