Self-Esteem - Is It Feeling Good or Doing Well?

March 4, 2023

Healthy self-esteem is important for both happiness and well-being. There's a difference between having self-esteem and pursuing it. One conundrum; too much focus on self-esteem can have you avoid things that are challenging. A second; overconfidence sets you up for failure. How do you find the balance? That sweet spot between  knowing your strengths and pushing yourself?

You need challenges to be resilient, to spend time in a flow state, and to grow as an individual. Yet boosting self-esteem alone doesn't improve your performance. A question I often get-should we focus on feeling good or doing well?

The latest research shows the healthiest type of confidence is non-contingent self-esteem (the kind that allows you to feel good about yourself no matter what)  When you have this type and something goes wrong instead of asking what's wrong with me you ask what was wrong with my effort, my plan, or my execution.

Here's where the difference comes in- self-esteem is confidence that you'll be okay even in areas where you don't do well. It's all about self-efficacy; your ability to succeed in a particular situation.

I know I'm good at French but I don't speak a word of German. I know how to french braid but I can't whistle.

Simply put - competence breeds confidence.

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