When we talk about self-esteem, we often run into the idea of 'self-confidence'; the two sometimes seem interchangeable.
It gets me wondering if the word 'self' might be a little bit over general.
We have many sides to our identity, many different ways of being in the world. Some of these sides are well-established. Others seem brand-new.
So it stands to reason that 'confidence' might be varied.
'Self-confidence' often comes into question when a person is stretching themselves, trying something a bit new, or taking a risk of some kind.
A helpful thing to ask ourselves, or the people we care for, might be: confidence in what?
What are the skills and practices that are needed for a task that feels a bit scary? Can we break it down?For example, someone who is parenting a three year old for the first time might feel a 'lack of confidence' in their 'skills' as a parent. Well, what skills are we actually talking about?
Might these include skills of:
or something else?
A person may have some experience in any or all of these skills. Some may be quite new. And of course, their particular child will have an influence on how the skills are used.
But when we look into the other aspects of the person's identity, we may hear stories of their skills in planning, as a worker; or listening, as a sibling; or teaching, as a friend; noticing, as an artist; or playing, as a child.
Each story, if richly told, will enrich the person's sense of their own history of skill. And the sense of which skills need practice will be more specific, less overwhelming.
"Stories of skill, used over time": sounds like a good recipe for 'confidence', to me.