Why it’s important to have confidence and self-esteem
When we struggle with a lack of confidence or feelings of low self-esteem it can have a negative effect on everything from our relationships, health and well-being to our social and work life.
The reason for this is because confidence is about believing in ourselves and our abilities, thoughts and judgment as this allows us to do things well. It also means we can accept that whilst we might not achieve everything we set out to do then that’s all right.
It gives us an acceptance of who we are as a person, how we look and feel and that we don’t need to change who we are. People who are confident don’t need to have the loudest voice or be the centre of attention because they are happy and confident in their own skin.
Self-Esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves and our feelings of self-worth as a person. People who have positive self-esteem are able to deal with the highs and lows in life as they have more confidence in themselves and their abilities. People who struggle with low or poor self-esteem usually have negative feelings about themselves and their life in general.
There are many reasons for developing low confidence or self- esteem. It could be that you didn’t get a job you really wanted or failed an exam or achieved a lower grade than you expected to receive. Things like peer pressure and influences from social media can all negatively affect us, or feeling a lack of support from our family and friends when we need it most. A career change or change in our personal circumstances, relationships or where we live can also be a factor.
Physical and psychological symptoms and behavioural changes
When your confidence and self-esteem are low it can cause a variety of symptoms and these may differ between individuals but can include things such as:
- Suffering with headaches or stomach problems
- Fearing that you will make mistakes or struggling to accept compliments when you succeed
- Socialising less than usual
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Being overly sensitive to the criticism of others yet having self-critical thoughts
- Finding it hard to say no to people
- Being afraid to express an alternative opinion
- Lack motivation to do things
- Believe everyone is more successful than you
- Constantly apologising
- Trying to mask your low self-esteem but coming across as arrogant in the process
How to help overcome these feelings
There are lots of things you can to increase your confidence and self-esteem, information and self-help groups and organisations are available locally and on-line. You can also try and change negative thinking patterns by telling yourself that you deserve to be happy and you are good enough. Try not to dwell on things you think are negative and focus on your achievements. Stop criticizing yourself and learn to like yourself, remember that your friends and family do.
If you are still struggling
Then you should initially see your doctor who will be able to help. They can recommend a qualified therapist, who can help you to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem using therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), psychotherapy and clinical hypnotherapy. Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free information click above link.