Building self-confidence is not an easy or simple feat. Although some people appear to be naturally confident, most of us struggle with feeling confident in some aspects of our lives. Whether you lack confidence in your appearance, abilities, success in life, or another facet of yourself, it is essential to recognize when this is happening to build your confidence.
Low confidence can harm our happiness and well-being, one of those being a decrease in self-esteem. Read on to discover the signs of low self-confidence and how you can work on fixing these signs.
7 Signs of Low Self-Confidence (and How to Fix It)
1. Low Self-Confidence Means You Feel Like You Cannot Do The Things You Want To Do
Whether you dream of traveling the world, achieving your dream career, finding a loving relationship, or going back to school, low self-confidence can get in the way of achieving these goals and aspirations. If you frequently underestimate your ability to make your desires come true, that feeling of inadequacy likely stems from issues revolving around confidence.
Sometimes these feelings manifest in ways that make us feel like no matter how hard we try. We will never be good enough. Fortunately, there are some ways to counter these negative thoughts and feelings. One thing that might help is looking into strategies that experts have developed, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of retraining our thoughts and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
For example, if you feel like you should not go on a social outing because you will make things awkward, replace that thought with something along the lines of “I am a valuable and interesting person, and my friends are excited for me to go with them.” The idea is the more we catch these thoughts and correct them, the more our mind will automatically gravitate toward them in the future.
2. You Are Always Worried About What Other People Think Of You
We can’t please everyone. It is implausible that you will go through life and not meet at least one person who does not get along with you. Therefore, it is harmful to place our worth on what other people think of us. A sign of low confidence is if you care more about what outside people think of you than what you think and know of yourself. This can lead to other problems, such as anxiety and the need to change yourself to suit different people’s expectations.
The best way to mitigate these emotions is to remind yourself of what you love about yourself. Of course, it does not hurt to listen to outside advice when necessary, but it should not be the main component of your identity. Another helpful skill is to imagine that you are a close friend instead of yourself. Would you think poorly of your friend the way you think poorly of yourself? Sometimes this can put it in perspective that other people are not always judging you.
3. Low Confidence MeansYou Frequently Experience Negative Thinking, Anxiety, Self-Blame, And Depression
One of the tell-tale signs of low self-confidence is experiencing negative, anxious, or depressive thoughts related to your self-worth. Often these mental health challenges make it difficult to cultivate a healthy amount of confidence. But, simultaneously, one of these things usually leads to the other.
Most people who have anxiety have issues with self-confidence and vice-versa. Experts note that this is especially poignant in those with social anxiety, as it can be challenging to socialize when you lack confidence. In addition, if you struggle to see what you bring to the table, it can indicate that you do not value yourself the way you should.
There are many ways to cope with these mental illnesses. Whether it is trying meditation or mindfulness, seeing a healthcare professional, talking through it with a loved one, or researching more about it to see if you might be experiencing the symptoms, taking the first step in addressing these issues may help your overall sense of confidence.
4. Low Self-Confidence Means You Use Your Smartphone Frequently In Social Situations
Carrying a smartphone with us wherever we go is the perfect excuse to check out of reality for a little bit. However, if you are reluctant to leave the house without your phone or find that you frequently use it in social settings, that can indicate low self-confidence. Studies show that people with increased cell phone usage are likelier to experience low self-esteem.
This is vital to note because low self-confidence leads to higher phone usage, which often results in low self-confidence. This idea expands beyond using your phone in social situations as well. Spending excessive time on our phones, particularly on social media, can give us feelings of inadequacy and cause us to compare ourselves to others more frequently.
The simplest solution to this issue is to minimize your screen time. If you are meeting up with friends, try putting your phone at the bottom of your bag or shutting it off once you arrive at your destination. This is a tiny step in building your self-confidence, but it can help you realize that people enjoy your company with or without a screen between the two of you. They probably feel even closer to you without the phone between you!
5. Low Self-Confidence You Do Not Have High Expectations Or Hopes For The Future
It is common for people with low self-confidence to feel stuck. This is because they don’t believe they have the strength, smarts, or skills to make it far. Even confident people have trouble persevering through challenges. Low confidence can make it so that you do not even attempt to chase your goals in the first place. Think about where you see yourself in ten years.
Is it with a successful job? Will you be living a life that makes you happy? If you answered “no” or “I doubt it” to any of these questions, it is essential to ask yourself why you don’t believe in yourself and your capabilities. How do we raise our expectations for the future when we have difficulty believing in ourselves? One easy change is to implement positive affirmations in your thought patterns. Then, when you doubt yourself, try challenging that thought.
Remind yourself daily why you are proud of yourself and how far you have come. Think about your accomplishments and all the people who care about you. Positive affirmations are messages of kindness and positivity we give ourselves. For example, if your thought is, “I have been unemployed for two months I will never be successful,” try changing that thought to something like, “This period of unemployment has given me a chance to catch my breath and realize that I am motivated to find a job that I enjoy soon.”
6. Low Confidence Means You Get Upset When You Receive Constructive Criticism
It is normal for criticism to be challenging to digest, but hearing a piece of well-intentioned constructive criticism ruins your day and makes you question your self-worth, which is a big sign of low self-confidence. But on the other hand, constructive criticism is an important way for us to know the areas we can improve our work, creativity, and habits as individuals.
Typically, it is crucial to consider delivery when providing criticism because there is a line where it is not constructive and rather destructive. But people with low confidence often react similarly to any form of criticism. For example, let’s say your boss politely lets you know that your work performance might be better if you implement a certain skill set more often.
If you have low confidence, you might take this criticism as an attack on your abilities at work. You might have thoughts that your boss does not think you are hard-working or that your typical work style is not good enough. In reality, you are probably doing a great job, and they only suggested a small way to improve.
One way to overcome this problem is to remind yourself that this is an opportunity to improve in areas where you lack confidence. Try to pause for a moment and think of the person’s intentions when they are telling you things you can improve on. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong with your abilities or who you are. They are simply letting you know something you can implement to do even more amazing things than you already do.
7. Low Self-Confidence Means You Have A Difficult Time Accepting Compliments
For most people, receiving compliments is a great feeling. However, someone with low self-confidence might be unsure how to react when they receive praise. They might not know how to accept the compliment or, in some cases, outright deny it. This can create an awkward situation for you and the person trying to compliment you. It can reveal that you do not feel worthy of compliments and have difficulty believing that the other person is genuine.
The best thing to fix this issue is to start accepting compliments. Force yourself to say “thank you” when someone compliments you. Not only does this make that person happy they praise you, but if you accept it, that can help build your self-confidence. For example, if someone compliments your outfit and you take their compliment to heart, it can help you feel good about your style choices and confident in choosing different outfits that speak to you.
Final Thoughts On Some Signs Of Low Self-Confidence And How To Fix It
Now you know just a few signs you might have low self-confidence and how to begin fixing it! There are a lot of ways to feel better about yourself. Continuing to work on your self-confidence as part of your daily routine can be a fantastic way to feel better about yourself, be more outgoing, and pursue what you want most. Don’t let low self-confidence stop you from reaching your goals and aspirations.