Self-esteem and self-confidence

Self-esteem and self-confidence


Recently I was asked was there a difference between self-esteem and self-confidence so I thought it would be a good idea to designate a page of my site on this subject so that you can see for yourself if you feel you have low self esteem or just lack a bit of confidence.

If you suffer from either you should be aware that it is treatable, so don’t concern yourself too much that you are, in some way, set like this for life. We all have the capacity to change and feel better about ourselves, and through the use of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, you will be able to see significant changes in how you think, feel and behave.

Ok, so lets separate the two terms. Very often these terms are used to describe similar problems and can be seen as the same but actually they are two entirely different areas of how we feel about ourselves.



Confidence is having trust in yourself and certainty in your capabilities without any self-importance or arrogance. It is how effectual you feel in a particular setting or in dealing with a individual job or task. For instance, there may be individuals who may feel self-confident in their capabilities to perform in front of crowd, participate in a ballroom dance contest, address an audience of 200 on a particular theme, take the project manager role in a team (like the ‘Apprentice’ on BBC1), or perhaps take the lead act in a show to hundreds of people.

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence. ‘Vince Lombardi’

Self-esteem denotes more to how significantly an individual respects him or herself and how worthy they understand themselves to be when it comes to such things as praise from others, love from a partner or even happiness. It is more to do with how you value yourself without projecting pretensions, enjoying yourself for who you are and not what you pretend to be, and feeling satisfied both mentally and physically (such as accepting your body rather than despising certain parts). Self-esteem is being able to learn from your mistakes without any fear of failure or consequences.


There may be times when a person has high self-esteem, so they feel good about themselves, however they may lack certain skills in certain areas, therefore, a lack of confidence can be felt.

Or, a person may feel really confident in their abilities to carry out a certain task but at the same time feel inadequate about themselves or feel vulnerable in some way. Actors are a good example of this as they project to the outside world a character that they feel comfortable with because they know their art and capabilities but underneath the mask they may have no value in themselves as an individual.

Below is a little checklist to do with self-esteem. If you answer ‘yes’ to most of the statements laid out here, then you have high self-esteem, if you answer ‘no’ to more than you answer ‘yes’ to, then you are more than likely suffering from low self worth. If you answer ‘no’ to most of the questions then it may be worth seeking help.

  1. I am a good and worthwhile person.
  2. I have good values that guide me in my life.
  3. When I look at my eyes in the mirror, I feel good about myself.
  4. I feel like I have done well in my life.
  5. I can laugh at myself.
  6. I like being me.
  7. I like myself, even when others reject me.
  8. Overall, I am pleased with how I am developing as a person.
  9. I love and support myself, regardless of what happens.
  10. I would rather be me than someone else.
  11. I respect myself.
  12. I continue to grow personally.
  13. I feel confident about my abilities.
  14. I have pride in who I am and what I do.
  15. I am comfortable in expressing my thoughts and feelings.
  16. I like my body.
  17. Overall, I make good decisions.
  18. I am a good friend and people like to be with me.


Another way to score this is to score each question between a 0 and 5 and then tally them up. If you score towards the top end such as 70, then it is likely that you have a good regard for yourself and high self-esteem. If you score low, for example 30, then this would indicate that you are suffering from low self-regard. Then you should check the areas where you have scored the lowest.




So what causes low self-esteem?low self-esteem

This is usually caused by a negative and distorted belief about yourself that has been forged over a period of time, through your life’s experiences. So if your life’s experiences are negative then so can your opinion of yourself.

Usually these opinions are forged in our childhood and early years of adolescence.

What you witnessed, heard and experienced during childhood – either within your family, or perhaps the wider community including your school days – will, more than likely, have prejudiced the way you view yourself. Lets look at some examples here of what may have influenced your opinions of yourself:


  • Regular punishment, abandonment or mistreatment as a child.
  • Not meeting parental standards and therefore, constantly criticized.
  • Failing to meet the standards of your peers (School for example)
  • Always being on the receiving end of other people’s anxiety or suffering.
  • Racism
  • Being part of a group or community to which others are prejudiced.
  • A deficiency in compliments, compassion, love or attention
  • Being openly different from others and not fitting in at home or at school. Bullied for example.


However, sometimes these negative beliefs about ourselves are formed later in life following experiences such as bullying in the workplace, abusive relationships (physical and mental), unrelenting anxiety due to hardships in living and traumatic events.

If you suffer from a lack of confidence or self-worth why not take that first step to feeling better about yourself and abilities and give me a call on 0800 849 94 94, or just drop me an email on the contacts page or here


Learn to Value yourself.




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