Do you get badly stressed before walking into a room full of strangers?
Does a lack of confidence hold you back in your life?
Do you become tongue tied at crucial moments?
Are you always putting yourself down?
This article is in response to a readers question about how to deal with a lack of confidence. Please know you are not alone. Many people experience a lack of confidence at one time or another, and many more constantly struggle with the difficulties that a lack of confidence can bring.
The stress of modern day living can take its toll and play havoc with your confidence and self esteem. Alas it is very common in this day and age. The more pressure you put yourself under the harder it is to remain confident.
The good news about a lack of self-confidence is that it is not an irreversible process. If you lack self-confidence now, you can bring about the change, you just have to be determined.
Anyone that knows me may find this difficult to believe, but in my early teenage years, until about the age of 14, I was completely lacking in self-confidence, and terribly shy as well. I hated going out and mixing with kids my own age, and for some reason felt very inferior. Who would believe that I found it impossible to talk, I couldn’t even open my mouth in public, I was that shy and nervous.
My purpose in life is to help others, after successfully achieving my own self-improvement I love to share my knowledge with others to help them overcome this unnecessary and debilitating state.
Confident people tend to display certain qualities that demonstrate that they believe in themselves, they are relaxed with what they are doing, they have the knowledge/skills/ability that allows them to deal with whatever life throws at them. This is what I want for you. After all I am the perfect example of somebody full of self-belief, who walks into a room and has an aura of complete confidence around me, but way back I was completely the opposite. So we can change, we just have to make the decision.
What I don’t want for you is the effects of the lack of self-confidence, which shows through in the following ways:
- Difficulty in mustering enough courage to take any kind of initiative due to fear of failure.
- Fear of other people’s opinions.
- Fear of criticism.
- Assuming others are better than oneself.
- Avoiding social gatherings and events.
- Giving reasons for everything he or she does.
- Snapping back aggressively to criticism.
- Taking defensive postures like folding hands accompanied by crossing legs.
- Seeking people’s approval.
- Judging himself or herself by what people say and think.
- Inability to take decisions for oneself.
- Panicking and getting overwhelmed by new things.
Confidence comes from within you. Confidence is also what you can show on the outside or to hide, what you feel inside. Believe me that works because, ‘FAKING IT’ was exactly how I began the process of becoming the confident person I am today. I became an actor. I played the part of a confident, loud in your face person. Guess what, the role stuck, and that’s who I became.
What is really debilitating is when we feel we lack confidence to attempt to do something. So it holds us back, stops us in our tracks. We don’t even try, so we never do find out whether it was right for us.
Worse still is when a person lacks confidence in their own self-image or in their own belief in themselves. How much this way of being will affect you. This is more serious and in such cases the lack of confidence is likely to affect the person’s performance in many areas of their life and hinder them in leading a fulfilling and happy life. It is so unnecessary. I just want to look you in the eye and say ‘YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL’. Now look in the mirror, and keep telling yourself ‘I am beautiful’. Don’t stop! Smile back at yourself. Be happy. See your beauty. Feel it. Know it. Don’t stop now! Keep looking, keep smiling, and keep repeating ‘I am beautiful’. Believe it, because you are.
Please. Try it. All of you. Stop hating that image that you see. Love it. Love yourself. It will change your life.
“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look how we perform, is truly important to other people”. Andre Bubus
Methods to Overcome Lack of Self-Confidence
Give yourself a break
The first step to overcoming lack of self-confidence is to stop putting yourself down. Give yourself a break. When we constantly criticize ourselves, we are in effect putting ourselves down over and over again. We react internally as if someone else was doing the criticizing by becoming angry, defeated, anxious and depressed.
Cut out the negativity
Try to catch your critical thoughts as they occur. Challenge and question these thoughts – how accurate are they really? Are you really worthless, useless or a terrible person? Self-talk can also determine whether you believe in yourself or not. Do you often say negative things like, “I’m an idiot,” or “That was a dumb thing to do,” or “I’m ugly?” How you perceive yourself comes out in what you say. However, what you say to yourself can also change how you see yourself. Start speaking positively to yourself, about yourself. When you’re getting ready for the day, while looking in the mirror, point out positive characteristics about yourself and say them out loud. Phrases such as:
“I am an attractive person.”
“I am a good parent.”
“I am a hard worker.”
“I love myself.”
“I like how I look in these clothes.”
“I am brilliant.”
Just Do It
Stop procrastinating. People commonly put off doing things because they don’t know what to expect or what the outcome may be. They might fail, other people might laugh at them, they might look foolish. We all struggle with the fear of the unknown. It’s the way we think and our perception of things that paralyze us and keep us in a pattern of avoidance. Well stop, if you want to do something, just give it a go.
You need to list all the people who have hurt you in words or in action and forgive them. Not forgiving them will only cause you to be stuck in your past and will never let you live a confident and pleasant life.
Spend Time With Positive People
Stop worrying about other people’s opinions and what they think of you. You have spent enough time putting yourself down and letting people’s opinions matter to you. Look closely at the people you spend your time with, if they are always criticising you try spending more time with people who don’t. Find a friend you can trust and share what you have gone through. Letting it all out will help you get out of your past.
List Your Positive Qualities
Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and accept yourself for who you are. Yes, you have weaknesses, but, you also have strengths and good qualities. If you lack self-confidence maybe you are sensitive person, who is delicate to other people’s feelings. Turn this sensitivity into a strength; know your compassion with other people makes you a better person. Don’t put yourself down for being caring. Try to list several good qualities and / or several positive contributions that you have made.
If we constantly worry about things going wrong then a lack of self-confidence is almost inevitable. Give things a go, and if at first you don’t succeed, simple, try again. Fear of failure may have caused you to ignore your dreams, desires or goals. Don’t let fear stop you from getting what you want and achieving your goals. Never give up trying. Keep trying until you succeed.
Be Kind To Yourself.
Be your number one fan. If you were an actress be your biggest admirer. Be your own best supporter and motivator. If you’re looking to lead a happier life, believing in yourself is an absolute necessity. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?
Never Say Die
Let me assure you we all make mistakes at times in life. Not everything we try our hand out works out right, particularly the first time of trying. Confident people never give up no matter what difficulty they meet and they show determination and persistence. They have the “never say die” attitude that enables them to overcome obstacles. It doesn’t matter if you fall down, what matters is if you don’t get back up and try again.
Let me assure you, confidence is a skill that you can learn. So if you suffer with a lack of self-confidence know how easily you can turn this around and build it up, and change your whole direction in life. Just make sure you start taking action RIGHT NOW!
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Eleanor Roosevelt
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A very good article Larry!
This is also what I have experienced.The biggest obstacle to get successful in the internet business is the fear of failing.If more internet marketers would get rid of that feeling and obstacle we would see more of happy people in the internet business overall.
Yet another super and superior pep-talk! I do hope there are many out there who lack confidence who will read this and take your wise words to heart. We only have this one time around; wouldn’t it be grand if everyone lived their lives to the limit?
Thanks for the inspiration, Larry!
I used to be a different man to how I am now, if you had asked me when i was 16yrs to 23yrs old would i be in the position i am now, i would have bet a million pounds i would not. Still i suffer from confidence, esteem problems and anxiety but, that just makes me prouder of all i have done and continue to do. to me the most important part? Just Do It great post sir Larry and a problem which is huge for so many people adults, children and adolseances (probably spelt wrong)
Another fantastic one, Larry. I like the mirror exercise. I’ve used it with great results!
Lack of confidence makes cowards out of us and we don’t try anything new for fear of failing. Great post.