Self Esteem vs Self Confidence

The Vickey Difference

What is the difference between self esteem and self confidence? Are they the same thing? Are they different? Do they overlap?

They aren’t the same thing, they are different, and I don’t even think I’d call it an overlap.

I get asked a lot why I’m not a “Confidence Coach” instead of a “Self Esteem Coach.”

Here’s the difference:

When you are in your Healthy Center, you believe:

  • I have worth because I was born
  • I stand equal to all; eye to eye toe to toe
  • I am enough and I matter in spite of my flaws and weaknesses. This is what makes us HUMAN.

Self Confidence comes from acknowledging our strengths. Which is a good and healthy thing to do!

But to have Healthy Self Esteem, you must be balanced in your center, which means you must also acknowledge and accept your weaknesses.

When you get stuck in the search for self confidence, you are unable to do this. And when you’re too “up”—into Better Than—your weaknesses can make you feel “Less Than” and send you pretty far down.

Healthy Self Esteem is acknowledging both. You can even have Healthy Self Esteem in areas you’re not confident in. I’m a good therapist. I’m bad at sports. I acknowledge and accept both and have good Self Esteem anyway.

The other lens to look at this through is EASA– the 3 sources of unhealthy self esteem (see my free guide for more on these!) If I’m confident because of my Achievements, the praise I receive from others (Society based) or my Attributes or Assets, that would be getting my self esteem from UNHEALTHY sources. They’re sources coming from the outside.

I want my clients to be confident in their strengths, but not for their self esteem to stem from them. Confidence can’t equal worth. To be a fully healthy person, you must acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses—it’s called being human!

Get my FREE guide to Healthy Self Esteem and Decision making at to learn more!