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Self-esteem and self-confidence

When we face a big move from one place to another we need to believe in ourselves. Because often we have to drive the move ourselves. This is when the concept of self-esteem and self-confidence become crucial. Let’s explore what this actually means.

Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself overall. This is how much esteem, positive regard or self-love you have in your tank. The fuller your tank is of these things, the higher your self-esteem. Self-esteem develops from experiences and situations that you have met throughout your life and have shaped how you view yourself today.

Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities and can vary a lot from from situation to situation. You may have healthy self-esteem (almost full tank), but low confidence about situations involving traveling or dealing with change. You self-confidence in your abilities for other things can still be very high (maybe cooking or dancing), but low self confidence in specific areas will still hold you back from exploring them.

How then can you go about building these two even stronger?

  1. Make a list of at least 20 things about yourself that you like/love. Make these things something that follows ‘I am…‘. For example ‘I am curious, a good friend, a great listener…‘ If you run out of good things to say, ask your closest friends and family for the 3-5 things that they think characterises you. You’d be surprised how many kind things people have to say when you just ask them! Self-esteem grows when you feed it with positive things that are true for you.
  2. Make a new list of things that you think that you are already good at and things that you are not yet so good at, but that you’d like to get better at. This list will give you an idea of where your self-confidence is high and what areas you can improve even more.
  3. Look at the list of areas where you are not yet very confident. Let’s say for example that you would like to go on a longer trip by yourself, but don’t feel confident that you could. This is when you seek out people/books/resources of people who already have done this type of trip and start to look at both why, but mainly how they did it. This is called modelling – to copy and learn from what someone else is doing to get the same successful result they did. And of course there is room for tweaking here to personalise it to you!
  4. Ask yourself – what else have I done in the past that is similar to this? Have you overcome a challenge at work and had to finish a project by yourself? Are there any learnings and skills there that you can use for planning that trip by yourself?
  5. Confidence is most often built by taking action and actually doing the thing that scares you a bit. Sitting and hoping that things will improve by themselves will rarely result in anything. Pick 3-5 action points from the learnings above and go ahead and do them. You’ll feel your confidence grow with each point.
  6. Daily gratitude – every night when I go to bed I think of three things that I’m grateful for in the day that’s passed. It can be anything from a great catch up with a friend, a warm hug from my niece, lovely dinner or that it was sunny when I rode my bike to work. I also make sure that at least one of these thoughts of gratitudes are about me and things that I have done. For example ‘I’m grateful that I was able to have that difficult conversation with my colleague and that I stayed calm during the whole chat‘.

To sum up – when you love yourself and feel gratitude to self, your self-esteem improves, which makes you more confident. When you feel confident in different areas of your life, you begin to increase your overall sense of self-esteem. This means that you can work on both of these areas at the same time and see how they actually help propel each other to make you stronger and happier.

With both a strong self-esteem and strong self-confidence it’s so much easier to set out on new adventures and really enjoy the journey that follows!