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This article is designed for educational purposes only and is not imply that your confidence is being destroyed by doing these things, these are just a selection of examples which could be affecting your confidence and there will be many others which are not listed in this article. These examples were selected as they are supported by research and have been mutually agreed in the articles listed in the references section at the end.
Confidence. Some people are born with an innate steak of confidence whilst others take time to develop confidence as they develop from children into adults. There will be times when your confidence takes a knock; for instance, you may not do as well in the exam you prepped really well for or the sports team you play for may not win the final match of the season. You may not get the job you applied for or you may stumble over your words when you have to give a give a presentation at work. It is common to feel like you wish your confidence was better. Whilst other things may impact our confidence which are out of control such as other people, it is important to know which things we are in control of and how we can become aware of how we may be destroying our own confidence.
This article explores habits that are destroying your confidence.
- You care too much about what other people think.
No doubt at some point we have said ‘I don’t care what other people think about me.’ But if we really took the time to think about that, we’d realise that there is probably not a lot of truth to that statement. It is common to care about what others think, especially if we are trying to impress them. As human beings, we want to be liked and respected by others. However, when you value other people’s thinking and opinions above your own and change your behaviour to reflect what you think others want to see, you are doing harm to yourself (Daskal, 2015). Remember that it is your life and it is not being lived by somebody else, so don’t give away the power to guide it.
2. Negative Thinking
Ever have thoughts which say “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do this”?
Everything starts with a thought. You become what you think. If you always think you are not good enough then, you will never be confident! (5 Habits Destroying Your Self Confidence, 2018). If you have thoughts that you can never get a promotion, even though you are qualified, that’s negative thinking. If you think that you are not being a good parent to your child, that is negative thinking. If you indulge in pessimism, then this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are gradually destroying your self-confidence with all these thoughts. Try reframing those negative thoughts to say “I am good enough to get this job and I need to show my skills” will reinforce a more positive mindset and should increase your confidence. Focus on what you can do instead of worrying about the outcomes you can’t control (Daskal, 2015).
3. Social Media living
How many times have you heard people say that they have disappointing lives compared to their friends on social media? Or how many times have you thought that your social media life is ‘better’ than your own life?
Social media portrayals, as we know, are not always as they appear to be. If you consistently find your yourself comparing to others and living in your own version of reality and only putting out what you want the world to see, then you may notice that this has an impact on your confidence in the ‘real world’. Once you start to understand that this is not what everyday lives are like, then you should start to feel more grounded and accepting that their truth is actually the same as your truth. That their everyday life is actually much more like your everyday life. This is comforting, and this rings true (Martinez & Contributor, 2019)
4. Self-Deprecating Talk
When you diminish what you do, you are taking shots at your self-confidence. If every time you speak in a personal or professional setting and you say you are not that great, you are diminishing your worth and value (5 Habits Destroying Your Self Confidence, 2018). So if you and others are telling you how you are not great, that’s bound to make you feel less than confident. Writer C.S. Lewis once said “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but it’s thinking of yourself less.” So try not to confuse humility with self-deprecation.
5. You play the ‘Blame Game’
When we find ourselves in a situation that we are not happy with, such as being in a relationship that we don’t want to be in or staying in a job that we hate, we tend to find excuses and blame everybody else or everything else for what is happening. This destroys our self-esteem, and we feel less confident in ourselves to be able to manage this situation. You need to develop an exit plan for your self-esteem (Charisma on Command, 2018). In his video, How to Beast explains this is idea of ‘blaming’ acts as a defence mechanism (How to Beast, 2019). So rather than pass the blame, take ownership of your situation and you should start to confident that you are in control of what is happening.
6. You set the bar low for yourself.
If you find yourself saying things like ‘I am not very good at this so don’t have any expectations’, it immediately makes others questions your ability. Disqualifying yourself verbally sets your bar lower so that we feel that we won’t have high expectations from other people so we won’t disappoint them (Charisma on Command, 2019). By setting ourselves at this level, naturally our confidence is going to be low as is our sense of value. Selling yourself and what you are good at, will make you feel more confident and will instil confidence in other about you.
7. Thinking that you don’t have anything to say or contribute to a discussion.
Ever feel that at work or at social events that you don’t tend to get involved in conversations because you don’t believe that you have anything meaningful to add?
This is destroying your confidence as you may feel like people will be bored of what you have to say, that they will think that you are not smart or that they make fun of what you have to say (5 Habits Destroying Your Self Confidence, 2018). This is a story that people have told themselves and they will start to believe that it is true. It is important to remember that generally we all have something to say and if we don’t, that is okay too. It may be that the topic of conversation is not something that you are particularly interested in or know a lot about, but any contributions should be treated as valuable. If we can learn to feel and act at ease in conversations, we will be surprised how welcoming and easy it is to become an active part of a conversation. If you learn to voice your opinions, that builds confidence and can help you develop to become a more decisive and better leader (Charisma on Command, 2019).
8. You dismiss compliments.
If you are anything like me, you might be one of many people who find it hard to accept compliments! Often receiving compliments can be met with deflecting compliments or shying away from accepting when you receive a comment because you are embarrassed or don’t believe the comment. Remember, that by deflecting, you not only sell yourself short but challenge the judgment of the person complimenting you. Accepting compliments graciously doesn’t make you an egomaniac (Daskal, 2015) and you can accept comments graciously and take on board when developing you confidence.
Ever find yourself repeatedly going over what you didn’t get right or of situations you didn’t like?
An example of this may be that you continuously think about something you said during a presentation to your work colleagues. Rumination is taking thinking to another dimension (5 Habits Destroying Your Self Confidence, 2018) and although thinking is considered necessary for problem solving, ruminating is focused on the problem and not on finding the solution. In her article for Forbes, Jaime Kuluga wrote that when you ruminate on your poor decisions or setbacks consistently, you decrease your confidence (Kulga, 2015).
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you have found it useful. Remember, even the most confident people can struggle at times and it is perfectly normal. You are unique individuals with different skills so use them to your advantage. Use positive affirmations every day where possible to remind yourself of your strengths and what you want to develop.
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Take care and watch this space for the next article 🙂
5 Habits Destroying Your Self Confidence. (2018,). BoldandAgeless,Llc. https://boldandageless.com/5-habits-destroying-your-self-confidence/
Charisma on Command. (2018). 5 Common Habits That Will Kill Your Confidence [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwhb61GBm1A
Daskal, L. (2015). 12 habits that you don’t realize are destroying your confidence. Business Insider. Retrieved December 9, 2020, from https://www.businessinsider.com/habits-that-are-destroying-your-confidence-2015-12?r=US&IR=T
How to Beast. (2019). 3 Bad Habits that DESTROY your Confidence [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SCIzqmaMsg
Kulga, J. (2015) WomensMedia. Why Ruminating Hurts Success And How To Hurdle Those Thoughts. Forbes. Retrieved December 12, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2015/12/24/why-ruminating-hurts-success-and-how-to-hurdle-those-thoughts/#41a84fae12b1
Martinez, D. N., & Contributor, L. (2019, May 5). 5 Habits That Are Destroying Your Confidence. Everyday Power. https://everydaypower.com/5-habits-that-are-destroying-your-confidence/