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Self-Worth, Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence


Self-worth versus self-esteem and self-confidence?

Many get confused between self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence and believe them to be the same thing. Although these terms are used in reference to how a person views themselves, they actually apply to opposite aspects of ourselves.

There is a major difference between the terms, which is important for us to understand.  A quick definition: 

Self-esteem is what we do, how we think and feel about ourselves and how we feel others view us. Many say that self-esteem is as myth, as these things can change throughout our lives and leave the question….should we be valuing ourselves based on things that can change?.

For example, you may have high self-esteem because you feel really good about yourself as part of a successful football team. Others may also view you as being a great player and therefore you think highly of yourself. But if one day you injured yourself and couldn’t play anymore, what would happen to your self-esteem? You would feel worthless because you have placed all your worth and value as a football player and not as a person.

Self-worth is how you feel about your innermost self, the value you place on your life. Knowing you have value because you are a human being that can love and be loved. Whether you are good at anything, or you injure yourself and can’t play football anymore, having high self-worth means that you will still know your worth and value as a person despite the injury.

Self-confidence is about getting and being good at something. All of us are good at something and the more we practise the better we get. There will therefore be areas in your life that you are confident in.

An easy way to remember the differences, is by thinking about self-worth as the inside of you, your core self, self-esteem as the outside of you, the person you are in the world and self-confidence is the ability to get good at something.

Self-esteem – I feel/think about myself outside…

Self-worth – I am of value inside…

Self-confidence – I can do…

The reason the difference to these terms matters, is that a person can possess high self-esteem and confidence in certain areas and feel proud of their achievements, yet still feel that there is a missing element in their life. No matter how much they achieve, they continue to feel a lack of internal fulfilment. Having low self-worth can be detrimental to a person’s mental health.