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Why Self-esteem Is Different From Confidence and How to Build Both Effectively

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As humans, we sort of depend on certain qualities and traits. For example, self-esteem and self-confidence (or confidence) are two fundamental personality traits that we need in our lives. Quickly before you think about each of the terms, let’s define what each of them means.

Self-esteem: How you feel about yourself and about what you do. It’s your sense of self-worth, in a world full of other individuals just like you. When you have self-esteem you believe that you deserve to be happy, and you believe that you deserve the respect of others.

Self-confidence: The self-assurance in one’s personal strengths, judgments, and decisions. When you believe that you can achieve something, you’re basically confident that you’re going to make it. It’s just like a feeling of trust in your own abilities.

The connection between these two personality traits is quite significant. Even though it’s normal for high self-esteem individuals to also be self-confident, the two qualities can also thrive separately. For example, I know someone who’s extremely talented at painting and firmly believes in his ability to create art.

Even though he’s extremely talented and he knows it, he refuses to share his art with other people. He has big self-esteem issues and believes that his work will be negatively judged.

Why do we need to develop both our self-esteem and confidence?

The previous example were meant to highlight the fact that the lack of self-esteem could generate many disempowering effects. Loss of talent is one of them.

Let’s make it clear, self-discipline and self-esteem are qualities that can be developed. It’s not like you get born and die with them. If you want to change, you can have the change. I very often suggest people around me to take full responsibility for their lives.

I’d like to do the same. In case you’re already aware of your issues, taking responsibility and committing to change is the best thing that’s going to make you a better person. Fulfillment and happiness can never be achieved unless one truly believes that he has the ability to earn them, and also that he deserves them.

Here are 5 effective ways to improve both your self-confidence and self-esteem at the same time:

1. Start Taking Consistent Action

Taking action with purpose is the best way to set yourself on the right path. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Set three long-term goals – brainstorm more and choose the most important three
  2. Split them into small and more manageable goals – it could be monthly/weekly
  3. Focus on each independently and make small steps towards results
  4. BE CONSISTENT and never give up

Taking consistent action will give you momentum to keep going. Whatever you want to achieve (emotional freedom, a better job, better relationships), start doing it now. There’s no better advice than this, even though you have probably heard it before.

“Consistent actions creates consistent results.” – Christine Kane

2. Analyze Your Self-Talk

If you want to change the way you feel, you must listen to your other voice. I bet that you’re always allowing your other voice to take over your mind. You even listen to it frequently, and it often gets you in trouble.

Fear of failure and the lack of self-esteem creates negative self-talk. This affects you on all levels, as most of our self-talk is negative. Start making a distinction between the two voices and stop allowing the big mouthed monster in your brain take the control again.

3. Contribute to The Well-Being of Others

When you’re good to others, you get a feeling that you were sent on earth with a purpose. That sense of purpose is extremely healing for people with low self-esteem. When another human being honest thanked you for your kind deeds, your heart gets filled with joy. If you do more good to the world, that feeling will persist and will eventually become a part of you. Sooner than you expect, your self-esteem levels will skyrocket.

4. Respect and Reward Yourself Every Now and Then

Every one of us has good days and bad days. Every person has problems and sorrows. We’re not perfect, and we’ll never be. It’s important to remember the fact that sometimes we go through good times, sometimes we go through bad times. When the bad times arrive, be prepared.

Respecting your boundaries, your actions, yourself, and your time is essential to your well-being and fulfillment. Besides that, you should also consciously reward yourself from time to time. Go out, do something you enjoy, buy something that you’ve always wanted. The feeling of reward is often helpful for cultivating better self-confidence and self-esteem.

“Self-respect knows no considerations.” – Mahatma Gandhi

5Truly Commit to Change

Again, I’m not going to surprise you with some unusual and ineffective strategy. Instead, I’m going to tell you the truth again. If you’re not committed to progress and change, it’s never going to happen. You’ll be stuck in your state up until you personally decide that you’ve had enough.

This is what it means to take responsibility for your life. No one is supposed to spend their life in fear, disappointment, and unhappiness. These personality traits should always be advantageous instead of the opposite.

Life is much more beautiful if you live it with full confidence and self-esteem. Who says you can’t be happy? Who says you can’t do what you want to do? Everything you think, or more specifically what other people think…it’s all subjective. You can always change the way you perceive the world. You can find new meanings and purposes, and you can live your life intensively and happily.

In your opinion, what is the difference between self-esteem and self-confidence? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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1 Comment

  1. Success Learned

    Feb 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    It is great to see an article showing the differences between Self Confidence and Self Esteem. Too many people believe that they are the same.

    I do believe that a healthy mix of both is vital for learning and for life in general

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Life

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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How You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Your Advantage

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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)

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