04 Dec How to cope with low self-esteem and confidence
I have met many people over the years who have suffered from low self-confidence or self-esteem. I think most of us have experienced it at least once in our lives, although there are many who live with it every day of their lives.
It’s best described as having a debilitating amount of self-doubt and not believing in yourself or your ability to do or achieve certain things. It will hold you back from doing things you want to do and hinder your success in all areas.
It occurs when we are afraid to shine and do our best as we are too scared to fail. It can be like walking on egg shells and being afraid to express who we really are in case we let ourselves down in the eyes of others.
You were not born with low self-esteem; it is something you learned to do along the way. It can often be triggered by an event in our lives or something someone once told us. It’s amazing how a comment from even a relative stranger to us can trigger insecurities and low self-confidence.
I was very musical at school and took part in most of the activities in the music department. I remember being told that I wasn’t good enough to be in the school choir. I was devastated as I had believed until that point that I could sing quite well and was always singing around the house. It totally knocked my confidence as I loved singing and I didn’t sing again for years. It was only when my Grandma overheard me singing Christmas carols one year and she commented on how well I sang that I realised my choir teacher may have misjudged me. I started to sing around the house again and still do to this day!
The truth is that self-confidence and self-esteem issues stem from our own minds. We can get caught up in believing things about ourselves that aren’t really true. And the interesting part is even if they are true – it doesn’t matter. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and we have to embrace them, not punish ourselves over them.
The key is to be true to yourself. It’s ok to be you – just the way you are. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your abilities as long as you do your best and always try to do the right thing in your eyes.
If you do suffer from low self-confidence – which is extremely common and normal after the break-up of a long term relationship – then try the following exercise:
1. Close your eyes and image how it would feel to be 100% confident in your own abilities. When you have an idea of how it would feel then open your eyes and write down the answers to the following questions:
If you were 100% confident:
– How would you stand?
– How would you talk?
– What words would you use?
– What would you do differently?
– What would you start doing?
2. Pick one area of your life where you experience low self-esteem. Write down 3 ways you could use your answers above to boost your confidence in this area.
3. Try it out! Put your answers to the test.
It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. Remember just because you feel this way now doesn’t mean that you always have to suffer from low self-esteem. You can take small steps every day like in the exercise above to building your confidence.
Take back your control and stop worrying about what others think. You don’t have to compete with anyone; you can just enjoy being you. It doesn’t matter if you’re not perfect – nobody is – just do your best.