Have you ever stopped to think about self-esteem and confidence? Would you describe yourself as a confident person or do you often doubt yourself or put yourself down? It’s very common to have low self-esteem. We all have days when we don’t feel great about ourselves, but if this feeling is a constant in your life, it can have detrimental effects on your health and wellbeing. If you lack confidence, it’s worth asking why and trying to find ways to boost your self-esteem.
WHAT CAUSES A LACK OF CONFIDENCE?
There are any reasons why we may lack confidence. In some cases, low self-esteem is rooted in experiences we’ve had in our past, often in childhood. Do you remember a teacher at school saying you’d never get anywhere or children in the playground bullying you because you wore glasses or you didn’t have the latest sneakers? Have you always been told that you’re weird or different or made to feel like you don’t fit the mold? Throw away comments that people dole out without even thinking about it can stick with us for years. Even if you’re feeling positive, you may still have niggling doubts because of those negative experiences, and this can really hold you back.
Failure can also dent our confidence. Have you been trying to get your dream job for years? Have you been rejected by people you love or have you never quite managed to reach up to your expectations or the expectations of others? The truth is that we all fail at something. Nobody in this world has been successful at everything they try. The sooner you realize this, the better.
In today’s society, we devote a lot of time and energy to the way we look. Many people who lack confidence do so because of their appearance. They’re not thin or strong enough, they haven’t got abs of steel, or they’re too short or tall. We tend to place a high value on the way we look, and we spend far too much time comparing ourselves to others.
There’s also a notion that genetics can play a part. Some people are naturally more positive than others. If you’re not a glass-half-full person, you may find it difficult to adopt a positive mindset. It’s also possible that you expect too much of yourself.
Life is unpredictable, and sometimes, stressful events or difficult episodes can affect confidence levels. Illness, grief, and relationship breakdown can all have a negative impact on self-esteem.
If you have low self-esteem, there are ways of increasing your confidence. It’s probably not going to be an overnight transformation, but there are things you can do to make you feel more comfortable and confident.
IDENTIFYING A CAUSE
In some cases, there isn’t a single cause of low self-esteem, but often, there are issues or situations that get you down. Finding a solution is likely to make you feel better. If you’re conscious about your appearance, for example, think about what you can do to make yourself feel more attractive. Do you wish you were leaner or more muscly? Do you hate your nose? Are you struggling with the prospect of losing your hair? The way we look has a massive impact on our self-esteem, and often, looking good makes us feel good.
The good news is that there is almost always a solution for these problems. Hit it hard in the gym, look into cosmetic surgery or investigate propecia tablets to prevent hair loss. Don’t make any rash decisions when it comes to going under the knife, but weigh up your options. Once you have all the information in front of you, you can make a well-informed decision.
It’s important that you have realistic expectations. If you do want the body of a pin-up model you’d find in a magazine centerfold, you’re not going to get it by going for a jog once a week. You’ll have to work hard and put in the hours. If you’re thinking about surgery, a nose job isn’t necessarily going to transform your appearance and make you feel a million dollars.
If you lack confidence as a result of experiences you’ve been through either during childhood or your more recent past, it can be really helpful to talk to somebody and share your feelings and anxieties. If you’ve got in engrained in your brain that you’re not good enough, it can take time and a fresh approach to change this perspective. If you go to a counselor or you see a therapist, you can start to work through those emotions, and change the way you feel.
CHANGING YOUR MINDSET
Increasing self-esteem is often about adapting your mindset and challenging the way you think. If you’ve been told that you’re not good enough, contest it. Write down some reasons why are you are good enough. Focus on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but the key to being happy is to play to your strengths. You may not be brilliant at sport. You might be tone deaf. But this shouldn’t hold you back in any away. So what if you’re not 6 ft tall or you weren’t the captain of the football team at college. Everyone has talents and abilities, and the sooner you recognize yours and start celebrating them, the better. Does it matter that you aren’t driving around in a brand new convertible if you’re friends think you’re the funniest, the most loyal or the kindest person they’ve met? Be kind to yourself, and don’t dwell on the things you can’t do.
BLOCKING OUT NEGATIVE INFLUENCES
Do you have so-called friends in your circle that put you down or make you feel uneasy? Do you find that you can’t be yourself around some people? Do certain people make you question yourself or feel insecure? One of the best things you can do if you suffer from low self-esteem is block out the people that have a negative influence. Spend your time with friends and family that lift you up rather than knock you down. Focus your energy on those who allow you to be yourself and the people who love you for who and what you are. It’s amazing what a difference being around positive people can have.
On this subject, it’s also helpful to have a balanced attitude to social media. Social media can connect us, and there are lots of benefits. But it can also make us overly critical of ourselves and affect our relationships. People are a lot bolder and more brazen when they’re behind a screen, and even the most innocent picture can attract nasty comments. If this scenario sounds familiar, focus on the good comments or give yourself some time out from your phone.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Sometimes, taking on a new challenge or setting a goal can provide the motivation we need to get out of our comfort zones and increase our confidence. It can be daunting to try something new or put yourself out there, but be brave, and have belief in yourself.
Confidence can make all the difference when it comes to getting out there, taking chances, and living life. If you lack confidence, you’re certainly not alone. There are all kinds of factors that can contribute to low self-esteem, but there are also ways of overcoming obstacles and gradually building confidence. Think about what’s getting you down, and try and find solutions. Surround yourself with positive people, use your time constructively, and don’t be so hard on yourself.