lack of self confidence

Why Do Certain People Have Such an Incredible Lack of Self-Confidence?

Confidence means feeling secure about yourself and your abilities. When you have confidence, it’s easier to understand and accept who you are. You’re able to recognize your good qualities and feel positively toward yourself. But what happens when you lack self-confidence and self-esteem? 

When you don’t have self-confidence, you’re more likely to feel negatively toward yourself and believe you’re not worthy of love, feeling good or having a successful life. A lack of self-confidence can strain your relationships and job performance, raising the risk of mental illness and substance use. 

To prevent a lack of confidence from negatively impacting your life, it’s helpful to understand why this happens and what you can do to improve it. 

What Causes a Lack of Self-Confidence?

Self-confidence is not your fault. There are many factors that contribute to low self-confidence. While you can’t change them all, you can improve them, leading to better self-esteem and confidence. 

  • Genes. Some of what shapes your confidence is built into your brain at birth. For example, your genetic makeup consists of certain chemicals that can boost your confidence, such as serotonin. 
  • Temperament. Your temperament influences how you handle certain situations. Do you jump right into them, or are you more cautious and reserved? 
  • Life experiences. Certain life experiences can cause you to feel unsure of yourself, and in extreme cases, even worthless. They include trauma, bullying, harassment, and how your parents treated you.
  • Faulty thinking. There’s a common misconception that if you act confident, you’ll be confident. But this isn’t the case. Perfectionism is another type of faulty thinking that sets you up for failure and contributes to low self-confidence. 
  • Mental illness. It’s common for anxiety and depression to go along with low self-esteem. Therapy will help you address your hurdles and build more confidence. 

How Can I Improve Self-Confidence? 

It’s worth it to work on your self-confidence, as you’ll lead a happier and more productive life. Plus, you’ll lower your risk for further problems like mental illness and substance use. Unfortunately, people who don’t feel like they’re worth anything are more likely to abuse substances to escape their emotions

Here are some proven ways to improve your confidence: 

  • Be kind to yourself. Practice positive self-talk, avoid comparing yourself to others, and use positive affirmations. 
  • Practice self-care. Look after your physical health, as this will make you more resilient. Sleep well, eat a balanced diet, and exercise 30 minutes a day. 
  • Focus on the positives. Celebrate the things you do well – there are many! Keep note of your achievements, compliments received, skills you’re working on, etc. 
  • Spend time with positive people. Build a strong support network with positive people that build you up, not put you down. 
  • Set boundaries. Practice saying “no” to others and set boundaries that you are comfortable with. 

Awakenings Treatment Center is an intensive outpatient healing center that treats substance use and mental health disorders. Our goal is to help clients build healthy, balanced lives that protect them from mental health challenges, including addiction. Contact our admissions department to learn more about our specialized treatment plans.