What does self-confidence mean to you?
For some, it is a belief in the power of individual values. The decision pathways you take through life create a diverse set of experiences that lead to the person you are.
Self-confidence can reflect the skills and talents used for a career, relationships, or favorite activities.
Self-confident people often take proactive measures to improve their quality of life. If you want more happiness, success, and love surrounding you, having faith in who you are each day can make those outcomes happen.
When you have low self-confidence levels, the opposite results occur. You might feel insecure, lonely, or unhappy.
It is not unusual for people with low self-confidence to loathe themselves. They think they should be better, but their world feels like it is stuck.
Here’s the good news: anyone with low self-confidence can transform their life by taking steps to increase their positive feelings about themselves.
Several practices can take you on this journey. None of them may be as more effective as the use of positive affirmations.
What Causes Low Self-Confidence Levels?
Low self-confidence often has its roots in childhood when we are most impressionable.
Everyone has challenging moments during childhood, but when the number and severity of the negative messages received outweigh our experiences of positive and encouraging messages, the result can be low self-confidence.
Receiving harsh criticism from a parent, teacher, or authority figure or never being able to measure up to a talented or attractive sibling or being bullied or abused in some form can all lead to feelings of low self-confidence.
This low self-confidence often manifests in other ways as life progresses. It may involve poor life choices, such as accepting employment below your potential, engaging in abusive relationships, or developing addictions or manifestations that reflect an inability to feel valuable.
How Can I Tell If My Self-Confidence Levels Are Low?
Most people understand when they don’t feel confident about themselves. Since we all tend to be our own worst critic, you probably see something about yourself right now that makes you feel unworthy, unloved, or unappealing.
Those feelings are normal.
It is how you respond to those feelings that matter. If you can set aside the negative reactions to see yourself in an authentic light, you can have confidence in who you are.
If you’re unsure of the choices you’ve made, a comparison of behaviors between people with healthy self-confidence levels and those with less can be helpful.
What Does It Look Like to Have Healthy Self-Confidence?
People with healthy self-confidence levels are looking for ways to grow while finding ways to uplift others.
- They will ask for a raise when they believe they deserve it.
- They will take risks in starting a new business venture, trusting in the value of their experience and knowledge.
- They will set high goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them, persevering through challenges.
- They will nurture friendships with other individuals who have healthy self-confidence.
- They will believe they deserve a caring, loving, and supportive relationship and leave one that fails to present those qualities.
- They will value their health and well-being and develop practices that support a healthy body and mind.
- They will say “no” when something is too much for them and not try to people-please.
- They will speak audibly and clearly because they believe their voice is essential and their thoughts worth hearing.
- They will cultivate their physical appearance in a pleasing way, without worrying about how other people see them.
- They will feel happy for other people’s success and not feel like it’s a threat to their success.
- They will care more about their opinion of themselves than about what other people think or say.
- They will avoid comparing themselves with others and instead focus on their goals, projects, and dreams.
What Does It Look Like to Have Low Self-Confidence?
On the other hand, those who have low self-confidence levels may exhibit the following behaviors or outcomes.
- Accept exploitive or low-paying work that is not commensurate with their skills.
- Avoid risk for fear of ridicule, failure, or poverty, believing that they won’t have the ability to overcome obstacles.
- Fail to set goals or make measurable progress in their financial lives or careers.
- Feel attracted to the company of people who are emotional “vampires” or who mirror their own sense of low self-worth.
- Engage in unfulfilling or abusive relationships because they believe they are unworthy of love and nurturing and feel unable to leave bad relationships for fear of being alone.
- Engage in self-destructive behavior to escape their unhappiness by seeking short-term pleasure in the form of drug use, alcoholism, compulsive eating, or sex.
- Always say “yes” in an attempt to please others to feel that they are worthy.
- Speak softly or timidly or even develop a stutter because they believe their thoughts and opinions are worthless.
- Wear clothing that draws either very little or very much attention to them in an attempt to either hide or to stand out in an effort to gain attention or admiration.
- Feel resentful of other people’s success and happiness.
- Feel easily wounded when criticized by others.
- Spend too much time comparing their personal lives, careers, financial status, or physical appearance to others they feel are “better” than them.
Low Self-Confidence Is Easy to Hide
An interesting correlation between high intelligence levels and low self-confidence exists in the human population.
This trait also applies to those with high emotional or creative intelligence.
When individuals know that they can set high expectations for themselves, it causes them to doubt who they are in relation to the general population. If most people can’t achieve a similar outcome, it makes one wonder if they might fail.
Self-confidence and positive self-image don’t just affect day-to-day experiences, but also the likelihood of achieving long-term success and happiness.
However, low self-confidence doesn’t always translate into a lack of success.
In fact, individuals who have achieved unprecedented levels of success can experience low self-confidence levels at the same time.
In these cases, they often experience a condition known as “imposter syndrome.” This issue develops when an individual believes that they aren’t deserving of the success they have received.
As Elizabeth Cox points out in her Ted talk video “What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?” that many people would be surprised to learn that writer Maya Angelou, whose internationally acclaimed work has earned her many rewards, felt that she wasn’t deserving of her success.
Even Albert Einstein felt his work wasn’t worth the recognition it received.
What Are the Best Positive Affirmations to Use?
Have you ever noticed that you attract specific energies from the world based on how you feel each day?
That’s why a bad day can feel like it spirals out of control, while good times seem to keep multiplying.
How you think and feel can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Persistent low self-confidence levels almost always lead to undesirable outcomes.
Changing your perspective through the power of positive affirmations can alter the energies you encounter each day.
This technique isn’t spiritual, metaphysical, or part of some radical philosophy. It is positive self-talk that lets your brain release chemicals that power positivity.
If you’re struggling with low self-confidence right now, try repeating one or more of these phrases for the next five minutes. You can whisper them, say them out loud, or think them.
1. I acknowledge my self-worth.
2. I can support my efforts to achieve whatever goals I set.
3. There’s nothing in this world that I can’t do.
4. I manifest great success, love, and health.
5. My self-worth is not based on my success, but on the efforts I make to be successful.
6. I acknowledge my talents and possibilities and can manifest them in the world to great effect.
7. I am great at what I do.
8. I have many gifts to share the world, and I do so freely and openly.
9. I am a good friend who offers care and support to those I love.
10. The people who love me are cherishing me daily, and I am deserving of it.
11. I live in abundance, supported by the Divine grace.
12. I don’t need to change myself to deserve love, relationships, or success.
13. I have the power to exit my comfort zone to learn and grow daily.
14. I am in control of my reality.
15. I choose to manifest joy, happiness, positivity, and love.
16. I have all that I need to live in abundance.
17. I choose to live in the light, greeting each day as its intended gift.
18. I am safe, supported, and loved.
19. I will walk through this day with confidence, no matter what happens to me.
20. I am beautiful.
21. I deserve the respect, admiration, and care that I receive.
22. I will be a positive influence on the world today.
23. I am good at what I do.
24. I will make a difference in the lives of others.
25. My thoughts are valuable.
How to Get the Most Out of Affirmations
These affirmation examples are the beginning of your journey. Soon, you’ll discover additional positive statements to say about yourself that will enhance your self-confidence.
It may be helpful to choose a few select positive affirmations to take with you daily.
When you look at items with positive energy, a negative mindset cannot persist for long!
Once you begin the practice of saying affirmations, continue the habit. Take at least five minutes each day to repeat something positive.
When you choose affirmations that speak to your heart, you have a tool that develops your sense of self-worth. That process leads to high self-confidence levels!