Confidence vs Self-Esteem

By Wild Ginger

Confidence vs Self-Esteem

December 6th, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Have you ever looked at someone and wished you had their confidence? They could be killing it during a work presentation, wearing the bold outfit that ends up in the back of your closet or filming multiple takes of a TikTok dance in public – we all just want to be comfortable with ourselves. But did you know that there’s a difference between self-confidence and self-esteem? 


The Differences Between Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem

Confidence and self-esteem are often used interchangeably, but they represent different perceptions you have about yourself. Self-confidence is how you view your abilities to accomplish certain things and tasks, while self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself and your value. You can have high self-confidence and low self-esteem or low self-confidence and high self-esteem, but in order to live a fulfilling life, you need a healthy amount of both.


Signs of Low Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem

Confidence is situation-specific because it is built on achievements. When you’re successful at something or have completed a specific task, you’ll be more sure or confident that you can do it again. But when you don’t trust yourself, low self-confidence can look like:

  • Being afraid to speak up
  • Second-guessing yourself
  • Overworking to “prove yourself”
  • Apologizing for no reason


Self-esteem is built on personal worth, so it covers the general impression you have of yourself. This normally begins in childhood, but can also be caused by stress and difficult life events. Signs of low self-esteem include:

  • Always comparing yourself to others
  • Not being able to accept compliments or take criticism 
  • Making poor health choices
  • People-pleasing


How To Improve Self-Confidence & Self-Esteem

Low self-confidence and self-esteem can be restricting and, for some, debilitating – please seek professional help if your negative thoughts affect your day-to-day life. Confidence is easier to build than self-esteem, but to begin working yourself, you need to fully accept yourself for who you are. When we separate ourselves from our actions and abilities, we’re able to understand that our mistakes and flaws don’t define us. 


  1. Compliment yourself – As cheesy as it sounds, positive self-talk and daily affirmations can work. Reprogram your thinking by changing the way you talk to and about yourself.
  2. Set boundaries – Practice boundaries and learn how to communicate your needs to others. This includes setting boundaries with yourself to conserve your time and energy.
  3. Treat yourself – Celebrate your accomplishments by treating yourself to something nice. You can also reward yourself with some me-time and participate in activities that bring you joy.
  4. Learn something new – Explore a passion and allow yourself to learn from the challenges. Set manageable goals and celebrate your achievements no matter how small they are.


With healthy self-confidence and self-esteem, you’ll be able to handle life’s challenges better, have more enjoyable experiences, and build positive relationships.

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