A confident person can have low self esteem but a person with high self esteem is always confident.
I'm in the process of writing a hub with the exact same title! I hope to have it finished within in the next week or so.
The difference in my view is that confidence is what we project out into the world. Self esteem is an internal feeling. They often have a strong link to one another but not always.
For instance some people present high levels of outward confidence but when you get to know them they have very low self esteem. They use a confident persona to protect their inner vulnerability.
I've also met people who are quite shy around people and come across as not very confident, but have very high self esteem. These kinds of people don't seem to feel the need to project confidence because they accept themselves as they are.
Thanks Susan and Research Analyst. I agree that a person who may appear reserved can have high self esteem and confidence, depending on the environment that they're in.
I am a bit confused about what confidence means. I suspect that it may mean different things depending on the culture. For instance I heard this phrase alot growing up "Speech is silver; silence is golden" My North American experience however, contradicts that belief. The person who tends to talk alot and explain everything, is considered articulate and hence confidence, whereas, the reserved, pensive person is often viewed as slow or not as smart.
I was also wondering if someone can lack confidence and not know it?
Susan, I'll look for your hub on the topic.
When I think of confidence, I think of security in one's knowledge of situations and surroundings. Confidence can be emitted while self-esteem cannot. You are confident when you know that you are more powerful than a given situation--whatever that situation may be. Self-esteem can be defined this way, but only loosely. Self-esteem has more to do with how you see yourself as a whole--not situation by situation. One may be confident in one situation and totally lack confidence in another. A doctor, for instance, may not second-guess her abilities in a hospital but might not be able to tell heads from tails in a mechanics workshop. Neither of these situations, however, will affect her self-esteem. She will think as highly or as lowly of herself and inner worth walking down the halls of the hospital as she would in the waiting room at the mechanic.
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