When you have low self confidence, your faith in your ability to meet whatever life presents you has been shaken. You may be stuck in self-pity and a sense of worthlessness. You may assume that other people are criticizing you even when they’re not. From this negative place, you may believe that you’ll never do anything right.
Here are some examples of statements made by a person suffering from low self confidence:
• I get very upset when criticized
• I don’t like to try new things
• I don’t want to speak up, especially when I disagree with others
• I tend to think “I can’t do that”
Low self confidence leads to many other lows: low energy level, low ambitions and lack of interest in pursuing anything. Because of this loss of enthusiasm for life, you don’t have the motivation to try to do something about the way you’re feeling.
Success rarely comes to a person who has lost faith in himself. Changing your destiny very often begins with changing yourself.
WHAT CAUSES LOW SELF CONFIDENCE?
If you have low self confidence, it may be natural to blame your parents. Early memories may include your parents not being there for you, not encouraging you, not praising you or more difficult memories of constant criticism. If your parents lacked self confidence or were very self-critical themselves, it may seem like they taught you this behavior.
If you become a parent yourself, you learn about the delicate balance between the stress of life and the responsibility of child-rearing. Children sometimes seem a great mystery, and it’s easy for parents to become overwhelmed. Life stressors can take their toll on parents, including money troubles, relationship troubles, health problems and even being inexperienced as parents. If a parent isn’t getting his own needs met or isn’t able to find a balance in life, he is not able to be there for his children in a lot of ways.
But parents alone, no matter how poor, don’t cause the problem. Other factors come into play such as critical teachers or not fitting in with other children. Additionally, once you start to lose faith in yourself, you can develop a habit of interpreting every failure as evidence that you can’t succeed, or to label yourself a failure.
A child who lacks self confidence usually grows into an adult who lacks self confidence. An adult who lacks self confidence often turns into a critical, angry or negative parent and the cycle continues.
Blaming your parents for where you have ended up is in no way helpful, however, and neither is blaming yourself for being imperfect in raising your children. Awareness is the first step toward change.
Loss of faith in yourself happens to everyone once in a while. Most people suffer from shaken self confidence occasionally or sporadically. A small setback such as under-performing at work or falling off your diet may lead temporarily to low self confidence. Self-doubt can creep in when you experience rejection, such as a sudden divorce or not getting a job you wanted. A situation like this may lead to a sort of slump that will pass with time.
But if you find that you lack faith in yourself most of the time, you are standing in the way of your own success. You are being controlled by your own negativity. If you don’t bring negative feelings under control, they may lead to serious physical and mental consequences.
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If you suffer from low self confidence, what can you do to start to turn things around? The first step is to realize that you were not born with low self confidence, it’s something you learned. It’s also important to realize that improvement will come with effort, but not instantly. It’s crucial to believe you can change.
Here are some suggestions for raising your confidence level.
Pretend you are confident. One of the quickest ways to start feeling confident is to dress sharply and look your best. By projecting the best image that you can, you very often will start to feel better about yourself. A new haircut or a new outfit can work wonders.
Celebrate your successes. If you are in a slump, you may have started to believe that you don’t do anything right. It’s time to start noticing and celebrating your successes. That could be as small as sticking to your diet for one day or as large as dropping two dress sizes. Pay attention! You do something right every single day. Give yourself credit when you do.
Choose positive people. If your faith in yourself has faltered, the last thing you need is to be surrounded by people that criticize you or make you doubt yourself in any way. Friends that encourage and inspire you are friends that are in your corner. Likewise, people who call themselves your friends but constantly discourage you and tell you that you can’t accomplish your goals may not be friends at all. Look for life’s cheerleaders and move them squarely to your corner.
Become your own best friend. Most people would never say to other people the harsh, critical things they say to themselves. If you are one of these people, it’s time to become your own best friend. Treat yourself as a person of value, a person that you love and respect. Tell yourself how wonderful, strong and capable you are. Embrace your successes and forgive yourself for your shortcomings.
Practice positive thinking. The key word here is “practice”. If you have developed a habit of negativity, you will need to keep trying day by day to turn it around. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts whenever they creep in. Use affirmations to continually coach yourself into a better thought pattern.
Low self confidence can be boosted by taking small suggestions such as those listed above and gradually implementing them into your life. In time, your sense of self-worth will return, stronger than ever. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will see results. Your confidence in yourself is within your control.
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