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What's the Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence?

People often confuse the terms self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-confidence is believing in your competence and your ability to do something. Self-esteem is believing in your goodness. You build self-esteem the old-fashioned way, you e-a-r-n it... through dedication, effort, and sacrifice in the service of others. Self-esteem is the measure for how content you feel at the end of your life.
Self-Esteem vs Self-Confidence

What causes low self-esteem? Despite outer appearances, the source is selfishness that translates into a feeling of being unworthy or undeserving of success or happiness.

Are You Worthy?

Score the following with: 1 = rarely; 2 = sometimes; 3 = frequently

  1. You raise and DON'T lower other people's self-esteem
  2. You actively work outside your comfort zone to help others before focusing on helping yourself
  3. You give the same effort to a fair decision that you disagree with as you do to something you agree with
  4. You ask for help when you need it
  5. You quickly and sincerely thank someone who has helped you.
  6. You quickly offer help without the other person having to ask for it
  7. You fully forgive and forget after you've been hurt and quickly move on
  8. You quickly recognize and earnestly apologize for your failures of commission or omission to people you let down
  9. You enthusiastically and sincerely congratulate someone else on an achievement or good fortune
  10. You give much more to the world than you take from it

10 - 16 = You've got some work to do. You feel much more entitled to things than you actually deserve. You're more of a taker than a giver and come from a feeling of scarcity.

17 - 24 = You are under the belly of the bell-shaped curve with the majority people. You could certainly improve, but you are a decent person.

25 - 30 = You are a class act. People are fortunate to have you in their life and blessed to have you as a friend. You are an optimist, a giver and come from a feeling of abundance.

Now for the real challenge. Ask people who care about you to candidly rate you. If their rating is lower than yours, ask them to give you specific examples of where you can improve. THANK them. It's gutsy for them to be candid. Ask them if you can visit informally every month to gain insight on what they have observed and look for further suggestions on how you can continue to improve.


Image Source: The Change Blog

Mark Goulston


Mark Goulston

Mark Goulston is the Co-Founder of Heartfelt Leadership, a global community whose Vision is a World led by leaders that Dare to Care and whose Mission is Identifying, Celebrating, Developing, Empowering, Impassioning and Emboldening Heartfelt Leaders to support each other in changing the world for the better. Mark is the author of Just Listen and co-author of Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In.


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