Is it possible to have high self confidence but low self esteem?

Published by Amaka Chibuzo-Obi on

Some people may actually think that this is an error, but it is not.

A person can have high self confidence but still battle low self esteem.

The fact is that, Confidence and Self Esteem are 2 different concepts. Although many people make the mistake of using them interchangeably.

Self esteem is your perception of your worth. How you see yourself. An emotional appraisal of your worth.
Self Confidence is a trust in oneself and in their abilities. A belief that one can deliver.
Self Confidence can be built from a series of successful endeavours. When one has built competence in an area, its easy to have confidence, knowing they can deliver when called upon.

Counter-intuitively, this confidence in self may not necessarily help them see themselves as worthy.
This is where the “impostor syndrome” creeps in and sits pretty.

That’s why you can see highly successful and creative people engage in destructive behaviour like drugs, alcohol, illicit sex and the likes. Because, even though they are highly confident in themselves and their abilities, they really do not value themselves, as individuals.

Let’s paint a picture that women can relate with – Many women have that black bra that is highly dependable. Whenever and where ever you call upon it, it will answer to do its job! 😉😉 It’s comfy, solid, puts the “baby girls” in the right position and doesn’t tear your back in the process. But it’s probably now old, worn out and frail. Even though you are highly confident in the ability of this bra, you know its really not worth much in the grand scheme of things.

This describes (though, very much loosely) how confidence does not necessarily translate to healthy self esteem (or self worth).

So, as we seek to build up our confidence, let’s also work on ways to build our self esteem alongside.

Because, Self Confidence will train you to be able to step out and grab opportunities that exist as well as create opportunities for ourselves, but it’s a healthy self esteem that will give you resilience and staying power, even when things are not working out as planned.

© Amaka Chibuzo-Obi
Life and Confidence Coach (with focus on women)

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