Self-Esteem vs Self-Concept: Difference and Ways to Improve

Self-concept and self-esteem are two important aspects of your identity. Self-concept is how you see yourself, your traits, roles, and values. Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, your worth, and your abilities. Having a positive self-concept and self-esteem can help you achieve your goals, cope with challenges, and enjoy life. Despite their similarities, there are some significant differences between the two terms. Let's explore the difference between self-concept and self-esteem.

Sanju Pradeepa

14 minutes read
Self-Esteem vs Self-Concept

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is the difference between self-esteem and self-concept?” Many people don’t understand the distinction between these important aspects of our self-image.

We often use the words “self-esteem” and “self-concept” interchangeably, but that’s not entirely accurate. There are significant differences between the two, and understanding them can help us become more aware of our feelings about ourselves and even improve our overall self-esteem.

In this article, we’ll look at what separates healthy self-esteem from healthy self-concept and how we can use both to better understand ourselves. Whether you’re curious about how to identify your specific traits or how to foster a better relationship with yourself, this article will provide you with reliable information on the key distinctions between self-esteem and self-concept. Let’s find what’s difference: Self-Esteem vs Self-Concept.

Understanding Self-Esteem: What Does It Mean?

Understanding Self-Esteem-What Does It Mean
Understanding Self-Esteem-What Does It Mean

Self-esteem is a measure of how much you value and accept yourself, how confident you are in your own abilities, and how comfortable you feel in your own skin. It’s the sense of security, self-worth, and respect that comes from believing in yourself and understanding your place in the world.

But self-esteem isn’t something we’re born with; it’s something that has to be actively built up over time. Positive affirmations, cultivating meaningful relationships, and being kind to yourself; all of these things contribute to a healthy sense of self-esteem.

On a neurological level, self-esteem influences our behavior, our ability to trust ourselves as well as other people, our willingness to be vulnerable and open up about our feelings and experiences, and even our outlook on life. All of this can have a direct impact on our happiness and well-being.

Strategies to Improve Self-Esteem

Strategies to Improve Self-Esteem
Strategies to Improve Self-Esteem

When it comes to self-esteem, it’s important to remember that it’s not a fixed trait. It can be improved, and there are things you can do to help.

The first step is understanding that your self-esteem is made up of several components, including your self-concept and the relationships and situations in your life.

To begin improving your self-esteem, focus on these components:

Self-Concept: Your self-concept can be improved by understanding the difference between fixed traits and qualities you can improve and then working on improving those qualities. Focus on identifying which qualities you can change and setting goals related to them.

Relationships: Evaluate the relationships in your life and consider how they measure up to the kind of relationships you want in your life. If needed, make changes or look for new relationships that support healthy self-esteem.

Situations: Consider the situations in which you often feel inferior or insecure about yourself, then try to identify ways to reduce any negative feelings associated with those situations. Again, setting goals can help alleviate some of these feelings; for instance, if public speaking causes anxiety for you, set a goal of speaking more publicly or join a club that focuses on public speaking.

10 Strategies to Improve Self-Esteem

1. Identify and challenge your negative thoughts.

Replace them with more realistic and positive ones. For example, if you think “I’m not good enough”, you can say to yourself “I’m doing my best and I have many strengths”.

2. Practice gratitude.

Appreciate what you have and what you can do, rather than focusing on what you lack or can’t do. For example, you can write down three things you are grateful for every day, or thank someone who helped you.

3. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

Recognize that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that you are unique and valuable. For example, you can make a list of your qualities and achievements, or compliment yourself for something you did well.

4. Celebrate your achievements.

Acknowledge your efforts and accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are. For example, you can reward yourself with something you enjoy, or share your success with someone who cares about you.

It's easy to get stuck in your negative thoughts about life
It’s easy to get stuck in your negative thoughts about life.
5. Seek constructive feedback.

Learn from your mistakes and failures, and use them as opportunities to grow and improve. For example, you can ask for feedback from someone you trust, or reflect on what you learned and how you can do better next time.

6. Surround yourself with supportive people.

Seek out friends, family, mentors, or professionals who can encourage you and help you overcome your challenges. For example, you can join a support group, or reach out to someone who understands what you are going through.

7. Engage in activities that make you happy.

Find hobbies, interests, or passions that bring you joy and fulfillment. For example, you can pursue a creative project, or learn a new skill, or spend time in nature.

8. Take care of yourself.

Eat well, exercise regularly, sleep enough, and manage your stress levels. For example, you can follow a balanced diet, do some physical activity that you enjoy, establish a regular sleep routine, or practice relaxation techniques.

9. Set realistic and attainable goals.

Break down your goals into smaller steps and track your progress. For example, you can set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), or use a planner or a journal to keep track of your actions and outcomes.

10. Be kind to yourself.

Treat yourself with compassion and respect, and avoid harsh self-criticism or judgment. For example, you can use positive affirmations, or practice self-compassion exercises, or forgive yourself for your mistakes.

To know more about your self-esteem – 18 High Self-Esteem Examples to Inspire Your Success Mindset

Knowing Your Self-Concept: Exploring What You Believe

Knowing Your Self-Concept-Exploring What You Believe
Knowing Your Self-Concept-Exploring What You Believe

When it comes to understanding yourself, you’ll want to start with your self-concept. “Self-concept is a term used to describe the way you think of yourself and how you see yourself in the world. It’s what shapes your beliefs, opinions, and values that are unique to you.

On the other hand, self-esteem is an ongoing assessment of your feelings toward yourself. It’s often viewed as the opinion you have about the overall value of who you are based on your successes and failures.

The challenges come when we don’t take the time to know our self-concept because it’s difficult and uncomfortable to explore this part of ourselves. It requires honest reflection and an open mind.

Your self-esteem can have a huge impact on your behavior in certain situations. It can either empower you or create feelings of insecurity or inadequacy that lead to negative outcomes or behaviors.

On the other hand, having positive or even neutral self-concepts helps us stay grounded with an awareness of who we are based on internal rather than external validation from others.

Once we know our self-concepts, we can focus on developing our sense of self-esteem, which can help us become more confident in ourselves and be less affected by negative opinions from others.

Let’s try to figure our self-concepts by knowing the kind of our self-image- 5 Types of Self-Image : Find to Embrace Who You Are

Watch your character, for it will become your destiny
Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.

Strategies to Improve Self-Concept

Strategies to Improve Self-Concept
Strategies to Improve Self-Concept

You might be wondering, “What strategies can you use to improve your self-concept?”

1. Do what you love.

The first strategy for improving your self-concept is to do what you love. Doing something you are passionate about and excel at can help you feel more confident in your abilities and reinforce a positive belief about yourself.

These activities can range from sports to playing an instrument, learning a language, writing, or drawing. Find something that brings you joy and see how it helps your self-concept.

2. Practice self-care.

Another way to positively impact your self-concept is by engaging in regular self-care practices. Self-care includes activities like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, having a healthy diet, taking breaks and relaxation time during stressful times, spending time with loved ones, and more.

Taking care of yourself will make it easier for you to believe the positive messages about yourself and counteract the negative thoughts you have about yourself.

3. Recognize your strengths.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to improve your self-concept is to recognize your strengths. Being kind to yourself by celebrating even small successes can help remind you that you are capable and smart!

Take a few minutes each day to write down at least one thing that went well for the day. No matter how big or small it may seem, remind yourself of how capable you are.

4. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations.

Repeat phrases that boost your self-esteem and confidence, such as “I am worthy”, “I can do this”, “I am enough”. Write them down and read them aloud every day.

5. Express gratitude for what you have and who you are.

Make a list of things that you are grateful for in your life, such as your family, friends, health, education, career, etc. Also include things that you like about yourself, such as your personality, appearance, skills, achievements, etc.

What’s the Difference: Self-Esteem vs Self-Concept?

Now that you have a better understanding of self-esteem, let’s take a look at the difference between self-esteem and self-concept. While they are related terms, there are some key distinctions between them.

1. How you feel about yourself1. How you perceive yourself cognitively
2. It is based on your perceptions and values2. It is based on the beliefs and attitudes you have
3. How much satisfaction and pride you feel about being who you are3. Formed through a lifetime of observation and experience
4. Focuses on emotions4. Focuses on actual characteristics and facts about us
Difference between self-esteem and self-concept.


Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. It is an emotional state of self-evaluation, whether positive or negative. You may have a high opinion of yourself and your capabilities or a low opinion. It is based on your perceptions and values.


On the other hand, your “self-concept” is how you perceive yourself cognitively. It is based on the beliefs and attitudes you have developed throughout your life through interaction with others, your environment, and your experiences. Your self-concept involves concrete characteristics such as physical appearance, education level, and financial status.

The key difference between self-esteem and self-concept is that self-esteem focuses on emotions and how we feel about ourselves. Self-concept focuses on actual characteristics and facts about us. Your self-concept is formed through a lifetime of observation and experience. all of which inform how you think about yourself. Self-esteem is how much satisfaction and pride you feel about being who you are.

Our self-concept can be shaped by our surroundings, society, relationships, and experiences, but it must change as our lives do in order for it to remain relevant.

“Life will knock you down more than you can imagine. Don’t knock yourself down.”

– Unknown

How self-esteem and self-concept intersect

How self-esteem and self-concept intersect
How self-esteem and self-concept intersect

At first glance, self-esteem and self-concept might look interchangeable, but they’re quite different. But how do they intersect?

Your beliefs and opinions about yourself have an impact on how you view yourself. It’s a reflection of the lens through which you view yourself and can evolve based on your life experiences.

Self-esteem is how you measure the worth of those opinions. It measures your opinions on a scale from low to high.

So, while they are two separate concepts, your self-concept affects your sense of well-being as well as how you measure your worth. In short, you can have a positive concept of yourself but still have low self-esteem if you don’t value that concept.

Moreover, this could also be said vice versa: despite having low opinions of oneself, one could still maintain high levels of self-esteem if one valued their perceived weaknesses.

It’s important to recognize how both concepts interact because, when combined, they help shape our overall sense of purpose and identity in the world around us.

How Can Improving Self-Esteem and Self-Concept Lead to Personal Growth?

How Can Improving Self-Esteem and Self-Concept Lead to Personal Growth
How Can Improving Self-Esteem and Self-Concept Lead to Personal Growth

By now, you have a pretty good understanding of what self-esteem and self-concept are. But do you know how improving them can lead to personal growth?

The attitude and beliefs that you have about yourself, your identity, and your capabilities play an essential role in how satisfied and successful you feel in life. When you have a positive view of yourself, it can open up many possibilities for personal growth and help you move forward in life. 

Here are some of the ways that improving your self-esteem and self-concept can lead to personal growth:

1. Building confidence

A strong sense of self-esteem provides the foundation for a lifetime of success, as it gives you the confidence to take risks and step out of your comfort zone when needed. Having a healthy sense of self-worth will help empower you to be more confident in yourself when trying new things or pursuing opportunities that may scare you.

2. Acquiring new skills

With an improved outlook on who you are, what you’re capable of, and what value your actions have, it will be much easier for you to acquire new skills or expand upon any existing ones.

Taking the initiative to try something new or learn more about something old will become easier because there’s no longer an underlying fear that it won’t come out right or be good enough.

3. Establishing meaningful connections

With boosted self-esteem comes the ability to establish meaningful connections with others, both personally and professionally. You’re more willing to open up emotionally because your guard is down because you feel secure in who you are as a person.

Feeling comfortable enough with yourself also allows people in since they can sense how genuine and authentic you are when interacting with them.


Self-concept and self-esteem are important aspects of your well-being. They affect how you see yourself, how you relate to others, and how you cope with challenges. If you want to improve your self-concept and self-esteem, you need to take action. Don’t wait any longer. Start taking action today and see the difference in yourself.


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Sanju Pradeepa

Hey there! I'm Sanju Pradeepa and a local consultant who loves to help people make their lives better.I am studying Psychology Education, English Language and currently working as the content creator of So, as a person who believes in the power of words it's my pleasure to share them with you.It's never too late to pursue your passion. I hope that you're ready to take the first step in making that happen.Welcome to our site!

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