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Confidence or self-esteem, which do you want most? Many people want more confidence because it is central to succeeding in the world. After all, how do you get the job you want or a date with the person whose company you crave without it? Regardless of how much you like yourself, if you can muster confidence it can lead to positive results. Which raises a question about how much self esteem actually matters.

I think it matters both more and less than we realise. Having positive self regard and liking ourselves is crucial to developing healthy, happy relationships, however you can be successful without self esteem. Look, for example at the numbers of performers and celebrities who have been extremely successful yet died alone as a result of an intentional drug overdose.

With or without high self esteem, you can succeed. The trick is to work on your skills and not yourself. Regardless of how you feel, if you want to be a writer, write, if you want to change careers, investigate courses that will lead to new qualifications. It is as simple as that.

Put another way, forgo self esteem in favour of courage. Courage is what you need when you dream big and don’t have the foggiest how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Confidence is what you will gain after you take each step along the way.

Notice I say after and not before. Action is the key to both confidence and success. Looking at the bigger picture, self esteem is the basis of contentment and a meaningful life so if you are successful but miserable I would encourage you to find a psychologist to help.

What actions will you take today to take you closer to what you want?