Self Confidence and self esteem are two different concepts, two separate parts of who and how you are in the world. You can be very self confident in many areas of your life and yet suffer from low self esteem.
Self esteem is how you feel about yourself. You alone make you feel good about yourself. You alone make you feel bad about yourself.
As a psychotherapist I heard people blame others for putting them down and destroying their self esteem. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You cannot keep a good man down without his permissions.”
No one has any power over you and no one can tell you how to feel about yourself. If someone makes a remark that you choose to interpret as hurtful or a put-down realize that you chose to take in the remark that way.
What if, in doing or saying what they did, that person had no idea you would assign the meaning you did and feel hurt? What if that person had zero intention of putting you or anything about you down?
Chances are that what I just proposed is accurate. Very few people speak with an intention to hurt others. Sure, there are some people who feel so bad about themselves they attempt to make themselves feel better by potting others down thinking that makes them superior. Of course that is their belief system (BS) and has no basis in reality.
Plain and simple, like everything else in your life, you totally create and control how you feel about you. In any moment, if you catch yourself beating yourself up or putting yourself down you can catch yourself and replace those thoughts with others that empower you to feel good about being you.
Self confidence is all about how well you feel you do the tasks you perform. When you know you do something well you have high self confidence. When you know you possess certain talents you feel very confident in those areas of your life.
Can you see that a person can be very self confident yet have low self esteem? Of course a person can perform amazing feats and suffer from both low self confidence and low self esteem.
Witness the number of celebrities (actors, sports figures, politicians) with drug problems. Most of them are very talented and very good at what they do. They clearly are very confident that they will perform well most of the time. They have high self confidence yet, if they were happy being who they are as they are, why would they turn to drugs to feel good?
People who need the adulation of others to feel good about themselves lack the self esteem that allows them to feel good about themselves just because they exist. Self esteem and self confidence are both do-it-yourself jobs.
Self esteem defines the way you feel about yourself – who you are and how you are in life. Your opinion of you shows up in your demeanor, your posture, your voice tonality and volume, your wardrobe… the list goes on and on.
High self esteem powers you through anything that comes up in life. Low self esteem causes you to confirm why your life continues to look crummy.
Choose to build your self esteem higher than its current level. Even the happiest people on the planet sometimes experience low self esteem in some areas of their lives, at least now and then.
Okay, so how do you raise your self esteem?
You want to take action, do something that changes how you feel about yourself. Maybe when you exercise you get high so you want to finish your workout. The end result? You boosted your endorphins, your feel good hormones.
You also fed your spirit by creating a natural high,
Do not sit around thinking about what to do. Don’t go look for a book or magazine to get and idea of what to do. Just put on your shoes and get moving.
Why get into action?
When you sit around what happens in your mind? You focus on your low opinion of you.
What you focus on expands. How can you expect to feel better and move through challenging times if you have no idea how to raise your self esteem?
Put new ideas in your mind. You do that by creating new habits. You create new habits by taking actions you never did before.
Oh yes – before you can do anything mentioned above, you first must choose to be someone who does those things that you never did before. Until you make that choice you will not take the new and different actions required to move yourself from the low self esteem place to the high self esteem place.
Another habit you want to create is doing something nice for someone else. When you do something that helps another person feel good you cannot help but feel good too. You will feel better yourself as you see that other person light up.
Make a commitment to help others on a regular schedule so you have something to look forward to – and so does that other person or organization. The physic income you will receive will do more than elevate your good feelings about yourself, it will also motivate you to continue that new activity so it will become a habit.
Self esteem shows up in many ways. some are less noticeable than others. Did you ever feel invisible – and figure out how to hide that feeling?
When I was a kid some of my teachers called me a philosopher. I understood things in a way the other kids just didn’t see. Computers came out when I was in high school. And my teachers call me a computer. Now, as an adult, some of my friends call me pedia – short for encyclopedia.
Yeah, if you are playing Trivial Pursuit you want me on your team.
A few years ago I started wondering why I know so much and always have something to contribute to most conversations (unless you are talking about sports, which I’d rather play than watch, or television – which I stopped watching five years ago.)
Frankly, I never liked being called the computer and I am not really fond of being known as pedia either. Yet I really like being able to help people when they call with questions or challenges in most areas of life. And I especially feel good when I can offer hope to someone who has given up because no one else knew what to do.
So I used to think I lived with the dilemma of, “Do I contribute what I know or let people flounder and find their own way in daily life?” Usually I ask if they would like a suggestion rather than just contribute.
What would you think if I told you this way of being me came from a self esteem issue?
Because, truthfully, it does.
When I was little I was so shy that people didn’t notice me. No one heard me when I talked. I guess I spoke in a wee small voice. And I felt just plain overlooked until I figured out…
If I could be the best at everything I did and if I knew all the right answers, and if I was really nice and – okay, miss goodie-two-shoes and always the teacher’s pet – except I was also popular. Kids liked me too. With all that in place people noticed me. People didn’t just notice me they knew who I was. I made friends and won awards and recognition of all kinds!
Finally I knew how to never be invisible again!
Get the picture?
Funny I never realized what I was doing until very recently. All my life I just did it. Talk about habits!
And it didn’t matter when I spoke softly because people knew what I had to say was important and they stopped their conversations to listen. Yeah, like those old EF Hutton commercials!
Okay, I love to learn and that desire fuels my ever-growing knowledge base. And I suspect I would still have all this knowing on so many subjects even if I never had to announce my presence. But I cannot help wondering would I have become so good at sports and music and art and…(I do many things well) if I never felt a need to shine?
I would not change who or how I am. I really love being me except I also like being able to sit back and just watch and listen to others speak and guess and grow without my input. After all, I discovered you only learn something when you figure it out for yourself and apply it for yourself in your own way.
So now I am usually quiet and just take it all in – with a smile.