Many people come to me complaining about having low self-confidence. They often feel that their low self-confidence has come from challenging circumstances or difficult experiences. They are reluctant to take responsibility for their low self-confidence. They feel like victims.
Many of them have been victims. Many were mistreated in childhood. Many didn’t feel accepted. Many were not loved. In fact, I meet very few people who were loved unconditionally during their childhood.
All of us have had challenges growing up. For some, the challenges were traumatic and for others less so. Some feel they coped with the challenges and some feel they never overcame them.
Low self-confidence can develop during childhood. If we had parents who were low in confidence that will affect us. Parents are our role models, we emulate them whether we want to or not. This only changes by consciously deciding not to be like them.
Improving low self confidence is possible
Once the decision is made, the real works starts. Then we need to rigorously examine our behaviour and our emotions if we wish to change. Of course, we often need help from a professional to make this change. Low self-confidence comes from being out of alignment with our better self. We have a view on how we would like to be. We have values. We have dreams. Our low self-confidence comes from not living in accordance with these values and dreams.
For example, if you want to become an airline pilot, you need to map out the path to your goal. Then you need to faithfully follow that path. If you fall off the path, you need to discover the reason and correct it. Sometimes you cannot correct it. If, for example, you cannot pass the medical, you need to come to terms with this and then create a new goal and path.
Confidence building course of therapy
The word “confidence” means “in full trust” or “in full faith.” If you have low self-confidence, you have little faith or trust in yourself. This means you cannot trust yourself to do what you say you will do. You make promises to yourself that you do not keep. You make commitments to others that you do not keep. You turn up late. You procrastinate. Then you beat yourself up and feel like a victim.
Beating yourself up does not work. Beating yourself up distracts you from the real issue: Why did you make a promise and not keep it? When you stop beating yourself up, you can actually examine the reasons for your behaviour and make the changes you need.
There are reasons you avoid this examination. Making the needs changes might be challenging. Perhaps you over-promise because you are trying to keep everyone happy. Maybe you are a poor judge of your own limits and you bite off more than you can chew.
Each time you continue this pattern of not delivering on your promises, your self-confidence suffers. With lower self-confidence, you become more desperate. You intend to do better. You make more promises, to yourself as well as others. But intentions are not action. Without taking stock and undertaking a rigorous self-examination, your struggle to follow through will continue.
Low self-confidence can be a vicious spiral downwards and, once you are caught in this spiral, you will need help to pull yourself out. Building confidence is one of the services we offer at North Brisbane Psychologists. Book an appointment to discuss the right path for you.