Low self esteem and a lack of confidence can hold us back from achieving many things and can also be detrimental to both our physical and emotional well-being.
It often begins in childhood where many of us are conditioned by the concept of reward for things we do well and punishment when we don’t do as we’re told. However most of us are still brought up by our parents with them having instilled in us a sense of self-confidence and belief in ourselves which enables us to overcome most setbacks or rejection, even if they’ve had to resort to occasional negative comments to enable us to make sense of what’s right and wrong in our formative years.
However, if you have been brought up on the receiving end of constant criticism which is unjustified and not constructive, then it’s likely to result in you having extremely low self esteem and you’ll inevitably exhibit a lack of confidence in all that you do.
What Else Causes Low Self Esteem?
Even the most confident of adolescents can grow up to experience low self esteem and to feel unworthy. Adult life can be tough and it can sometimes feel like the ‘survival of the fittest’ and we’re all, at some point, going to bump into people who will try to belittle us. It is important, however, to realise that the ways in which people try to do this simply demonstrate their own lack of confidence and how much they’re lacking emotionally.
‘Tactics’ which are used to undermine self confidence can include being continually blamed for things when it’s not our fault, being constantly ridiculed or humiliated, being told how useless we are and that we will never amount to anything, being constantly criticised, having demands or expectations placed upon us which are inconsistent, being told that we are solely responsible for someone else’s unhappiness and, on an even more serious level, being physically punished, bullied or a victim of sexual abuse.
How to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Boost Your Confidence
Firstly, you need to become more accepting of yourself and to realise that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes from time to time and that this is natural and perfectly acceptable.
Another method of boosting self confidence is to recognise our talents, abilities and good qualities and to constantly remind ourselves of these and to give ourselves a pat on the back whenever we are able to utilise those abilities and qualities for the benefit of ourselves and others.
Never shy away from risks. You can end up stifling your own personal development and become more afraid to take risks if you perpetually do the same thing over and over again because it’s something you know that works. Life is an evolutionary process and things change all the time. For you to become confident, it’s crucial that you try out new experiences and embrace challenges and risks and see them as an opportunity for growth as opposed to something to be frightened of.
Don’t judge yourself by competing with others. Everyone’s different. Some of us can jump higher than others, some of us can spell better but it’s important that we only aspire to do and to be the best that we can and not to compare ourselves with the achievements of others.
Benefits of Change
Embrace the concept of change. Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut doing the same old things which no longer interest us with the same old people who may be negative and critical of us. If that’s the case, shed these experiences and people and replace them with new ones which are more positive. Surrounding ourselves with positive people and embarking upon new and exciting experiences can rapidly build our sense of self esteem.
Pleasing ourselves does not have to equate with selfishness. Often, we suffer with a lack of confidence as a result of fruitlessly trying to please others at our own expense where all our efforts seem to be met with negativity.
Like so many areas of personal growth, building or rebuilding your self confidence is something that everybody can do providing they are willing to change some aspect of their life and that is something we all should never be afraid to do.