There’s a lot of talk these days about building self-esteem. We worry if we’ve hurt it in our kids or if ours has been damaged. Frankly, be more concerned about self-confidence. 

Here’s the difference: Self-esteem is how positive we feel about ourselves or our self-love. Self-confidence is built by our actions: Our willingness to test our abilities to handle life, people and the situations that come at us day after day—pushing forward knowing that we cannot necessarily predict the outcome. 

Self-confidence is a verb, not static like a noun. It develops from our choices and actions in situations involving ourselves and others. Self-confidence is the foundation necessary for building self-esteem.

By our age, we’ve had countless challenges that have tested our abilities to cope, overcome, surmount and thrive. If we allow ourselves to see our past history kindly and clearly, we’d see mountains of proof confirming that we’ve gotten stronger every year and honed immense capabilities for navigating life’s challenges. 

Self-esteem follows self-confidence. It results from knowing that each challenge tested the strength of our self-confidence. The more we are challenged and are able to confirm that we have the ability to handle a myriad of experiences, self-confidence builds. Self-esteem grows when we can reflect on how we managed those challenges and accept the proof that we “passed those tests.”

Self-confidence should not be confused with being egotistical. Rather, it’s a subtle confidence that grows from understanding our abilities; realizing we have the potential to use our talents and improve upon them; and knowing we’re OK because we’ll be learning along the way no matter what happens. Our self-confidence, and ultimately our self-esteem, builds on the personal acknowledgment that we’ve accumulated lots of experience worthy of our esteem.

This is Silver Disobedience® philosophy. I’m @DianGriesel aka @SilverDisobedience A Perception Analyst who shares my Daily Meditations for other Ageless, Passionate & Curious People.  More info in my profile link to website.