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7 reasons why we lose our confidence


There’s a difference between self-esteem and confidence. Those with low self-esteem can still be confident, but it can impact on how much confidence we have. Self-esteem is about emotion – how you feel about yourself and your worth. Confidence is partly emotional, but more about logic – whether you have trust and respect for something or someone, most often ourselves. Thought and reason are responsible for our levels of confidence, and they take various forms.

1) Obsession

Overthinking a certain element means we lose sight of the bigger picture, to the point our happiness depends on it. Although only one part of our life is damaging our confidence, the sudden lack of it applies everywhere. Make a list of everything else that is positive in your life and choose the one which makes you happiest. Divert your focus onto it to try and get you out of a pessimistic mind-set.

2) Loneliness

Isolation makes us lose confidence as naturally social beings. When surrounded by others in a supportive role, our self-esteem increases enough for us to be confident compared to when we have to draw confidence from ourselves alone. A lack of trust in ourselves and being overly self-critical [31 ways to improve your self worth] are the main problems which cause this.

3) Timing

Luck is everything. When a string of bad events have a negative effect on us, the impact is hard to bear. In these hard times, try to picture how you would have been able to cope if the events had been more spread across a time scale. With this in mind, now try to solve or deal with each individual event one at a time. This is how to claim control and manage the damage this bad timing has caused. It’s hard to undo it all in one go, so be patient and don’t be afraid to confide in others or ask for help visit our community to find support with your lack of confidence.

4) Standstills

Life has its points of static. Changes become less frequent or have a smaller effect. We fall into routine. It might seem like the development of a comfort zone is a good thing, but for the previously ambitious and high achievers – the alphas of the world – it becomes unsettling, and for a good reason. Comfort zones don’t actually help improve confidence because people often stay in them out of fear. The risk of failure is off-putting, but pushing through discomfort is the only way to improve confidence. You never know how good you’ll be at something till you try. If your life has become stagnant, add some variety. Take up a new hobby to build a new social circle and new skills. The increase in activity might encourage other parts of your life to start moving again too.

5) Vulnerability

When we let our guards down, we become less self-assured. Sometimes, those guards are put down for us. Vulnerability is the state of feeling unprotected, and if someone has managed to target our weaknesses or attack our strengths when in this state, confidence drops rapidly. We feel unable to express ourselves or assert our position because our soft spots are visible and known to others. Learn to use your vulnerability to your advantage. Nobody is a robot, and drawing on the emotional elements of your weaknesses will help endear you to others. Don’t allow yourself to be victimised.

6) Anxiety

As we panic and worry about certain situations we relinquish control. The more helpless we feel, the less confidence we have. [5 triggers of anxiety] Remaining calm is the best thing to do, because if things are already bad, why make them worse? If you are still in the situation causing anxiety, think of a happy memory or try to deflect any unwanted attention onto somebody else to share the pressure. If your anxiety is away from the situation, caused because you keep remembering or thinking about it, distract yourself with activities that help you declutter the mind. Exercise, meditate, do something creative, or listen to calming music.

7) Sensitivity

Those with significant cognitive power, or higher emotional and intuitive intelligence, tend to be more susceptible to losing confidence. They are more sensitive to the world and its ways and start to feel lost, empty and listless. As you start to lose confidence in such a way, it can lead to depression. As well as seeking adequate medical attention, a good way to combat this loss in confidence is to actively search for reasons to be confident. Acts of kindness not only help build the confidence and self-esteem of others, but will also help you regain trust and respect in the life you lead. The more positive reactions you get, the better you’ll feel.

A lot of us can overcome a lack of confidence, but sometimes the roots run deeper. If confidence comes from trust and respect, it can be harder to restore if the loss of it is caused by traumatic events such as abuse or neglect. Confidence is the protective layer we need for us to get through life, so don’t think shying away and not trying to amend it is a good idea. Strive to improve it, no matter what. You can do it. For support with building your confidence visit our empowering bite sized video series or discover your strengths with our self discovery eBooks.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.