What is Self Confidence?
When a person believes in themselves and their abilities to succeed in life we describe them as “being full of confidence”.
Confident people tend to have certain characteristics associated with them such as the ability to be:
- Successful in their chosen career
- Highly sociable
- Popular with others
- Unruffled by problems
- Un-phased by illnesses
Many people will experience low self confidence at some point in our lives and this is a perfectly normal experience to have, but there are some people whose entire lives seem to be experienced with these feelings of low self confidence, often expressed as feeling “not good enough” and for them, life can be challenging on a daily basis. It could be, for example, that they do not feel good enough to mix with people and so become socially withdrawn, or perhaps the idea of going for a job interview seems so pointless as they already “know” that they aren’t good enough for the job and so what’s the point in attending.
People with low self confidence or low self esteem have been shown to also suffer from a high degree of social phobia. In fact, there is a known correlation between low self-esteem (low self confidence) and high social phobia. (The degree to which you feel judged by other people)
The more social anxiety you suffer, the lower self confidence you experience and the higher your self-confidence the lower your social anxiety.
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and felt invisible? Maybe you just wanted to go right back out of there. Perhaps you struggled to approach someone and start a conversation or when you did pluck up the courage you blushed, stumbled or stuttered and couldn’t get your words out. You may have had everything in your head that you wanted to say but with your lack of confidence you just couldn’t make it happen. Worst case scenario may have been that you didn’t even attempt to go out and made some excuse to stay at home in your comfort zone. Then the cycle continues with you beating yourself up for not being brave enough to go.
You may feel quite confident in some areas of your life, there could be situations where you feel slightly more comfortable eg within your close family, or with a group of good friends, maybe even at work. Other social situations may terrify you or ‘on the spot moments’ such as being asked a question, asked to do something out of the blue at a work meeting or during a potentially confrontational situation. That horrible feeling of not being good enough creeps in and becomes difficult to control.
“Without confidence, a person perceives the world as dangerous. They fear that they cannot handle a situation or that they are being judged negatively in some way. When a person feels threatened, their internal alarm system is activated. Confidence can deactivate those unnecessary alarms. By recognising that we can handle situations and not fear other people’s judgements our world is safe. Our greatest resource is confidence, and carrying it with us at all times is our ticket to success”(Sokol&Fox, 2009, pg146)
“A confident person is able to recognise their assets and strengths. They are competent and tend to achieve more. They are free of anxiety and depression. They are no longer wasting energy on their self-doubt, debilitating feelings and problems. They can use their energy for the common good.” (Hankin, 2009)
“Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sandeep Meshram (2009) advocates that, “If you do not have self confidence, you will never become successful at all”. He also states that “self-confidence has always been the core of self development, the building block on which goal setting, motivation, problem solving, communication, willpower and other aspects of self help stem from.””
What causes low self confidence?
There are a large number of things that can result in low self confidence, but as far as we are concerned they probably fall into two main categories:
1. Some sort of negative or emotional experience that has taken place, normally where you failed to live up to some “standard” and felt, or were made to feel, embarrassed or “small” as a consequence. It is particularly important to note that this “standard” which was not achieved may be real, or simply imagined. This experience may be buried or “repressed” into the unconscious part of the mind, or you may be fully aware of it, the problem is that it is having a direct effect on the way that you feel NOW.
2. The slow development, over time, of negative thinking patterns that start to impact more widely on the way you feel about yourself. We call this a “cognitive distortion” and it is well known that thoughts actually directly affect feelings. In other words the “way you think” determines the “way you feel”. These thinking styles can self-reinforce and lead into a downward spiral of low self confidence that get worse over time.
Resolving Low Self Confidence
The Thrive Programme
The very latest (in development for over 10 years), innovative and perhaps most effective way to deal with your confidence issue is to follow a course of the Thrive Programme. This intervention helps you to really understand how your “beliefs” have contributed to the way that you feel and in doing so, teaches you how to take control of your thinking and really change the way you “see the world.” Thrive is a research-backed applied course of Psychology that has been consistently producing excellent results.
In my own practice almost all of my clients have had some lack of self-confidence in one or more areas. This is true for both men, women and the children I see. If you decide to go through the Thrive Programme with me you will begin to understand why and how you have developed these feelings and how your self-confidence has been affected. The learning of new skills and techniques will help you to gain or regain and maintain better levels of self confidence, to improve your self esteem and keep that consistently good. You will also learn how to make significant changes to how you view your world and your experiences and move forward into your future with confidence, free from any self-doubt or anxiety, feeling confident, able to set goals and achieve them and bounce back quickly when things get tough or tricky.
In order for you to find out how you can learn to become more confident and understand that you do have the ability to change please call or email me today for a 45min relaxed chat and cuppa in one of my offices. Pat – 07984177527 or firstname.lastname@example.org