Self Confidence vs Self Esteem By Gabriella Rattner, CPCC

Self Esteem – a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary)

Self-Confidence – a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something Trusting our abilities, capabilities and judgements (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

In the simplest terms, self esteem is about how we rate ourselves. On a deeper level, it is about how we rate ourselves on an emotional level. It is how we appraise our own self worth. Our whole perception of ourselves, where we measure ourselves in comparison to others, is intricately connected to the esteem with which we hold for ourselves.

Self confidence is about how we rate ourselves on an intellectual and capability level. A self confident person believes in their abilities and is ready to rise to new challenges, deal with difficult situations and seize opportunities. Confidence shows itself in what the person knows, with what is familiar.

Confident people often accomplish what they set out to do because of conviction and effortful behaviours, not necessarily because they believe in themselves. Self confidence doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with good self esteem.

A highly confident person may appear to have equally high self-esteem, but their “self talk” often focuses on their vulnerability and includes negative thoughts about themselves, and not feeling “good enough”.

This self talk about esteem and confidence infiltrates each corner of our lives.

In terms of self esteem, how we process feelings about ourselves can impact our abilities to “be” in life. The words we use to describe ourselves and how we see ourselves has an impact on us.

Once we recognize this negative script, we can work towards improving our self esteem. Healthy self esteem means feeling we can cope well with life’s demands, are competent and have a sense of approval from ourselves and others.

Sometimes we are conscious and catch ourselves with our thoughts and often we are on auto pilot. If this resonates with you it may be something to begin to observe for yourself; to begin to distinguish how these thoughts impact your life.

The thoughts and beliefs we have of ourselves directly affect each moment, and each day.

Exploring the impact of low self esteem or low self confidence in our lives and developing personal strategies to apply to our everyday lives can lead to a better understanding and a positive change in managing old, unsupportive habits.

When adding self esteem to the mix self confidence can rise to a new, more authentic, deeply felt appreciation of one’s own worth.

An exercise to further explore our behaviour is to observe ourselves in real time and document our findings of feelings and responses. Usually a pattern emerges and we can begin to see how we automatically go to a behaviour or a belief of ourselves. Once we know something about ourselves at a different/deeper level, we can’t not know it going forward.

Asking powerful questions can also lead to deeper self discovery to learn how to undo old practices and help refine our goals.

Examples of these are: What is the opportunity here? What is here that I want to explore?

Coaching is about working with a Certified coach, creating a safe, honest and confidential space to allow for discovery, awareness and choice.

The client topic for a coaching session can be about any situation of the life cycle entities: Personal Growth; Friends and Family; Health; Money; Career; Physical Environment; Fun and Recreation; Significant Other/Romance.

gabriella_Rattner_HSGabriella Rattner, CPCC | As a Certified Professional Life Coach through the Coaches Training Institute and member of the International Coaches Federation, Gabriella Rattner has been actively coaching clients of all ages (17-70+) since 2010. Her highly attuned and unique approach to coaching has garnered her clients opportunities to deeply explore and uncover whatever may be holding them back. Gabriella is passionate about working with her clients to expand their view of what is possible, and promote discovery of new insights. Find out more at

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