To esteem something is to make an appraisal. It refers to the value that we attribute to something or someone. That’s what a house appraiser, a diamond appraiser, and an antique appraiser does. So esteem when applied to the self refers to our sense of personal worth and value. So what are you worth? What is the worth of a human being? And does your human worth go up and down like the stock exchange?
How should we make the evaluation about the value or worth of a human being? There’s all kinds of criteria that we could use. We could use looks, brains, accomplishments, strengths, money, brand name clothes, fashion, book smarts, quickness, gift of gab, friendliness, popularity, being in the know, and on it goes.
There is an alternative. Instead of making our evaluations of worth based on temporal conditions, conditions that come and go that change, that do not last, and that can be taken away from us, we could make the evaluation of human worth as unconditional.
Why not start from unconditional value and worth so that your person as a human being does not have a floating index of worth, but that the worth is a given, built-in, and therefore secured?
The key to self-esteem is that nobody else can do it for us. We must give that state of positive regard, and unconditional acceptance, appreciation and even awe to ourselves. This is the basis of self-esteem.
Self-confidence differs from self-esteem in that it is not about yourself as a person, but what you can do - your abilities, skills, and achievements.
You develop and achieve self-confidence by becoming competent in what you can do and achieve. If you ever claim self-confidence about something in which you are actually unskilled and incompetent, you only fool yourself. It may feel good, but your confidence is false. Accurate self-confidence is based upon your faith in (“con” and “fideo” faith) yourself, faith that you can pull something off and accomplish it.
Of course, we all have strengths and weaknesses. Playing to our strengths enables us to find those areas and tasks at which we have a natural disposition and can become highly skilled and contribute the most. This is a key secret of success in life.
The key to developing self-confidence is through practice, and therefore through experience. Your level of self-confidence will always be related to a specific skill. You can therefore have differencing levels of self-confidence for each skill, dependent on your level of competency and experience of doing the skill. For example, you make have lots of experience in hosting a dinner party, and feel a state of confidence in your cooking. Yet you may rarely speak in public and have low confidence in making a speech to 50 people.
The word ego simply refers to self. It means and is translated from Greek as “I” or “me”. In itself, the word ego is neutral and carries no positive or negative connotations.
So ego-strength is the strength and energy you have within yourself - in your mind, emotions, body, relationships, skills, etc., that allows you to face reality as it is and deal with it in an effective way. Without ego-strength you cave in, give up, or go into fight or flight responses of defensiveness.
In this we develop ego-strength as part of the process of growing up and developing. We call this healthy ego-development. That’s because we were born without an ego. Then, as our sense of self developed as we grew up, we began to develop a certain strength in our ability to face reality.
With traumatic events or other experiences where our development was affected, we may still have low ego-strength, finding it difficult to face reality and to get our needs met. If this is the case, we need to take ownership of our abilities in thinking, feeling, speaking and acting that empower and enable us to 'be with' reality without caving in.
In Our Client's Words ...
"As a vision impaired person living and working in a sighted world I had learned confidence but struggled to believe I deserved what I had now. I thought I was not entitled to hope for or expect a great future. Through coaching I learned lots of new tools and gave myself the greatest gift. I have self esteem and self confidence, I'm not only successful but I'm proud to be so in spite of my challenges. I'm so grateful to my coach to help me achieve such huge personal growth". L.W
"I always had a sneaking suspicion I was hiding behind an alternative version of myself. I knew I was capable of so much more and yet had no idea how to access that potential. I had reached as far as I could go in my career being that version and needed help peeling back the layers to reveal the true me. Since finishing my coaching journey I have enrolled in education that will progress me within my current employment and have had the confidence to take on larger more complex projects. I have learned new skills to assist me and the confidence I have in my ability has increased. I have also developed deeper relationships with my children and feel so engaged in their lives now, I was preoccupied with feelings of inadequacy most of the time, which robbed me of the present. I believe this was a very valuable experience, it has helped me learn about myself, my strengths, areas requiring work and self forgiveness". Marni Rundle