Feeling under-confident is common, and it can manifest in many ways. Difficulty speaking up and making your voice heard, being afraid to look, speak or dress the way you truly want to, and shrinking from any and all attention are some signs of a lack of confidence. The good news is that you can learn How To Gain Confidence In Yourself.
A lack of confidence begins all the way in childhood for most people. If they are lucky enough to escape this in childhood, then it comes haunting once they are teens. There is just so much out there telling us that we are not good enough. For some, it begins with parents, then friends, teachers, colleagues, and maybe even one’s partner. Although we may also have heard good things about ourselves, only the criticisms stick with us for some reason. But that’s just how childhood is. All a child requires is unconditional love and acceptance. Criticism can translate into a child’s mind as a lack of acceptance or the path to losing their parent’s love. It can be far too damaging for their mental health and growth.
While it is understandable that parents criticize hoping for growth, there is no denying that it leads to damage. They may grow up, study something amazing, get an amazing job, and live a good life, yet they may not feel good about themselves. This is what psychology tells us about child growth and confidence. Now, there is no way to go back into the past and change the way we grew up or let our parents know they didn’t do it right. But we can still make a change!
Confidence in oneself and a healthy level of self-esteem are a mark of good mental health. Mental health and confidence come hand in hand. Lacking confidence can affect various areas of life. Some of the more common ways we can observe are:
- Difficulty in speaking loudly and gaining attention when needed.
- Posture: shrinking within oneself, drooping shoulders, wringing hands, and hiding palms
- Inability to stand straight or even still
- Feeling impossible to speak to the boss about a raise or promotion though very deserving
- Believing it’s just lucky to have found a partner and not because of one’s qualities
- Shy to the point of it being detrimental to growth
- Incapacity to speak to strangers even when needed
- Not asking for help
- Avoiding certain situations(challenging) due to fear or discomfort
The above examples are a collection of many situations in which a lack of self-confidence can manifest. This will go from person to person and according to the situation too. The major way in which a lack of confidence shows up is in posture. Lacking confidence and self-assurance can also lead to other mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, in many people.
There are many ways to improve your confidence. You can begin with what works best for you and build further upon that. Here are a few ways that you can try to build your confidence.
The very first step is to identify negative self-talk!
This means paying attention to the opinion that you hold of yourself. Some of these opinions may just be someone else’s voice from childhood, and others are what you may have learned yourself. Recognizing such negative self-talk can help you find out what you feel is problematic about yourself and help fix that. If you can, try to pinpoint where such talks began in your mind and go back to the source.
One of the best ways to build back your confidence is to stop the negative talk about yourself. Stop telling yourself, ‘I am so stupid,’ ‘I’m such an idiot,’ ‘Why did I not think of this?’, ‘Nobody cares,’ etc., and other pessimistic words you may do in your mind or even in front of your friends and family.
If you are unable to simply stop, then challenge such talks. You can do this by asking yourself counter questions, for instance:
“I am such an idiot” If you say such things to yourself, then you can respond with “Who says?” and continue reminding yourself of accomplishments, such as your education, job, or other recent accomplishments.
Journaling every day will heal you from the inside. It will help you specify the areas where you are struggling internally and help you realize your true potential. You can also write positive things about yourself, especially those that counter negative self-talk. Make this a habit until you start to believe it.
No, put down your phone. Your best friend is always yourself. Speak to yourself and in front of a mirror if possible. This can be difficult to begin, but it can help significantly. Tell yourself how proud you are of yourself and what you love about yourself. Most importantly, narrate to yourself in the mirror that you love yourself. After all, no one can love you better than yourself.
Everyone is good at something or the other. It may not be a job that you can do or even a recognised hobby, but as long as you’re good at it, encourage yourself and indulge yourself. If you love putting together puzzles, indoor plants, reading books, writing fanfiction, singing, and cooking – it can be anything in the world at all! As long as you love it, keep doing it.
Saying no is difficult for most people, especially impossible for those lacking confidence. The fear of displeasure when you say no can be daunting. But that’s what is best for you. When you don’t want to – you say no!
Low self-confidence can begin in early childhood and affect us, especially while we’re adults. As we are out facing the world, it can be truly intimidating. Yet there is hope, and you, too, can learn to build back your confidence by practicing self-love and self-care. You can also learn how to do this with the help of a professional on Girls Nite Live.