Frequently, the terms self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-awareness, and self-acceptance are mixed up and sometimes used as synonyms.
When we say we want to become more confident or strengthen our self-esteem, we should first be aware of what we mean by that.
Acting confidently has little to do with real self-confidence. Countless advice and tips can be found on the internet, which promises you to build and boost your self-esteem and self-confidence in “five easy ways”.
Frequent tips are an upright walk, looking in the eyes of the person you’re talking to, smiling, taking care of your body and wearing stylish clothes, or even imitating this popular actor or superstar in his or her behavior.
That sounds promising and simple at first glance, but you’ll quickly realize that this “new” self-esteem and confidence usually disappears as soon as you’re facing the first real challenge.
When it comes down to positioning yourself, expressing your opinion in a group, or tackling an almost hopeless challenge with courage, all these „easy“ tips won’t help.
True self-awareness and self-confidence don’t come overnight. Being self-aware means that you know yourself and that you’re aware of all your strengths and weaknesses. It means you will be able to trust in your abilities and qualities and to stand by yourself in spite of your perfectly imperfect personality.
Once you have achieved this self-awareness, you are missing another element, to feel worthy with your unique personality and to interact with our environment authentically.
Real self-confidence through positive experiences
Genuine self-confidence results from a series of positive experiences which leads us to the realization of who we are. This means that we are more ourselves than the copy of a so-called role model.
You will recognize the difference between genuine, authentic self-confidence and a mere mask as soon as the first uncomfortable or difficult situation arises. Because then this mask will fall very fast.
The good news is that you can build and strengthen your self-esteem and confidence step by step. With a bit of training, you will become a charismatic person who has the unshakable certainty to rely on their abilities and creativity even when facing tough challenges or critical situations. You will succeed without imitating someone and pretending to be someone you’re not. The “Boost Your Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Toolkit” will help you to become the best version of yourself.
Let’s take a closer look at the various terms that are usually used in this context:
Self-awareness means to know as much as possible about yourself and being aware. Someone who is self-aware knows their strengths, abilities, and quirks.
Self-esteem means recognizing one’s value. Although nobody is perfect, everyone has valuable qualities and strengths. Everybody is a unique perfectly imperfect personality.
Self-acceptance means to accept and love oneself with all the strengths and weaknesses we have.
It’s the awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, the realistic (yet subjective) appraisal of one’s talents, capabilities, and general worth, and, feelings of satisfaction with one’s self despite deficiencies and regardless of past behaviors and choices. From these abilities real self-confidence arises. It is the ability to trust yourself and to perform safely even in difficult situations.
From these abilities and the practical experiences, which strengthens us in our qualities, real self-confidence arises. It is the ability to trust yourself and to perform safely even in difficult situations.
The good thing is that all these skills complement each other and can be trained.
Some people naturally seem to be born with unshakable self-confidence, while others are constantly struggling to be confident and doubting themselves.
Let’s be honest. We all know these situations where we could use a real confidence boost:
- Maybe you sometimes perceive others’ traits and gifts as being superior to your own — even “heroic,” and therefore unattainable?
- Maybe you believe that no one cares what you think, how you feel, or even what you have to offer?
- Or you have difficulties getting motivated and taking action? “I’m going to fail anyway, so why bother?”
- Or maybe you’re a “people pleaser” who’s not able to say “no”, have problems to represent your interests, and find it hard to forgive yourself?
Lack of self-esteem and confidence prevents us from being successful and performing at our best! It’s one of the biggest reasons why we don’t achieve our goals and have difficulties in every area of our lives.
When you have low self-esteem and low self-confidence it’s impossible to be successful and find genuine happiness in life.
After all, our confidence determines whether we are happy or unhappy, whether we succeed or fail, whether we overcome difficulties or not, and whether we live a harmonious relationship or not. Without confidence, it’s impossible to live life to the fullest!
Unfortunately, real self-confidence can not be built up with some motivational quotes and affirmations. It’s time to take action and gain some real experiences. We have developed ten powerful coaching tools and exercises that help you systematically to build and boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.
How to become self-aware: Activities and exercises
What is self-awareness?
Those who are aware of themselves can also perceive their strengths and weaknesses more clearly. Someone who is self-aware knows their abilities, strengths but also weaknesses. As a result, greater confidence in their abilities arises and they dare to do more.
A self-aware person knows their opinions, values, beliefs. The coaching tools and exercises 1-3 help you get to know yourself better and become more self-aware.
However, self-awareness is just one step on the way to become more self-confident. Self-acceptance also plays an essential role:
What does self-acceptance mean and can it be learned?
Self-acceptance can be defined as the awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, the realistic (yet subjective) appraisal of one’s talents, capabilities, and general worth, and, feelings of satisfaction with one’s self despite deficiencies and regardless of past behaviors and choices. Positively accept yourself with all your quirks, because everyone is perfectly imperfect.
A positive attitude to ourselves has a major impact on how we feel and how we are perceived by others. Someone who constantly demonizes themselves for their (alleged) weaknesses will find it difficult to build real self-confidence.
Self-acceptance also includes the ability to criticize oneself and to laugh about oneself. Lack of self-acceptance causes a constant search for attention and recognition.
Coaching Tool 4 will help you to train your self-acceptance. You will learn to open up to others and to accept yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is perfect!
Self-acceptance ultimately leads to calm, inner peace, sovereignty, and real self-esteem.
What does self-esteem mean and how to build and boost it?
Self-esteem shows us how we see ourselves. Many people question their self-esteem. They think they have no talents, they could be easily replaced at work, and they don’t add any value to groups or teams.
Healthy self-esteem is very important. It ensures that we trust ourselves to solve even difficult challenges and lets us act confidently. Those who have high self-esteem are aware of their qualities and know how to deal with their weaknesses. Fortunately, self-esteem can be built up and strengthened through exercises.
As already mentioned, it’s not about being or becoming perfect. Everyone has weak spots and healthy self-esteem is also characterized by the fact that we can forgive ourselves if we make mistakes.
If you want to boost your self-esteem, it’s a good idea to keep a regular diary: Focus on your daily successes and the positive things in life and record them (Tool 5).
It is another big step towards real self-confidence.
How to build and boost self-confidence
What is self-confidence and how can you build it?
Self-confidence refers to trust in one’s powers and abilities. It is closely linked to the already mentioned qualities of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-esteem.
We have confidence when we are optimistic about an upcoming challenge or problem and trust ourselves to succeed. We subconsciously evaluate an upcoming task or the solution to a problem. We compare the requirements that are necessary to solve the upcoming challenge with our capabilities.
This assessment incorporates our skills, experience, qualities, motivation, and character. Our memories (similar experiences from the past) play a huge role here. We relate our past experiences to the present and the future. Our current mental and physical condition also contributes to this assessment.
Real self-confidence can not be created by famous phrases like “You can achieve anything!”, some positive affirmations or the simple suppression of fears and uncertainties. Instead, it needs to be build-up through more and more positive experiences and results. You can build and boost your self-confidence through specific tools and exercises.
Real self-confidence leads to a charismatic appearance and unshakable inner security
True self-confidence is the result of strong self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. When these conditions are met, we know all our strengths and weaknesses. We know exactly what we can do and where we perhaps need the support of someone else. If we have no doubts about ourselves, we will become a person with a lot of confidence and self-assurance.
This will automatically lead to a charismatic appearance and unshakeable inner security – even when we are facing tough and unforeseeable events. You will become a person who represents their interests, tackles their goals and achieves them. The result is that you are your authentic self.
The Coaching Tool 7 will help you build your self-confidence and Tool 8 to strengthen and boost it. In Exercise 9 you will develop an emergency plan which you can always use when you’re facing difficult and unpredictable situations.
It will give you the inner security to always respond and perform confidently. In the last part, you will train and strengthen your new self-confidence in daily life. Several positive experiences will put it on a solid foundation and will make you a person who achieves their goals and succeeds in life!