What is the difference between self-confidence and self-esteem?

Is it that self-confidence is more about feeling secure concerning one's own capacity to address problems, while self-esteem is more about a global appreciation of one-self?

Are they separate, and to what extent? Is it possible to have high self-esteem but low self-confidence, and low self-esteem but high-self-confidence?

I guess that normally the two are correlated


1 Answer 1


Technically, this is an English Language question really rather than about psychology or neuroscience.

Esteem is about respect and admiration. See https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/esteem

Therefore, someone who has self-esteem respects themselves and admires their achievements.

So to expand on that, if you have self-esteem, that helps to have self-confidence which leads to a sense of security in an emotional sense.

  • $\begingroup$ So psychologists do not make a difference between "appreciate/respect oneself including one's achievements" and "being secure about one's capacity to tackle the problems that one might face"? $\endgroup$
    – Starckman
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 14:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @starckman If you are looking at whether the person is secure or not, both are needed to be taken into account. You cannot have full emotional security without either. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 15:22

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