Confidence is a major part of our daily life.
With it we can conquer the world, we have the desire to try new things even though we know we might fail. We aren’t afraid to approach people, to share our opinion and present out ideas to the world.
And as a result, we get noticed, we’re given more opportunities, we meet new people and form relationships.
Without self-esteem, however, we’re lost.
It’s not about good looks, social approval, job position, belongings or experience. It’s all about whether you decide to focus on what you have and do the best you can, to improve your strong sides and let them minimize your weaknesses.
But sometimes, even if we’ve worked hard to increase self-esteem and have learned how to believe in ourselves no matter what, there are outer sources that may ruin all that.
Here are a few situations in which the people and things around you are responsible for the decrease in your hard-earned confidence:
8 Ways External Sources Affect Your Self-Esteem
1. Your Parents Tell You You’re Not Good Enough.
That can happen even if they love and care about you too much.
It’s just that so many family relationships aren’t healthy these days simply because people don’t know how to express their feelings, don’t spend enough time with their loved ones, have other fears and worries, and prefer to leave things unsaid assuming the other person knows how they feel about him.
And if both sides think this way, there’s no proper communication and everyone’s left with his own version of how things really are.
What you need to do in this case is to realize that you don’t need anyone else’s approval in order to feel worthy. You’re good enough already, even though you haven’t heard your parents say it.
Understand that they can never know who you truly are right now. You’re an individual, with your own way of thinking and experiences, have unique desires, dreams and vision that make you one of a kind.
So the only thing you can do is believe you’re good enough and go prove that to yourself.
That can happen by taking opportunities, trying new stuff, finding things you’re good at and mastering them, improving yourself by building better habits and changing your attitude towards life.
Do that and in no time will you gain self-esteem again.
2. Past Failures Get in The Way of Your Confidence.
We’ve all failed before. And will again in the future.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just how things work.
And it’s actually the beautiful process of growing, learning and becoming better. It’s life’s way of telling us what’s not right, and thus the next time we can try something else.
And if we keep trying, moving on and gaining experience and wisdom after every mistake, we’ll eventually find the solution.
So don’t blame your lack of self-confidence on what’s happened before. It’s gone. And you’re a different person now.
Instead of wasting time in regrets and going back to the past, be mindful of what’s around you now, appreciate it and enjoy the present moment.
Realizing that the past can’t be changed but that you’re stronger now because of it, is a sure way to let go of its burden and make room for freedom, happiness and belief in yourself and your abilities.
3. Society Has Given You a Wrong Perception of What Confident People Are Like.
Wrong perceptions affect confidence, often in a negative way. And the Media we know today is quite brutal when it comes down to making a profile of a certain person.
The confident one, for example, according to society must be a good looking individual, with a well-paid job (even better if he’s rich and owns a business or a few), dresses sharp, is popular, etc.
And although these are killer things to be and have that can boost your confidence level and make you feel superior to others, you don’t really need to be that person in order to have self-esteem.
Truth it, we can never know if such a person is truly happy. More often than not, he’s miserable but has an image in front of society he needs to keep.
If we take an average person, however, and make him super confident in his abilities, he can achieve a lot in no time.
Also, he doesn’t need to change the way he looks, talks or anything in his personality.
But the moment he feels that fearlessness, determination, spirit and self-reliance that only confident people have, he starts to appear powerful in front of others and earns their respect.
The moment you let go of insecurity, doubts and shyness, you can give everything in life a try without fearing it, can approach even the most unapproachable person and can see what life is all about.
So free yourself from everything society wants you to believe. And do what feels right, follow your own path, do more of what works for you and ignore what everyone else says.
4. You Compare Yourself to Others.
Comparing yourself to others is one of the most pointless things a person can do.
No two people are alike. You and the other person have been through so many different things in life and have reacted in completely different ways to whatever life has thrown at you, that you can’t really make any comparison between the individuals you’ve become today.
You think differently, and see the world through different eyes. That can never change.
So knowing that, why would you compare what you have to what someone in your surroundings has? Why would you be jealous of how many men/women fancy a colleague of yours? Why wishing to be as confident as someone you see on TV, when it’s up to you to reach the same level of inner strength and sureness?
If you live like that, every person you meet will only suck the confidence out of you. And you don’t want that.
Instead, accept yourself for who you are. Remind yourself of your strong sides, accomplishments and good qualities as often as you can. Appreciate and love yourself. Have the best relationship with yourself and thus you’ll be able to form a strong one with others in your life.
You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone. You’re playing different games and are never at the same level.
Concentrate on yours!
Keep hacking confidence daily by believing in yourself, getting out of your comfort zone and facing your fears.
5. Your Environment Doesn’t Breed Confidence.
Successful people believe that environment is crucial for success. I’ve explained all about that in this post.
What you need to know is that what’s around you daily has a huge influence on your mindset. So you can make things easier if you change it a bit so that it can help you achieve your current goal. Which, in our case, is to build self-esteem.
Do small things like:
- dress sharp – get clothes that make you feel confident even if that means investing in expensive outfits;
- print out motivational quotes on building self-esteem and put them in visible places (both at home and at work);
- look at pictures that give you an instant confidence boost, put them on your desktop on all devices;
- get rid of old things you own that remind you of a time when you felt insecure (even if they’re sentimental);
- avoid toxic people (read this to check out 5 types of such people) – instead, always look for a chance to be around confident people. Seeing what their world is like will make you put more effort into changing for the better and believing in yourself more. Also, you’ll see the way they use body language, how they speak, what they do, how they react to different things, etc.
6. The Words You Use Matter.
If you’re always complaining about how shy, timid and uncertain you are, that will never change.
Your vocabulary is key for your success.
The words you use are also the thoughts in your head. And if you’re constantly focusing your mind on your weaknesses and what’s lacking in your life, you’ll get more of that.
Instead, use power words. Visualize how confident you’ll be. Say ‘yes’ when you feel like saying ‘no’. Eliminate all negative words and make it a habit to stop whenever you’re about to say such a word, and replace it with a positive one.
Soon you’ll become more confident.
Related: How to Speak Successfully
7. At Work Others Are Being Treated Better Than You.
Many people say that and thus think that life is unfair. But that’s how victims think. And you definitely don’t want to be one of them if you are looking for ways to build confidence in yourself.
If your boss treats you badly, if you hate your workplace and don’t feel like part of the team, if others aren’t friendly, or if you’re underpaid, that’s okay.
Yes, that’s perfectly normal. It’s how the world we live in operates. And it’s not anyone else’s fault.
If you start blaming others for that, you won’t get far.
The easiest way is to keep doing what you’ve always done at work, while becoming more and more miserable and depressed until your confidence is completely gone and you don’t think you can achieve anything better in life.
First of all, you need to learn how to deal with rejection, lack of attention, and people superior to you. And a great way to do that is to realize that you’re good enough, that you can change and start that process today, and thus start working on becoming a confidence ninja.
If you become a bit more fearless and learn how to encourage yourself when feeling down, you’ll learn to quickly stand back on your feet and do something.
In time, it wouldn’t matter if your boss treats you differently, or if others in the office talk in a different language. Because you’ll have your own goals now and will be focused on them. And they will be bigger simply because you’ll know you’ve got potential waiting to be unleashed.
And when you believe in yourself to such an extent that you start walking and talking with confidence, communicating freely with everyone, speaking up and even presenting new ideas, people will change their attitude towards you.
8. You Have No One to Support You in Your New Endeavor.
Let’s say you’ve been thinking about making something big for years, and have finally decided to start working on it.
Be it a business project, quitting your job and entering a new field, taking up a sport or a new hobby, moving to the other side of the world, or else.
Whatever it is, it’s something you know you should give a try, you’ll try to put your heart and soul into it, are ready to dedicate months/years of hard work, or are leaving everything you have now behind just to start over.
That scares people. And it sure scares you to death. But you know you won’t be satisfied with yourself and your life if you don’t do it any time soon.
And it may turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever taken that will lead you to your ideal lifestyle.
In order to actually do it you need to get rid of all fears, doubts, negativism, overthinking, uncertainty, etc. And to do that, you need to be 100% confident in yourself and believe that you’ll give your best and everything will be fine even if things don’t work out.
But there’s one problem.
No one around you approves that. In fact, they are against your new dream and are trying to talk you out of it. (Check out why you should keep your goals to yourself)
If you give them a chance (and they may be doing it because they care about you and don’t want you to be unhappy, but still it’s not their path to follow), you’ll be back to being weak and unsure, and may eventually give up.
Don’t let that happen!
It’s important to stay confident now, to constantly tell yourself that you can do that. And even if things don’t go the best way possible, you’ll gain experience, knowledge, new vision, and will see yourself in a new environment. You’ll know more about yourself after doing this big thing.
You don’t need anyone to support you. They can’t know what’s right for you at that moment of your life.
So don’t listen to what they have to say. And go take the first step.
That’s how you lose confidence because of other people and things in your life without even realizing it.
But for every situation there’s something you can do right now.
Self-esteem is created within. You have everything you need to become a super confident individual and thus reach the sky. Don’t miss that chance!
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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