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How a Lack of Confidence Affects Your Quality of Life

By: BeSeen Team

Date: February 22, 2024

You can’t hide from the truth: a lack of confidence may get in the way of your career, relationships, and overall well-being. If you recognise how low self-esteem is holding you back, you can dust yourself off and start a journey of personal empowerment. Take the initial steps to transform your life with the confidence-boosting tips in this guide. A new you awaits!

Effects of Having Low Confidence 

Woman sadly resting her head on her hands with people in the background.
People with low self-esteem can develop social anxiety and other issues related to poor self-image.

Low self-esteem can manifest gradually in various ways. Here are possible effects of your lack of confidence, impacting everything from work performance to personal well-being.

Social anxiety 

When you feel inadequate, being around others becomes a source of anxiety. You avoid meetings, parties, and other social activities for fear of judgement. Prolonged isolation resulting from this can lead to loneliness and contribute to relationship problems in the long run.

Body dysmorphia 

The American Psychological Association defines body dysmorphia as a disorder characterised by an intense focus on an imagined flaw in one’s appearance or an exaggerated concern about a minor physical anomaly. For example, someone with low confidence might fixate on a small scar or the shape of their nose. They will likely blow this out of proportion and become excessively distressed about it.

Excessive perfectionism 

A lack of confidence may push a person to set unrealistic standards, leading to chronic dissatisfaction from failure to meet them. Sometimes, even finishing first or achieving an excellent score may not seem enough.

Trouble accepting compliments 

Research from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology confirms that low self-esteem directly correlates with not being able to accept compliments from others. If you feel more conscious when someone praises your makeup or outfit, it could stem from a lack of confidence.

Lack of assertiveness 

Difficulty standing up for yourself, setting boundaries, or speaking up indicates poor self-esteem. Someone who can’t assert themselves will put others’ needs before their own, often at the expense of their well-being.

Negative self-talk  

Feeling inadequate can also lead you to have self-deprecating internal conversations with yourself. Constant feelings of self-criticism are crippling and can interfere with your work performance and other obligations.

And when you have a poor self-image, you think everything is your fault (spoiler: it’s not). This frame of mind can lead to over-apologising, even when the situation is beyond your control.

Lack of self-control 

Research from the Journal of Vocational Behavior reveals that people with higher self-esteem are better equipped to deal with situations they have no control over. Conversely, a person with a lack of confidence may feel helpless, especially when it comes to fixing their problems.

This self-defeatist mentality can set anyone up for failure and disappointment, overlooking potential solutions. In matters of goal setting, poor self-control can push someone to failure, whether in meeting deadlines or kicking a bad habit.

Poor self-care 

A person with low self-confidence may care so little about themselves that they neglect basic needs like personal hygiene or proper rest. Poor confidence can also manifest in self-harming behaviours, like excessive consumption of food, alcohol, or illegal substances.

How to Boost Your Confidence 

Two women smiling at each other at a mall.
Do activities you enjoy with people you love and trust to boost confidence!

You’ve already taken the first step by acknowledging the problem. Now, go further with simple actions that can make a big difference in building healthier self-esteem. Turn to these tips to boost your confidence and regain your zest for life.

Practise mindfulness. 

Start paying attention to negative thought patterns so you can reframe your thinking. Turn to mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or other grounding exercises to quiet negative thoughts. Becoming aware of what triggers negative thinking will make it easy to replace them with positive, more realistic thoughts.

Build on your strengths. 

Take stock of what you’re good at and find ways to focus on your strengths. For instance, if working with a team might be a source of anxiety, capitalise on your ability to work on your own. As you build your confidence working independently, slowly inch out of your comfort zone to ease you into collaborating with others.

Celebrate small wins. 

Reflect on all your accomplishments, both big and small. List them down as a visual reminder of how far you’ve come to motivate you to set greater goals. When you give yourself the appreciation you deserve, you’ll start beating yourself up less.

Explore activities that spark joy. 

What are you most passionate about? Unleash your inner chef and work your magic in the kitchen. Or, put your hiking shoes on and explore the great outdoors. Replenish your confidence and slow down, switch on Netflix, and chill. Schedule enjoyable events weekly to avoid burnout and keep spirits high.

Surround yourself with a supportive network. 

Spend time with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself. Overly critical people can bring anyone down, even those with healthy self-esteem. So, get out of your funk by hanging out with pals who have your back.

Prioritise self-care. 

Practise acts of self-care, be it through signing up for a gym membership or treating yourself to a relaxing massage. Set your alarm clock back a few minutes so you can enjoy your coffee or tea while journaling or planning your day.

Neglecting to brush your hair or swipe on some lipstick may seem mundane at first. But any effort to improve your appearance can go a long way towards better confidence. If crooked teeth contribute to your low self-esteem, consider a much-deserved smile upgrade with treatments like ClearCorrect. These dental aligners provide a more comfortable and subtle solution to straightening teeth. Eventually, they’ll let you flash your pearly whites and conquer the day with renewed confidence.

Take it one step at a time. Addressing your lack of confidence will require some work; keep at it and remember that you are never alone. Consider seeking help from a professional to better understand your situation and identify personalised solutions. Soon, you’ll find yourself experiencing joy and fulfilment in life again. You’ve got this!

 

References:

APA Dictionary of Psychology – Body Dysmorphic Disorder. (n.d.).

APA PsycNet – Is High Self-Esteem Beneficial? Revisiting a Classic Question. (n.d.).

Barbalat, G., Plasse, J., Gauthier, E., Verdoux, H., Quilès, C., Dubreucq, J., Legros-Lafarge, É., Jaafari, N., Massoubre, C., Guillard-Bouhet, N., Haesebaert, F., & Franck, N. (2022). The central role of self-esteem in the quality of life of patients with mental disorders. Scientific Reports, 12(1).

Bayat, B., Akbarisomar, N., Tori, N. A., & Salehiniya, H. (2019). The relation between self-confidence and risk-taking among the students. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 8, 27.

Gabriel, A. S., Erickson, R. J., Diefendorff, J. M., & Krantz, D. (2020). When does feeling in control benefit well-being? The boundary conditions of identity commitment and self-esteem. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 119, 103415.

Kille, D. R., Eibach, R. P., Wood, J. V., & Holmes, J. G. (2017). Who can’t take a compliment? The role of construal level and self-esteem in accepting positive feedback from close others. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 40–49.

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