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The Science Behind Your Lack of Confidence

Are you confused by your current lack of confidence in your love life? Do you fall victim to imposter syndrome in the workplace? Are you struggling to love your body or the way you look? Do you find it hard to try because you feel failure is a certainty?

You’re not alone.

Low-self esteem can often be difficult to identify. We often spend so little time in self-reflection that it’s difficult to see it in ourselves and recognize how much our lives are affected by it!

Fortunately, much research has been done on low self-esteem and we are here to help you conquer the underlying reasons that make it so common.

What is Negative Self-Talk?

Comparing yourself to others is one of the easiest ways to start a negative self-talk dialogue. The social media age has made it more difficult than ever to keep your brain in its lane.

Social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends, family, and co-workers. Social media has its faults though. Because people often only post the ‘highlights’ of their lives, it can lead to a lopsided view of the world.

If you can’t see other people experiencing the same challenges and struggles that you do, it can be disheartening. This happens because we feel that something must be wrong with our lives if everyone else is so happy and successful by comparison.

When we compare our biggest challenges with the successes of others, we may begin to experience a lack of confidence or feelings of hopelessness.

Combat these feelings by reminding yourself that you’re watching their highlight reel or take time to take a break from social media.

Imposter Syndrome

Sure, you’ve got the job you’ve always wanted, but somehow, you still feel like a fraud. Strange, right? Not so much.

Imposter Syndrome is incredibly common. Imposter Syndrome is described as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” The term Imposter Syndrome was created and defined by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes.

Do you have Imposter Syndrome?

While not recognized as a mental condition, the concept is broadly recognized by psychologists. People who have Imposter Syndrome are likely very successful, high functioning individuals.

The irony here is that a lack of confidence in the people with Imposter Syndrome could actually be their greatest shortfall.

Don’t let a lack of confidence prevent you from reaching your full potential.

The Effect of a Lack of Confidence

Ask yourself the following questions… What would you do if you had the courage to do anything? What would you do if you really thought you would be successful?

What elements of your life would change entirely? What elements of your life would improve? Why would you settle for less knowing this?

It’s not always easy to see the impact of a lack of confidence until we imagine what our life would be like with more of it.

Perfectionism is a huge confidence killer. Perfectionism often plagues the most successful people. In some ways, it’s a positive attribute. The drive to create something flawless inspires innovation and high-quality results.

Perfectionism has its faults. The person who suffers from it suffers because of it.

It can be emotionally exhausting to step back from a project you’ve been working tirelessly on and only see what you’ve done wrong. This can contribute to feelings and symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Fortunately, there are many proven ways to combat a lack of confidence and start living a more inspired and fulfilled life.

Lack of Confidence in One’s Appearance

This one is getting even harder and harder to combat in the age of social media. Now more than ever we are bombarded with pictures of ‘perfect people’.

A lack of body confidence can make it difficult to be intimate with the people we love most. Crazy right? The people who find us the most attractive are the very people who get rejected when we fall prey to the thoughts of others.

Plus model Tess Holliday created the body positive “Eff Your Beauty Standards” campaign to celebrate the female form in all shapes and sizes. In an interview with Shape Magazine, Holliday shared her tips for beating a lack of body confidence. The secret she says, is to figure out what scares you and then do it with intention.

If there is a specific attribute that bothers you, sometimes fixing it can be the easiest way to avoid negative self-talk. If you don’t love your teeth, search for Ideal Dentistry options. If you don’t love the extra skin you’ve been left with after experiencing major weight loss, celebrate your hard work with a tummy tuck.

All that said, self-esteem and body confidence are an inside job. You’re not going to love how you look until you love your self.

If all else fails, try to draw some inspiration from Louise L. Hay who famously said, “You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

Powerful Ways to Boost Your Self Confidence

So if you’re guilty of feeling like a fraud despite your accomplishments, struggle to accept your body as-is, or feel like you can’t do anything right, you’re not alone.

Here are a few easy and powerful tips for boosting your confidence:

Do a Good Deed

Do something nice for someone today…anonymously. Pick someone you think deserves something good today and don’t take credit for it. Even something as simple as paying for the person behind you at the drive-thru has been proven to boost your confidence!

Use Affirmations

This can feel silly, but it works. Find a few affirmations to lean on in tough times. Make a mistake? Try, “I’m going to continue to learn and grow. I’m smarter now.”

Feel like you can’t do get ahead?

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” – Stephen McCranie

Sometimes a verbal reminder is all you need to get back on track. What makes you different makes you, you. You’ve got this.

Practice Self Care

The more you give of your time and energy, the less you have left over for yourself. Over time this can contribute to the feelings of rejection and worthlessness.

How can you expect to be valued by others if you don’t even value yourself?

You can fix this deficit by committing to make time for the things you enjoy most. Start by making a list of things you enjoy and how they benefit you. This could be opting to take a bath instead of a shower, making time to hit a yoga class, or planning (and keeping) a date night.

Don’t have time? Make a time budget. Focus on splitting your daily tasks into things you need to do and things you want to do. Split hairs.

This means examining your office duties. What is required and what is unnecessary. Do you really need to stay after hours? Does proofing someone else’s work mean you don’t get to keep a catch-up session with a friend?

Learning to set boundaries is key to keeping positive flowing in your life. Don’t allow someone else to take something from you that you don’t have to give.

Don’t give in to the pressure if you feel you’re being selfish. You can operate at a higher level when you have more to give.

Don’t Worry About It

If you find yourself attempting to implement these techniques and feel hopeless because you don’t think you’re doing it right, take a pause.

Don’t overthink it. Take a long deep breath and try to imagine you’re breathing into your belly. When you’re ready, try this:

Imagine yourself, outside of yourself. You aren’t you anymore. You’re a friend of yours. Think about the issues through this lens. Most people suffering from a lack of confidence, hold themselves to an entirely different set of standards than they do others.

Now think about your other friends, put yourself in that group. Would you hold (fill in the blank) against them? Would you think they would deserve to be criticized for it?

Do you think they would deserve to be loved any less for a little patch of cellulite or thinning hair? Would you think it was their fault that they don’t look like a six foot tall, photoshopped teenager fresh from the pages of Victoria’s Secret catalog?

Would they deserve to be less successful because they know where to draw the line at work? Would they deserve to get fired if they committed to working less overtime so they can spend time with their kids?

Chances are your answer will be no.

The Resolution

Stop holding yourself to unreasonable standards and start treating yourself with the same respect and compassion you show others. Use conflict resolution techniques to de-escalate your negative thoughts and proven techniques to combat negative thoughts.

For more great articles on how you can give your lack of confidence the boot and start living your best life, view more on life outside of work.

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