4 reasons for lacking confidence - and what you can do about it!
Lots of us lack confidence from time to time, and this might be quite natural. But if your confidence is regularly low, or always low in a specific situation, there are some simple steps you can take to feel better and more in control.
1. Firstly, you may be being asked to complete a task you are not comfortable or familiar with.
If you've never done any presentations or public speaking, or example, you might wonder whether you'll be any good at giving a best man's speech. If this is your problem, try not to think too much "in the box". It may be that you have skills from other situations that would be useful. Do you tell a good joke when you're with a group of friends, for example, or have a good memory for anecdotes?
If you don't already have useable skills, what do you need to learn to make a good job of what you're being asked to do? How and where can you learn them? Hypnotherapy can help with this type of confidence by reinforcing new or existing skills, allowing you to 'rehearse' in your mind and keeping you focussed and relaxed.
2. Secondly, you might lack confidence because you are in a completely new situation.
This often comes up when people start a new relationship, training course, or a new job, or even after a promotion. Again you may have 're-usable skills' or you may be able to learn new ones. How have you made friends before? The same skills will serve you now. If you've found it difficult, what needs to change to make it easier? Think about where you could get help to make this change.
3. Thirdly, you might lack confidence because you are being asked to do something that's turned out badly in the past.
Say the last time you went for an interview you tripped and fell into the interviewer's lap. Hypnotherapy can be really helpful in this situation because it can help take the sting out of the old memory and get you back in touch with feeling positive.
4. Finally, you may lack confidence because you have a general underlying feeling that you're never quite good (or deserving) enough.
This can be connected with deep seated emotions and feelings, or connected with your self esteem, but there are still things you can do to help yourself.
a. Remember that you are special and unique, and that you deserve as much consideration from others as you give to them.
b. Don't judge yourself only on the things you feel you did wrong or that need improvement. By all means, learn from your failures, and be ready to do better next time. But notice your strengths and the things you're good at as well.
c. Think - what do your friends and loved ones like about you? Ask them if you have to! Try to reinforce those qualities and be even better at those things.
d. Never compare yourself with others. Everybody is different and you have good qualities that no other person has.
e. Don't put yourself down; nobody's perfect.
f. Accept that it's normal to make mistakes. If you make one, take responsibility for it, apologise, and try to put it right.
g. Read our article on boosting your self-esteem
Having friends who are positive about life's challenges can influence you into seeing life in the same light, and eventually help to build your confidence and self-esteem.
And remember it's not shameful to seek help if you need it. If you are struggling with low self esteem or confidence, ask for help.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter: Rachel Waller.