5 Things That Will Make You Have Low Self-Confidence

What to Be Aware of That May Be Costing You in Many Ways

Our level of confidence plays a big part in how we live our lives and the things we’re willing or not willing to do.

Confidence is both a belief and a feeling. When we’re confident, we know things will work out well because of our abilities, competence and capacity to figure things out.

When a person has low self-confidence, it means they lack belief in their ability to do or carry out what they want to do.

The Costs of Low Self-Confidence

  • Frustration or disappointment.
  • Lack of progress in life.
  • Additional strain on personal relationships.
  • Unwilling to take new risks.
  • Poor communication behaviours.

As our level of confidence dictates so much of what we experience in life, we must be aware of things that may be causing us to have low self-confidence.

Characteristics of low self confidence

Many years ago, when I had the desire to write a book, my biggest challenge was to build up the confidence to start writing. My internal battles included question whether I had anything valuable to share and whether anyone would even be interested in reading what I would write.

Even though I had written reports and papers either at school or university, writing a book was a new challenge. In order to increase my level of confidence, I knew I had to improve my writing skills in order to feel I was competent to write a book.

A few months before I started writing my first book, I enrolled in a three-month writing course, where I learned the fundamentals of writing, including how to outline and structure a book. I had many opportunities to practice writing about different topics, situations and scenes. The feedback I received from my classmates and instructor was extremely valuable, as I honed my writing skills.

My level of confidence in my writing ability dramatically increased as a result of that course, and I was able to write my first book within five months. Had I not completed that writing course, I know I would have struggled getting my book written and published.

Low self-confidence often leads to poor results, which will affect our quality of life.

5 Things That Will Result in Low Self-Confidence

  1. Not keeping your agreements. Keeping our word is linked to how much we trust ourselves. Whenever we say we’re going to do something and don’t do it, we don’t feel good about ourselves. Our inner critic goes into overdrive and we tend to berate ourselves for what we did or didn’t do. To have a healthy level of confidence, we should only commit to things we know we’ll follow through on.
  2. Being around unsupportive people. There is a saying that there has never been a statue built for critic. If we’re around people who’ll put us down or ridicule our goals and dreams, it’s only natural that we’ll question whether we have what it takes to succeed. Our aim should be to spend more time with those who’ll lift us up rather than put us down.
  3. Not learning from mistakes. Even though we don’t intentionally make mistakes, the truth is we’ll make them no matter how hard we try. Mistakes can be valuable learning lessons. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, and keep repeating the same behaviours or habits that don’t get us what we want, then we’ll have lower our self-confidence. Our aim should be to continually learn and grow from our everyday experiences.
  4. Having guilt around previous decisions. One valuable lesson I have learned in life is that nothing is disastrous. Sometimes our decisions can appear to be costly in the short-term and we can develop feelings of guilt and remorse. Those emotions can be useful in making us more aware of how we can improve but they can also affect our confidence if we don’t deal with them. Learning how to acknowledge and release emotions is really important if we want to be mentally and emotionally healthy.
  5. Comparing yourself to others. It’s hard not to compare ourselves to others because it’s a practice that’s ingrained in us from an early age. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever compare ourselves to someone else and feel we’re exactly the same as them. We’re all different and are on different journeys through life. Our self-confidence will be affected if we believe someone is better than us and that we should be more like them or be where they are.

3 Ways to Deal With Low Self-Confidence

  1. Develop more awareness around your habits and behaviours. This can be done through study, such as reading books, listening to podcasts, watching educational programs or attending seminars and workshops.
  2. Set new and challenging goals. As we challenge ourselves to achieve new things, it will bring up resistance and our internal blocks. Those are opportunities to address them so that we can reach higher levels of achievement in life.
  3. Work with a professional. There are many trained professionals such as counsellors, therapists or coaches who offer guidance on how to deal with low self-confidence. Getting help is not a sign or weakness; it’s a sign of strength and intelligence.

As we become more aware of things that may be contributing to low self-confidence, we’ll be in a better position to make the changes necessary to deal with them. If we do, then it’ll be reflected in the things we do daily and how we show up. If we don’t, then chances are we’ll remain at the level we’re currently at, without fully experiencing what we really want in life.

Action Step: Reflect on the last time you stopped yourself from doing something you wanted to or from pursuing something you felt was important to you. Determine what were the contributing factors and start applying some of the ideas suggested above to address them.

Question: What is something else that can result in low self-confidence?

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