Do you consider yourself a confident person, or do you use negative thinking patterns to define who you are? It’s a slippery slope that can lead you to more profound self-doubt, depression, and anxiety. The good news is that you can build your self-esteem just as you can exercise to build muscle. How? By avoiding these self-confidence killers.
It takes a commitment and changing your thoughts and lifestyle. You needn’t have anything less than fulfillment, joy, gratitude, and confidence. By nature, some people are more assured of themselves than others. Experts say that children are born with a neutral sense of themselves. How they are raised, socialization, and other factors can either build confidence or tear it down.
Your first mentors were your parents. When they used positive words and affirmations, it allowed you to believe in your blossoming abilities. Encouraging words like “you can do it” or “it’s okay, you’ll do better” go a long way to building childhood esteem.
However, verbal and emotional abuse at a young age can set the pattern for low self-worth into adulthood. Soon, you may begin to think you are unworthy, unwanted, and substandard. It forms negative thought patterns that evolve into habits that can be damaging mentally, physically, and spiritually.
No matter how old you are or how deeply ingrained your self-defeating thoughts and actions are, you can overcome them. It requires a complete reversal of how you think about yourself. Conversely, the golden rule also means that you should treat yourself just as well as you treat others.
Have you noticed any habits you have that may affect your self-assurance? With some work and possibly some therapy, you can break these habits and trade them for ones that cultivate self-worth. It’s time that you realize that you are just as good as everyone else.
Habits That Are Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Killers
1. Staying in a Negative Atmosphere
Being in a constantly negative atmosphere is like being in a room with low oxygen. It may be okay for a while, but soon you’ll have difficulty breathing. Negativity is highly contagious and can affect the strongest person.
Do you surround yourself with toxic people who are always bringing down your mood and self-confidence? Instead, try to hang around those who create a festive atmosphere that makes everyone feel good about themselves. While you’ll always have to deal with toxic people at some time or other, you still can choose not to bring them into your inner circle.
2. Feeling Like Everyone Else Gets the Advantages
It’s only human when you are struggling to make ends meet and wonder how others seem to be blessed in every way. Self-pity and petty jealousy can create negative thought patterns that can suppress your self-confidence. You may start to think that you aren’t good enough or that you’ll always be plagued by bad luck.
Remember the old saying that nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors? Even the wealthiest people on earth have problems that weigh heavily on their minds. When you realize that materialism won’t buy you joy, you can see the blessings you do have and be grateful for them.
3. Overthinking Situations
If you want to build more self-confidence, you must stop overthinking about everything. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do research and think about making crucial decisions in your life. When you aren’t confident in your abilities and decision-making skills, you constantly overthink things.
Overthinking about decisions and situations can make you overstressed. Numerous studies warn that stress can lead to mental issues, coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and even premature death. Learn to trust your instincts and know that you can make wise decisions and that some situations are out of your control.
4. Using the Wrong Body Language
Did you know that your body language speaks louder than your voice? The next time you are around several people, make a mental note of each person’s posture and body language. When you see those who are slouching and dragging their feet, you may assume either they are ill or lack self-confidence.
How do you carry yourself? Do you have a straight posture with open, friendly body language that says you have confidence? Positive body language and good posture not only makes you feel better about yourself, but it also has a positive effect on others.
5. Living in the Past
We all know a few people who keep their minds in the past. You’ll notice that they rarely use the present or future tense when they are talking. Of course, reminiscing about the great times you had years ago can be fun and healthy, but the past can’t take over your life.
A mindset of the past can be especially harmful when you are constantly ruminating about painful memories. It drains you of any self-confidence and can fill your life with doubt, hurt, resentment, and depression. Living in the present makes you happy for who you are and what you have now.
6. Keeping Track of Your Faults and Failures
Did you know that Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was rejected hundreds of times? Still, he pushed through the sting of rejection to make the classic horror movie that has become iconic. He went on to write 86 books, and many of his books became box office hits. You enhance your self-assurance when you use your failures as learning tools for success, as King did.
You’re also not alone when it comes to faults and shortcomings. However, healthy and confident people will own their mistakes, apologize, and learn from them. Instead of using them as a battering rod, use your faults and failures as a ladder that leads to your best self.
7. Forgetting to be Grateful
Some may think it’s clichéd, but counting your blessings is one of the best life lessons you can practice. When is the last time you contemplated the beautiful things in your life? Plus, have you thought about being grateful for the things you “don’t” have?
Gratitude is a precursor of self-confidence and a radiant personality. As you note your many advantages each day, you feel blessed, joyous, and secure in yourself. Some people find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal for daily or periodic writing and reflection.
8. Comparing Yourself to Others
Unfairly comparing yourself to others is one of the main self-confidence killers! It’s human nature to size yourself up to the appearance and abilities of others. Thankfully, this comparison is part of the competition and working to better yourself. However, it becomes a problem when it erodes your self-worth.
The media and Hollywood often set unrealistic expectations of people, especially women. Most beautiful people on screen and pictures have the magic of light, cameras, makeup, photo enhancement, and plastic surgery. Remember that these are actors in fictional situations that are not a substitute for reality.
Maybe you unfairly judge yourself to friends and family you deem better looking, more successful, and more talented. When you can celebrate your individuality and be proud of your abilities and accomplishments, you’ll realize true self-confidence.
9. Allowing Fear to Take Over
Do you admire people who’ve looked danger in the eyes without flinching? Being brave and having courage are virtues that are greatly misunderstood. When you are courageous, you are still afraid, but you go past the fear to overcome your adversary.
If you are content with an attitude of defeat, it destroys your self-confidence and attracts more negativity into your life. Often, you’ll find that the things you fear the most rarely even happen. So, instead of being engulfed in the shadows of fear, you can be courageous one day at a time.
10. Keeping the Drama Going
Have you noticed that “drama” has become a buzzword in the media and many conversations? You may hear people call each other “drama queens” or quote many funny sayings about the overdramatic person. Although everyone has ups and downs in their lives, some people turn their lives into a soap opera.
Unfortunately, these dramatists often try to drag others into their negative scripts. These individual are true self-confidence killers! To sustain your self-worth and peace of mind, don’t get caught in these life-draining situations. Such negativity can only bring you down, and you’ll be cast in the soap opera again and again.
If you have a drama enthusiast in your life, refuse to be part of their games. While you can be empathetic, you needn’t take sides and be emotionally depleted. Save your time and resources for things that need your attention.
You may be practicing some of these self-confidence killers without even realizing it. The remedy is to believe in yourself, stay positive, and show gratitude. When you keep these actions in mind, you will realize that you’ve always been “good enough.”