Self-esteem and self-confidence - is there a difference?
Self-esteem and self-confidence are the same things - right? Well no, actually they are not the same, although they do have similarities. Self-esteem is the opinion that we have about ourselves. This is based on the things that have happened to us during our lives, both negative and positive. Self-confidence is being certain and trusting your abilities no matter what has happened in the past. An example of self-esteem would be am worthy or unworthy, depending on what has happened to you, whereas an example of self-confidence could be your ability to walk into a room of strangers and start a conversation.
As we age and gain negative and positive experiences in our life our self-esteem and self-confidence can be challenged or heightened. Being in your 50’s or 60’s can mean that you are at your most self confident, you have experienced life and career, possibly reaching the top of your game. You may not need positive affirmation of the way you look, dress, or behave as you feel that you have earnt the right to be you regardless of the opinion of others. However, for some, it is the reverse, especially if their experiences have left them with low self-esteem as well as low self-confidence. If our evaluations of ourselves are negative and we only receive negative opinions about what we do, who we are, then it is more difficult to also be self-confident.
All is not lost, both self-esteem and self-confidence can be improved. If you have a low opinion of yourself due to something that has happened to you, now or in the past, it can be harder to change but you can. Talk to someone you trust, remove yourself from harmful situations such as bullying or abuse either at work or at home, ask for help from a specialist such as a counsellor to help you. Sometimes we worry that seeking specialist help will negatively affect our ability to stay in work or find a job, especially if you need to take a break. Most employers will understand that you have needed help if you are honest and open with them.
One of the people that we have talked to said:
I was very worried about the negative effect that the death of family member followed quickly by a major operation that left me feeling that my identity and worth had changed was having, not only on myself and my other family members but also on my ability to function effectively in my place of work. I was also worried that it seemed like a failure to admit that I needed help but with the encouragement of my partner and my GP, I went to see a Counsellor. I think it was one of the best things that I did as it not only helped me through a difficult time in my life, it also gave me skills to deal with similar situations in the future. The best tip of all BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
Your self-confidence can be improved by believing in yourself, your values, and the positives that are in your life. Keep Up to date with clothes and hairstyles whilst being realistic about your age, both in the way you present yourself and what you try to do. Think about your posture and Smile - it portrays a positive image, makes you more approachable, and can make you feel better inside. Our best tip - BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.
Having good self-esteem and self-confidence over 50 will also have a positive impact on your ability to find balance in your life and chosen career, from getting a job to starting your own business. After all, if not now - when?