Confidence vs Self-Esteem: What Is The Difference?

People often use the terms confidence and self-esteem interchangeably. However, although the two terms connote almost the same meaning, they are not very different and do not always go hand in hand. 

Confidence is a measure of our belief in our ability or skills. On the other hand, self-esteem has something to do with how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with the world. 

You are in the right article if you are just as confused as I once was. This guide will discuss the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem to understand better which of the two needs more improvement. 

Confidence vs Self-Esteem

What is Confidence? 

Rooted from the Latin word “fidere,” which translates to “to trust,” confidence simply refers to our belief in ourselves, our abilities, and our ideas to do something. It is the unexplainable feeling of being self-assured that you will be able to handle challenges and therefore succeed.

To simplify, a confident person will not have a problem presenting her suggestion in class because she knows it is correct. It could also be someone not having cold feet performing in front of a large crowd because he knows he can sing well. 

Similarly, confidence is also about understanding and accepting yourself for who you are. People who accept their most authentic sense, their sexuality, and imperfections, and those who do not want to fit in are examples of people with oozing confidence. 

Confidence is something that motivates you to do things without thinking of whether or not the outcome will disappoint you. More importantly, it is something you feel inside that the outside world can see.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem refers to how we value, feel, or perceive ourselves. It is based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves. In simpler terms, self-esteem is how much you appreciate and like yourself regardless of the circumstances.

More than that, self-esteem affects whether we show kindness towards ourselves, believe that we matter and are good enough, and move past mistakes without blaming ourselves. 

Unlike confidence, self-esteem is invisible to the outside world as it is only you who knows and sees yourself on the inside. However, having high self-esteem manifests in our behavior and how we treat ourselves and other people. 

How Is Confidence Different from Self-Esteem?

You can achieve a satisfying life by building healthy levels of both self-esteem and self-confidence. Despite how similar they are, the two still have different concepts. Understanding the difference between the two is essential to improving your overall sense of self.

Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself and how much you like or love yourself. It comes from what you’ve been through and how you think of yourself now. 

Self-confidence is how you feel about your skills, which can change depending on your actions. You may have good self-esteem, but I don’t trust myself when it comes to something else.

You feel better about yourself and have more confidence when you love yourself. When you feel good about parts of your life, you start feeling better and increasing your self-esteem. You can work on both at the same time.

The difference between self-confidence and self-esteem is crucial. See, self-esteem is a wish, while self-confidence is a fact. Self-esteem is something you make up on your own, and self-confidence is how you measure your progress based on how your skills, knowledge, and success improve.

Who you are and what you stand for are things you can make up for. That’s why programs to boost self-esteem can help change how you feel about yourself. 

However, self-esteem is not associated with making decisions, acting, getting results, or being helpful. Instead, a big difference between self-esteem and self-confidence is the difference between seeing something a certain way and doing something to make it that way.

If you take control of yourself and your life and work to improve it, and if you set and reach clear, measurable goals, your progress will make you feel good about yourself. And you don’t have to tell a story about how great you are because your progress says it all. So you don’t have to make up a story about yourself or who you are when you gain self-confidence through success metrics.

When you think about it, the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem comes down to how you measure and compare yourself to others. People with high self-esteem don’t compare themselves to others, but people with low self-esteem do. This is where their problems start. 

Their constant comparing is done from the outside, which means they judge themselves and how they feel based on how well they think others are doing. And that kind of judging will always make you feel bad about yourself.

It’s easy to understand. You know the most about yourself and can reach who you are now to who you were yesterday or a year ago. So instead, have a daily measurement process where you measure yourself and your progress, so you’re not comparing yourself to anything or anyone else. 

For self-esteem, you can tell yourself anything you need to so you can deal with comparing yourself to people you feel less capable of every day. Facts are what give people self-confidence. That’s what sets them apart.

Ways To Improve Your Self-Esteem

It is normal to feel bad about yourself sometimes, but you may have low self-esteem if you feel bad about yourself all the time. So, it’s essential to recognize these ways to get your self-esteem where it should be. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Fight bad thoughts you have about yourself. 

You can write down at least three good things about yourself. Change them with more positive thoughts that focus on your strengths. When you start to feel down, think about this list. It will help you get back to the real world.

Look after yourself

Endorphins are the body’s natural opiates that make you feel good and in a better mood when you eat well and work out. You can boost your self-esteem by doing cheesy dances in your room or going for a jog around the block. You’ll feel better about yourself and less stressed when you work out.


Having a low sense of self-worth is often caused by feeling stressed all the time. It makes you think more negative thoughts, lowers your confidence, and makes you feel too tired to work out, hang out with friends, or do many things you love. Taking time to do something that makes you feel good is a great way to start making yourself feel better and less stressed.

Set goals

Every day, spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish. Then, give yourself realistic daily goals and write down everything you do to keep track of your progress. This can be as simple as finishing a project or making the room look better. You’ll feel good about yourself when you’ve done everything on your list for the day.

Help out anyone

This could be a friend, relative, or even a classmate who is having trouble with their work or school. You could tell them what to do or listen to them talk about their problems. It’s incredible how much our confidence goes up when we do things for others without expecting anything in return.

Think in a different way

Look at complicated situations from different points of view and try to replace thoughts like “Why bother?” with “I won’t know unless I try.” If you look at a situation more realistically, you’ll see that you can do what you want—you need to be a little more optimistic. If you do this every time you have a wrong thought, you’ll eventually find yourself thinking this way all the time.

Try new things

Our brains are good at learning new things, and the more unique ideas you know, the better you understand them and the more likely you are to find something you are passionate about. Everybody needs a creative outlet.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.

It’s okay if our friends don’t always make us feel good. You just need to spend more time with people who love and care more about you. This doesn’t even have to be your friends. It could be your family, online friends, or people who live near you.

Accept yourself

Everyone has flaws. We all have problems and mistakes. Learn to accept and love your “flaws” or flaws because they are what make you unique. To feel confident, you must accept yourself. When people say nice things about you, just say “thanks” instead of brushing them off or responding with something terrible.

Keep pictures of things that make you feel good. 

Keeping cool things you’ve done is a great way to remember them. We live in a time when everyone always has a camera, so take more pictures! When you look back at the images you’ve taken, you’ll see how many cool things you’ve done this year.

Ways To Build Self-Confidence

Confidence comes from many things, but in general, it comes from making choices and achieving goals that feed your passion and make you happy and proud of who you are. Finding out about these things is one of the best things you can do with your time.

 Here are some ways you can start to feel better about yourself:

Get things done

Getting things done helps build confidence. You’ll feel better about yourself if you reach small and big goals. It starts with your daily goals, like what you need to do today and every day or three days this week to help you reach your goal. Set yourself a goal and go for it.

Keep track of your progress.

Whether your goal is big or small, the best way to reach it is to break it down into smaller goals and keep track of your progress. Whether you’re trying to get promoted, get a better job, get into graduate school, change careers, eat healthier, or lose 10 pounds, the best way to know if you’re making progress is to track it. It will help you stay on track, and seeing your progress in real-time will boost your confidence.

Do what’s right

Most confident people live by a set of values and make decisions based on those values, even if it’s hard or not in their best interest, but for the greater good. Your actions and your choices define your character.


Exercise is good for your health in general, but it also helps you remember things, improves your focus, helps you deal with stress, and keeps you from getting depressed. So, keep moving and find time to take care of yourself.

Be Fearless

Failure isn’t your enemy; what holds you back is the fear of failing. If you have big goals and dreams, you’ll feel overwhelmed and like you can’t do it. You must look inside yourself in those times, gather every bit of courage, and keep going.

Stand-Up For Yourself

When your goal is still in its early stages, and someone tells you that it is stupid or that you can’t do it, it’s tempting to believe them because they’re joining the chorus of doubts in your head. But don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve the things you want. Believe in yourself because you have it in you.

Follow Through

People respect those who say they will do something and then follow through. More importantly, if you say you’ll do something and then do it, you’ll respect yourself and find it easier to believe in yourself because you won’t be afraid of the work. Action gives meaning to what you say and will help you reach your goals, strengthen your relationships, and feel proud of who you are.

Think Long-Term

Unhappiness comes from making decisions for short-term comfort that get in the way of long-term goals. Big plans mean you must make significant sacrifices, dig deep, and discipline yourself. Long-term goals will make you much happier in the long run than short-term comfort.

Ignore What Others Think

There will be a lot of people who tell you that you can’t reach your goal. Even though everyone around them says you can’t do it, people change the world every day. You can do it if you think you can. Ignore what they say, have faith in yourself, and keep going.

Do More Of What Makes You Happy

What do you enjoy doing when you have free time? Whatever it is, make room for what you love because life is short, and you need time to enrich it and recharge to be your best self.

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, self-confidence is how much we believe in our skills, while self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves and how we treat others. The difference between the two is the choice to make something or to complain about something. It’s a choice about how you respond to the world and how you act in it.

Accepting yourself for yourself and feeling good in your skin is essential. This is when good things start to happen. When we become more aware of our problems with self-confidence and self-esteem, we become more aware of ways we can get better.

Garo Kotchounian

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