In my experience many employees, particularly in the corporate arena, tend to have less clarity than I think is necessary regarding the difference between self esteem and confidence. One of the dictionary's definitions of Self Esteem is: "A realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect." For Confidence it's: "Trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing." For me, the relevance of these differences are that Confidence is a manifestation of our Outer Brand, and Self Esteem is an outcome of our Inner Brand.
And in short, only when there is harmony between our Inner and Outer Brands, can we acquire the skills that help us to be more authentic. It's almost like making peace with the inner you, therefore, by osmosis bringing about a healthier outer you. If you are unsure how this information can be helpful to you, let me just say it really, really is. That's because so many people tend to beat themselves up, instead of congratulating themselves. Alternatively, endeavor to develop a positive mindset -- about you.
I'm not suggesting it's easy to be kind to ourselves. I am suggesting we make more of an effort to be kinder. It's as if we become addicted to self criticism. I often recommend to coaching clients that they treat themselves as their best friend would treat them. Often, that one thought tends to wake people up. It certainly woke me up when a friend said: "Malcolm, would you treat your wife or best friend the way you treat yourself?" I was almost dumb struck, as this had never really occurred to me, yet was such a simple and potent question.
So much so, these days when I revert to old habits that lead me astray, like trying to be perfect, I ask that question of myself. It still tends to do the trick. Well, that's not entirely accurate, even yesterday after presenting a workshop I over-questioned myself, which led to me being self critical about my performance. Then I remembered, as if I was providing feedback to a good friend, I would do so in a constructive fashion. Yes, I still continue to learn that in order to be a better version of me, I must continue to learn and always take action. Remember, the first three letters of action are ACT.
- If you believe in peace -- start by making peace with yourself.
- Treat yourself as you would your best friend.
- When in doubt, take ACTion.
- Others believe in us when we believe in ourselves.
- Rather than be self critical, recall what you learned from the experience.
- Remember, self esteem is about our Inner Brand -- confidence is connected to our Outer Brand.
- By believing in ourselves, we encourage others to believe in us.