Confidence versus self-esteem – Which one would you choose?….an addendum


Reading a quote from Colin Montgomery caused me to take to my keyboard and quickly add this addendum to a blog written a few months ago – Click here for the original

Colin has scored a major tournament win in Denmark and feels good. He is quoted as saying ““There were 60 guys starting and you’ve ended up at the top of the pack – the self-esteem goes through the roof when you win. It has given me a lot of confidence to go forward now for the rest of the year.”

I have an issue with this.

Before I talk about it let me be fair to Colin. He may just have got his terms mixed up and in my previous article I am very clear as to the difference between confidence and self-esteem. That said, I don’t think he has. Colin has a track record of getting angry on the course and this will no doubt be due to the stress he brings in to his game. Stress is a lot more difficult to deal with if your self-esteem is not healthy.

What does his quote tell us?

If his self-esteem is built upon his constant comparison of himself to others then he is in for a very rocky ride. In fact, at the top flight of golf, it really will be a roller coaster.

I have said time and again that relying on external validation for self-esteem is really unhealthy because that external validation can be removed or go at a moments notice and then you are left in a challenging mentally unhealthy place.

This quote also tells us that when Colin is making a putt not only is there prize money on the line, not only is his position at the top of the table at risk, but so is something that is fundamental to his mental health.

Colin is a great example of this but he will not be the only one.

How many salespeople believe their results reflect them and their self-value? How many people struggle to separate their performance at work, their position at work and their career progress from their own self-value?

For many employers, this is great because it keeps many people working long and unhealthy hours simply to feel valued, appreciated and respected.

The employers we work with recognise that healthy self-esteem means they attract and retain the best and they get the best out of their teams. Constant overworking to feed unhealthy self-esteem does not make a strong business.

So ask yourself this….who feeds your sense of self-esteem, wellbeing and happiness? How much of it is dependent upon the validation of others?

Beware relying on others for this vital part of our mental health.


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