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I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve worked with who have struggled with low self-confidence. Or how many people don’t realise that this low self confidence is being used against them. It’s a common issue that can and does creep into every aspect of your life, from your career to your relationships. But what many people don’t realize is that their lack of confidence is being used against them in ways they may not even be aware of. It’s being used as a weapon by others. The good news though, is that you can turn this around and weaponise your self confidence to your advantage. In this blog, we’ll explore the cost of low self-confidence and how to overcome it.
The Cost of Low Self-Confidence
Low self-confidence can and does, cost you in numerous ways. Probably more than you imagine. It can lead to missed opportunities, damaged relationships, and even physical health issues. When you lack confidence, you find yourself hesitating to take action or you start making decisions based on fear rather than logic. That’s emotion based deciding making instead of evidence based decision making. This can result in missed opportunities, such as not putting yourself forward for roles, not speaking up in meetings or not networking with people that can support your development. Low self-confidence can also impact your relationships and your credibility. You will have seen it yourself where it’s hard to take someone seriously if their confidence is completely shot. It can be difficult for others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. You struggle to assert yourself or set boundaries with others, leading to a pattern of people pleasing and resentment. Unfortunately there are people out there who feed on your lack of boundaries and will take, and take, and take. It’s often over looked though how much low self-confidence can take a toll on your physical health. When you’re constantly stressed and anxious, your body feels this and it knows. It tries to operate at a high level but is dealing with a weakened immune system and a higher risk of developing health issues like heart disease and depression. None of that is good news.
Understanding How Low Self-Confidence is Used Against You
You wouldn’t think it but beyond the direct costs of low self-confidence, it’s also used against you in really shitty ways. Advertisers, coworkers, friends and even family may use your lack of confidence to manipulate you or gain an advantage. For example, advertisers often target people with low self-confidence by creating a sense of inadequacy and then offering a solution to that problem. You’re lack of self confidence is money in their bank. Even social media gets in on the game with fear-mongering by preying on people’s anxieties and doubts. In the workplace, coworkers may use your lack of confidence to undermine you or take credit for your ideas. You will have seen this play out before. When you don’t speak up or assert yourself, others take the limelight and then Managers assume you don’t have anything valuable to contribute.
Overcoming Low Self-Confidence: Tips and Strategies
It’s hard to believe, especially if you’re reading this and you have low self confidence, but it’s not a life sentence. There are many strategies you can use to overcome it and start being in charge of your life instead of sitting in the passenger seat. One of the first steps is to challenge your negative self-talk or, a better way to put it, is strengthen your positive self talk muscle. Many people with low self-confidence have a tendency to put themselves down or focus on their flaws first and foremost. Instead, try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive light. For example, avoid saying “I’m not good enough,” and replace it with “I’m doing my best and that’s enough.” Another one I use every single day is to say “I am….” and insert something positive about yourself. Like “I am good at listening. Or I am good at typing. Or I am good at making breakfast.”
Another strategy is to use a Strengths Based Approach and build up your self-esteem by focusing on your strengths and accomplishments. Make a list of your achievements and remind yourself of them regularly. As in everyday. You can also try new things and challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, starting very small and growing your confidence with each step to increase your confidence and resilience.
Lastly, consider reaching out to a life coach. Good ones will know you’ve got a lack of confidence in the first 5 mins you meet them. It’s our job to see this. As soon as I spot this I adjust my approach to create an environment you feel safe in. This is critical in your development. Once you feel safe you can be more authentic to yourself and we can work on the tools and techniques to help you overcome your self-doubt, build a more positive mindset and grow your self confidence.
To sum it all up, if you are experiencing low self-confidence in any aspect of your life, it’s holding you back from living your best life. Turning this around is simply a process of creating a plan to build it, and using small, bite sized actions to grow it. Be the confident person I know you’re capable of, and take control of your life so no one and nothing can hold you back.