Operates in the realm of the known. As a trainer, you want to be familiar with your content so you can deliver with confidence. Yet with so many variables surrounding the environment and audience, this is not always possible. Such ambiguities increase stress. To face uncertain situations, the trainer needs courage.
Operates in the realm of the unknown. Courage is what you needed when you took that first step into deep water to learn to swim. Courage requires more strength than confidence. Confidence depends on abilities whereas Courage focuses on possibilities. Ask yourself, would you prefer a confident partner in life or a courageous one?
It reflects, and also in large part determines, our relation to ourself, to others, and to the world. Psychologists consider it either a barometer of status or acceptance in the social group, or to lend us strength to act in the face of fear and anxiety.
Maslow included self-esteem as a deficiency need in his hierarchy of needs. A person cannot meet their growth needs unless they have met their deficiency needs. Our life experiences either sustain or undermine the self-esteem and self-confidence we are born with.
Achievement-based self-esteem promotes fear of failure. And because achievement is not wholly within our control and its effects are transient, it is not a solid base for our self-esteem.
Worthiness-based self-esteem promotes fear of rejection. And because acceptance by others is contingent upon conformity with the group, it restricts our range of possiblities.
What is a healthy self-esteem?
If self-confidence is "I can" and self-esteem is "I am", then pride is "I did". To feel proud is to take pleasure from the goodness of our past actions and achievements.
People with health self-esteem are happy to simply revel in the miracle of existence, with cheerfulness, humility, and quiet action (Burton).
Pride stems from satisfaction but arrogance stems for hunger and emptiness. Pride has accomplished. Arrogance has assumed. Arrogant people depend on reassurance and pull themselves up by pushing others down.
People with low self-esteem see the world as hostile and themselves as its victim (Burton).
People with poor self-esteem frantically pursue anything and everything except what is truly important to the growth of themselves and others. Such pursuits are vain since they cannot change the past or the future and leave the person to wallow in a miserable present.
People with a health self-esteem are neither lazy nor faint-hearted. More importantly, they don't waste time and energy on meaningless activities that accomplish nothing in the long run. They are diligent.
A long list of abilities and achievements is neither sufficient nor necessary for healthy self-esteem. Those caught in this trap try to fill the void with status, income, possessions, relationships, sex, and so on. If their status or possessions should be criticized, they will react as if it is an attack on their person.
Similary, don't try to pump up children with empty praise. They are not fooled and will be held back from the type of endeavors from which real self-esteem grows.
What endeavors promote a healthy self-esteem?
whenever we live up to our dreams and promises
whenever we fail but know that we have given our best
whenever we stand up for our values and face the consequences
whenever we come to terms with a difficult truth
whenever we bravely live up to our ideals
Living up to anything else that is not truly our own is a betrayal of ourself
Now that you know the secret to self-esteem, bolster your confidence with preparation according to what you know and take courage when facing the unknown.