When you look in the mirror, are you happy with the person looking back?
Does your partner make you feel beautiful/handsome?
Is the idea of getting changed in front of your wife/husband an uncomfortable thought?
I work as a Copywriter, and today I was completing a project for a client that included the topic of self-esteem. Through research, I came across an interesting theory on ideas surrounding self esteem:
Most people assume that self-esteem and self-confidence are the same thing, but they are actually different.
I don’t know about you, but I was one of those people- until today that is. As I read more, I discovered that there is actually a very significant difference between self-confidence and self-esteem.
Did you know that someone can be self-confident, yet suffer from low self-esteem?
The more I had read, the more I had to read to get my head around this! I have to admit, I’m the kind of person who thrives off of knowledge, and the opportunity to learn new things (especially when it comes to relationships!)
Self-esteem is commonly defined as the personal “estimate” that someone places upon themselves, according to their perceived value of worth in the world.
I would describe myself as a confident person (such as in public settings relating to work/church/social situations) but when it comes down to me, myself and I, there are times where I don’t feel as confident. We all have our ups and downs, but this theory sure makes sense when applied to these kind of experiences. I also came across an example that used celebrities, who are naturally confident in front of the camera, yet tend to suffer extreme personal issues with self-esteem. When someone who is publically recognised has a break-down or experiences some kind of trauma, many people fail to understand the reasons why. That person has the privilege of purchasing anything they want. Or is that still not enough?
Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
You can’t really have one without the other…
I still don’t see the difference!
If self-esteem is your estimate of your worth, then what is self-confidence? Well for a start, self-confidence is largely based on your abilities as an individual. When you excel in a job, or when you get high grades for an assignment, you develop confidence in your ability to achieve. When you become accustomed to speaking in public, or you develop a new skill, you become more confident in your ability to do things.
I look at it like this:
Self-confidence is based upon what I can do, whereas self-esteem is based upon who I am
Self-esteem can grow as a result of self-confidence, but because it is a deeper issue, it tends to affect the very core of your outlook on life, especially when it comes to a relationship with another person.
Removing the Thorns from your Relationship
If you have deep-rooted issues with self-esteem that stem from your childhood, then this will largely impact the way you view yourself, and your assumptions over the way others view you.
A healthy sense of self-esteem, or a high “estimate” of personal worth, can create a huge difference in any relationship. Consider the following questions:
- If someone compliments you on your appearance, do you believe what is said? Or do you brush off the comment and label that person as ‘deluded’?
- If your significant other was to talk to you about an issue that they have with a habit of yours, would you be able to listen? Or would it be more likely to cause an argument?
- If you heard that someone had been talking about you behind your back, would you let the comments slide because you haven’t yet heard it from the source, or would you be more inclined to react out of anger?
I have learnt that there is deeper meaning behind every little thing that we do or say, no matter how insignificant it may seem. For example, imagine the following scenario:
You are in public, and you hear your partner joking to someone you know about the fact that you never get anywhere on time. Although you were laughing at the time, you felt very awkward, so you confront your partner about this later on when you have the opportunity to talk privately.
Your partner doesn’t understand what the big deal is, and you end up arguing out of frustration. You start to consider the fact that you probably overreacted, and you both manage to put what happened behind you and move on rather than addressing what happened, or more importantly why you reacted in the way that you did.
Without facing the deeper issues, you are prone to fall back into the same situation over and over again.
Instead of just bypassing these experiences, take time for yourself and seriously consider why you may have reacted in the way that you did. Clearly it was more than the fact that your partner was joking about you always being late (you probably already know that yourself) but it probably had more to do with the fact that he was joking about it in public with someone else. It was as though he was making fun of you. Cast your mind back, and you may recall childhood experiences where others made fun of you. Maybe you were even a victim of bullying…
When you look at these very things as an adult, and rationally address the feelings that you associated then to the experiences you are having now, then you are more likely to turn those weaknesses into strengths, rather than simply just ‘pushing past’ until that same issue arises again.
The ability to do this has a lot to do with your self-esteem, which is why it is so important to take the time out to address what you feel is holding you back. Every conflict or misunderstanding needs to be addressed in a mature manner in order to grow as a couple.
Pray that God will help you to base your self-esteem, or personal estimate, on His perceptions of you, rather than the perceptions of the world.
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness