Self-esteem is how you see yourself on the inside, and is invisible to the outside world. When people think they see self-esteem in another, they are actually seeing self-confidence.
Self-esteem is on the inside. It doesn’t come from skills. Self-esteem results from who you are.
Self-esteem results when you believe in your inherent goodness. This may seem to be a radical concept for people with ADHD.
The concept is that we are brought into this world, and we are made of love. Love is often described as the highest feeling there is. If you want to feel self-esteem, you must feel love and have love for yourself.
You need to take the feeling of love you have for others – such as for your spouse, a baby, for playing an instrument, or for reading – and pull that feeling inside to feel that love for yourself.
Self-confidence is how you project yourself to other people. An expert golfer may feel very confident in their ability to play golf. Golf is a skill they have acquired through practice. You can build confidence through a skill set. You can develop your confidence further through practice and accomplishments others see. Confidence is something you feel inside, something other people notice in you.
But even if you have confidence in your skills, you may not feel self-confident. People might tell you how well you are performing while you still lack confidence in your skills. Confidence shows up as skills, developed and demonstrated to the world.