What are the initial steps to improving self esteem?
Often times when we think about self esteem, we tend to think about things that we’re good at. Or things that we can do. And so what we look at is questions of — and there are two concepts that I would throw out there. This is a question of competence. Are you competent at what you’re thinking about doing? But then, there’s also this question of confidence. And when we really think about self esteem, what we really want is greater confidence, as opposed to greater competence. So confidence is your ability to do something. Confidence is your ability to fail at doing something.
So for example, take a baseball player who’s a batter, a competent batter can hit the ball. A confident batter can be OK getting a strike, or even a strikeout, and being able to adjust, and adapt to the pitcher and being able to hit the ball with even greater accuracy the next time.
So in terms of self esteem, confidence is a better characteristic. A better character trait, and something that we want to instill and embrace. So on some level you’re actually embracing the other areas in your life in which you may not succeed, because those are the ones in which you learn, in which you cultivate those deeper parts of ourselves that allow us to have greater self esteem.