Recently I shared with my newsletter readers that someone had pointed out my self-worth sucks! I was confused because I’ve been working hard on building my self-confidence and to be honest I think I’m in a pretty good place.

This conflict between self-worth and self-confidence got me thinking (and kind of worrying!), so I put on my Psychology hat and did some research.

Now I wouldn’t blame you if you thought that self-worth (often referred to as self-esteem) and self-confidence was the same thing. Both concepts are quite similar and are often referred to interchangeably. But the more research I did I realised that there’s actually a fierce debate amongst academics and psychologists about the distinct difference between the two.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with a research review, but I do want to dive deeper into these two concepts, particularly self-worth.

In this two part series I will explain the difference between self-confidence and self-worth, and why it’s important to understand their roles when looking at improving your overall sense of self AND living your best life!

In the second part of the series I will show you how you can enhance your self-worth through identifying and celebrating your uniqueness!

So let’s get started!


What is self-confidence?

Based on the research I’ve reviewed I believe that self-confidence is made up of two components.

Self-confidence is how you feel about your abilities AND your ability to take action.

Many researchers believe that confidence is related to action – the more you act, the more your confidence increases. When you master a task that you initially found difficult, for example public speaking, your confidence increases.

People who are self-confident are more likely to believe in their own abilities and take action, even if they are fearful and are stepping outside their comfort zone. Self-confidence is also built on external validation and results.

This 5 minute exercise to boost your confidence is the perfect example of how listing down all your achievements relates to the action and results component of self-confidence.

Self-confidence is also domain specific. You could be really confident in one area of your life, but not at all confident in another area. You may be a fantastic manager and confident in supporting a team, but when it comes to networking your self-confidence takes a dive.



What is self-worth?

In contrast, self-worth is a more holistic concept and refers to how you see yourself overall.

Do you ever ask yourself “What value am I adding to world?” “Am I a worthwhile human being?”

Put simply, self-worth is the value you see yourself having in the world.

According to researchers self-worth as a quality is all encompassing.

If you have high self-esteem in your professional life, you probably have high-self esteem across all aspects of your life.


Why is the difference between self-worth and self-confidence important?

The good news is that you can work on both your self-worth and self-confidence at the same time, and both concepts support each other.

But the big ‘aha’ moment I had relates to the gravity of self-worth.

To me, it underpins everything. It’s why we say things like “I suck, I’m not worth it.” “I’m not good enough.” “I don’t deserve it.”

And we say these things even when WE ARE kicking goals in different aspects of our lives!

Until you get these limiting beliefs sorted you can’t embrace your uniqueness, declare and pursue what you deserve and ultimately live your life to the fullest!


Make sure you read the second part of this Self-Worth Series where I’ll share how you can identify, own and celebrate your uniqueness! Plus I’ll be sharing a BONUS Coaching Worksheet that will help you uncover everything that makes you unique!

So what are your thoughts? Do you find that your self-confidence and self-worth are out of alignment? I’d love for you to share your realisations in the comments below!

Also, make sure you sign up for my ‘Great Mail’ list below this post so you can receive your FREE copy of the Self-Worth Coaching Worksheet I’ll make available to my newsletter subscriber in the next post! You don’t want to miss it!