Sunday, February 26, 2017

Self Reflection: Self Confidence VS Self Esteem

Before I head to bed I want to quickly write down my sleepy thoughts and the debate I've been having with myself in the last few days. Self confidence and self esteem, I've always thought the two were synonymous and interchangeable. Growing up I used to be super shy and introverted. If you read my previous blog posts you got a sense of what it was like in my younger days when I'd enjoy mostly of activities consisting of me, myself, and I (lol, I really enjoyed the independence and the lack of other people's opinions). As I got older I became a little more extroverted, I liked surrounding myself with people, and I enjoyed getting to know them and connecting on a spiritual level. With more life experiences and social interactions came more self confidence. I felt like I knew how to handle myself socially in front of not only my friends but also strangers, and that the entire process of this human to human interaction was quite enjoyable to me. Because I felt like I was confident in myself and my actions around others I also felt like I had high self esteem and knew my worth.

However, after 25 years of trial and error, and my newly found effort to self love, I also found myself challenging the idea of self confidence VS self esteem. I read in a book somewhere that self confidences is acquired and comes with experience, while self esteem, really is innate and should be acknowledged to exist since the day you were born. This LITERALLY BLEW MY MIND. I think most of us are under the impression that the two terms are similar enough to be used interchangeably and while you have one you automatically have the other because they're essentially the same. At least this was my perception on the idea of these two terms. I felt like because I was confident and had confidence around people that would naturally translate into having self esteem and knowing my self worth. Because I know how to make people like me I must know what I am worth inside to get what I deserve. After digging deeper through my jumbled mind for the past few days I suddenly realized that I NEVER HAD SELF ESTEEM. 

Growing up I was always a prideful child, I told myself I didn't need anyone else and that I can always be the best if I put my mind to something. I don't need social interactions and I don't need help from others. But I think behind that tough child was a lack of self esteem because no one really taught me to be proud of the innate value that each human being is born with and that we are entitled to this proudness of being human. As I got older I learned to please others so that they would like me, and over time because I got so good at getting people to like me it built my confidence in social situations. Same goes for relationships, for as long as I can remember, in each of my relationships I would try to please my significant other and get them to respect me out of my pleasing them. But you see friends, I've got it all wrong. Because my self confidence came from validation from others and not from within, when you remove the external factors I was left with a hollow shell and an empty heart. When I'd be alone I would feel sad and lonely, I would feel like I need to have the company of someone else, whether it be a lover or a friend. Overtime I found myself constantly looking for companionship, through dating, through friends. I started realizing that I had become a serial dater in that I couldn't stand being alone and the feeling of that excruciating loneliness from the lack of "love" and "validation" to feed my ego and "confidence". In reality, what I really needed was a sense of self esteem and the innate right to my worth and knowing that worth. 

It's not easy to suddenly find that self worth and esteem after 25 years of being ignorant from it. I find it difficult to make myself believe that yes, I AM worth the respect and the love that I deserve. And that I don't need to go out of my way to please others to get that respect and I don't need to latch on when someone doesn't want to give me that respect and love. Because in my heart, I should know to love myself and be proud of that innate right to being human, to have that sense of self esteem, to RESPECT MYSELF ABOVE ANYTHING AND ANYONE ELSE. 

Self confidence comes with experience and practice, but self esteem, should really be in our hearts as the basis to everything we do in life. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that each and every single one of us deserves this self love, and only through acknowledging it to be true can we really have a good foundation for other aspects of our lives. 

Love yourself, accept it, practice it, and find the self esteem that each of us are innately born with. And with that thought, I'll let myself drift off into dream land...


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