Confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing. It is entirely possible to appear confident in front of others without having much in the way of self-esteem. Lots of people do it, and some of them are quite famous. You see, the confidence is just a front, a clever pose – an act. It is like a sample cake in the window of a bakery that is made of nothing but cardboard and icing. It looks solid, but if you cut into it, you find there is nothing of real substance inside.
People with a confident front but low self-esteem are plagued with self-doubt when they are alone. They know they are frauds and live in fear of being discovered. Often, they will turn to alcohol or drugs to help them maintain the illusion, or they will surround themselves with people whose only function is to make them look good.
On the other hand, when you have high self-esteem, genuine confidence just naturally follows. Nothing can make you insecure because your security comes from inside. You are not afraid to make a mistake because you believe in your overall competence, and you know that mistakes are simply another way to learn.
When your self-esteem is high, you can deal with every situation honestly, and you can express your true feelings, including fear, sadness and anger, without worrying about how you look to others. Confidence is a great feeling, but if it is the real thing you are after, you want to build it from the inside out.