Top Reasons People Lack Confidence
Ever wondered why you lack confidence in something? The first thing I want to say is that EVERYONE at some point lacks confidence in a specific area in their life or a specific task. It is NORMAL and hopefully this blog entry will give some insight into why this is.
No. 1 – Extreme expectations
Do you have a mind that always wants more? I do and that’s completely normal.
Do you find with this comes fear of making mistakes and an overly critical voice if you don’t meet your expectations?
This is colloquially known as perfectionism and is very common (and normal).
Have you ever found yourself not doing something because you get caught up in your own expectations and then become so fearful of not getting it ‘right’ that you just don’t do it all?
No. 2 – Critical self-judgment
Do you have a mind that tells you, you are not good enough, you will fail, you are unlikeable, you are not really good at what you do, you are not kind enough, clever enough etc etc. Yes? Congratulations, you have a normal mind!
Something that a lot of people find shocking is that the mind has a natural tendency to tell us stories about the future or bring up painful memories and to judge, criticise and to find the negatives and predict the worst (it goes back to hunter gatherer times when we needed the mind to constantly look out for dangerous threats to life; it’s actually supposed to be a protective mechanism).
It is not just you, it is everyone – it’s just some people know the skills (notice I use the word skill – it is learnt practices) to successfully manage what the mind tells them enabling them to go on the date, go for the job promotion, change career and so on.
No. 3 – Fixation with fear
We ALL have fear.
Maybe you have a fear of:
- making mistakes
- making a fool out of yourself
- not being good enough
- putting yourself out there (socially, romantically, career)
The problem is when we think and worry about our fears they become bigger and start affecting our confidence (and generally stop us moving towards the things we want).
No. 4 – Lack of experience
It is hard to feel confident about something if you don’t have any experience of it. For example you may be a great at swimming but don’t have any experience in competing in races. It is unlikely that you will confident competing in your first few races.
No. 5 – Lack of skill
Generally confidence comes from feeling you are fairly good about doing something. For example, I want to learn to play guitar, I’ve never had any lessons so it wouldn’t be realistic to think I would be confident about playing the guitar (not yet anyway ;))!
These all lead me to this statement:
The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.
This does not mean that I advocate the ‘fake it til you make it’ approach – it means that I believe in teaching skills to enable you to manage the unhelpful thoughts and fears that are impacting your confidence which leave you free to take steps towards where you want to be.
Hope this has been helpful, as always would love to hear from you! Which one of these reasons applies to you the most?