Maybe, it’s not just about self-confidence….

Some years ago, now, I was fortunate enough to complete a coaching qualification, part of which included my project, ‘coaching for resilience’.

I encountered a lot of ‘Ah Hah’ moments whilst working through this project, and I always promised myself that I would return to it and move it ‘forward’ in some way.

Not quite sure where the time has gone, but in today’s blog I’d like to focus and build on one aspect of that project, one that is referred to by Siebert, (2005, P73) as the core of resiliency:


The three, ‘self’s, 

  • Self -confidence – our belief in our ability to take effective actions, our belief in how well we do things.…
  • Self -esteem – the feelings we develop about ourselves. Our emotional opinion of ourselves
  • Self -concept– the thoughts we develop about ourselves and who we (think) we are

Today, I am deeply thankful for all the different experiences that have shaped me, the good, the bad and even the indifferent, but in recent months I have become aware of an ‘internal shift’.  A shift in focus from resilience to a strong intention to ‘Thrive and Flourish’ come what may.

Siebert (2005), describes this as level five, resiliency, ‘Discovering your talent for serendipity, the ability to turn misfortune to good fortune.’ Others describe it as being able to truly ‘dance with life’. Jeffers, (2005) Frankl, (2004).

The image I have in my head, is based on a quote by Thomas F. Crum:

“In an uncertain world, instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under us, we learn to dance on a shifting carpet.” – Thomas F Crum: 

We can be resilient in learning to dance on our carpet, but perhaps when we thrive we can also ‘fly’ with it.


At this stage in my life, I am starting to believe that for people to truly thrive, maybe they need to strengthen and nourish all three, ‘self’s. Their:

Self- esteem

Self- concept

And …..

Self- confidence ….

It feels to me as though these three might be intertwined, like pieces of thread and the stronger each piece is, the stronger, the thread and hence the stronger and more resilient your ‘fabric‘.

Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places, but I see much written about self-confidence, but not so much in respect of self-esteem and perhaps even less regarding self-concept.

I’m also intrigued that Siebert (2005), links our sense of self to the three major nervous systems within our bodies:

  • Somatic – controls our physical actions and is the source of our self-confidence.
  • Autonomic – governs our feelings and is the source of our self esteem
  • Central – includes our brains and is the source of our verbal, conceptual thinking, Self-concept.

So how do we go about ‘nourishing’ and strengthening all three? How strong are the links between our ‘self’s’ and our nervous systems? There are certainly more questions in this month’s post than answers. So, my intention is to explore this further over the coming year and see where it takes me.

But I am curious to understand the real relationship between the three, ‘Self’s’ and some of my initial thoughts, include:

There does seem to be a bigger emphasis on self-confidence and I wonder if, on the face of it, this is perceived as the ‘easiest’ to do something about.

I also wonder if there is a stronger link between self-concept and self-confidence and whether changing your view of who you think you are(self-concept), might make it easier for you to change your belief in your abilities (self-confidence).

If self-esteem, is more rooted in childhood experiences would that perhaps make it more difficult or more challenging to ‘rebuild’ or nourish if needed.  Particularly, if you have ‘grown up’ never quite feeling yourself to be lovable, worthy of respect and care simply because you, are you.

Another question, do we all necessarily have an ‘Achilles heel’ – a weakest or perhaps most fragile/ vulnerable self?

These are just some initial ideas and thoughts, which I will be revisiting over the coming year. Still have some catching up to do, with some of my other posts.

In the meantime, I’d be very happy to receive any book or article recommendations, related to this topic.

So, with thanks and best wishes and until next time.

Janice Taylor


Frankl, V. (2004): Man’s Search for Meaning; Rider: an imprint of Ebury Press, Random House: London

Jeffers, S. (2005): End the Struggle and Dance with Life; Hodder Mobius: London

Siebert, PH.D., A. (2005): The Resiliency Advantage; Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure and Bounce Back from Setbacks; Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco

About careerresilience

Career Coach and Trainer at Blue Sky Career Consulting. Love to write and am currently juggling with four different blogs . Busy exploring ideas around how people can thrive in career and life.
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