it all starts in your mindWe’ve all heard of the terms “lack of confidence” or “low self esteem.” I get email every single day from ladies who feel that they are less than valuable and I want to to acknowledge them here. Let’s analyze exactly what it is and how we can help raise self esteem back to healthy levels.

Low Confidence can be:

Feeling as if you’re not as good as others
Feeling as if other people can do something far better than you
Feeling that you’re worthless
Feeling stupid or embarrassed because you feel as if you can’t do it right
Low Confidence because of your ‘looks’ (appearance)

A major thing that can bring confidence down is being unhappy about your looks.

Perhaps you don’t like your voice, or that your own face reminds you of someone you really don’t like. Perhaps you’re suffering from certain weight issues or acne.

Firstly, ask yourself if you’re under peer pressure or is it legitimately true? There’s a difference between wanting to be perfectly slim to fit in compared to experiencing true weight problems. If peer pressure is not the cause, then ask yourself if there’s anything you can do about it. If you’re constantly eating unhealthy foods, then I recommend reading my articles on how to eat healthier.

For those who are suffering from peer pressure, let me just say that peers who make you feel as if you’re not good enough are not worth it! The concept of ugly and beautiful is so misguided and misused these days. So many people just seem so judgmental and we shouldn’t be like that! Nobody should ever be called ugly or unattractive and nobody should ever call someone that either. We should be proud of our own individual self, rather than be pressured into feeling that we’re not glamorous or good enough.

Another thing people need to realize is, many of these models with so-called perfect skin that you see on magazines and TV don’t actually exist in real life. Images can easily be photoshopped and videos can easily be edited to make the model look absolutely flawless. Skin tone can be brightened, acne or scars can be completely removed. Even I could turn myself into a glamorous magazine model if I wanted to with the old Photoshop program I’ve had for years. Do not believe what you see, many things are deceptive and many people don’t actually realize this. There’s no need to chase after a dream image that doesn’t really exist. It will always end in failure.

Low Confidence Because of Your Skills?

Some people with low confidence likes to compare themselves to others. For example, you’re off to a new job and see how amazing others are at their job and immediately feel ashamed or embarrassed that you’re nowhere near as good. Because of that, you hate the way you sound or look.

I often wonder why some of us likes to make comparisons and feel so bad if we’re not as good. I think it comes from one of our innate DESIRE to be at our best. It’s what drives many people to be competitive as well. We all want ourselves to be the best, so if we’re not, we’re gonna get feel unhappy. Remember in my previous articles I mentioned that usually, emotions are there to help us make changes in our lives for better survival. Desiring to be the best is one of those crazy things that we may all want from time to time because being the best surely enhance our lives.

Ask Yourself If There’s Something You Excel At?

Say if you feel that you’re very bad at answering phone calls but you have a great, amazing talent with designing brochures, see if you can do that instead of answering the calls.

However, even if you’re doing something you at which you excel, there may still be people who are better at it.

But let those others inspire and motivate you, not get you down!

Be inspired to take their footsteps and let them be a motivation, rather than someone you are jealous of. I think the best way to look at successful people is to realize that they were once a beginner too.

Example 1: Even the most successful web designer had a “first”! I can say that I’m relatively good with graphics and webdesign but my first website looked absolutely horrible! It’s funny that if I saw my site now, I’d say: Oh this is awful but at that time, I thought it was good enough.

Example 2: Even if you go to a food blog with the most beautiful photography, their starting photos are usually nowhere as good and they go through a progress of improvement.

Example 3: When I first started following a person on Deviant Art who made plushies, her work was just at beginner’s level. However over the year, I clearly see just how much better they are, and how many skills this artist have learned.

My point is: Every single person did not start off being perfect at what they do. They worked hard towards it and you will most likely get there if you also work hard and never gave up as well!

Of course, there are situations when we may simply not be meant to do something. For example, many people who enjoy logical things like maths, science or programming find it harder to do do design. That’s when I say you need to follow your instincts and do what you feel that you’re meant to do, something you are gifted in and that with time and practice, you will excel.

Low Confidence Because of Past Criticism?

This is an extremely hard one as I even have trouble dealing with not taking criticism well and, you know what, we shouldn’t feel stupid or ashamed of it at all. If some people can deal with this well, why can’t some people not?

Not being able to take criticisms usually stems from the fact that we’re too emotionally attached to something and base how we feel purely on emotions rather than logic. We see it as our own (perhaps even our baby or part of us), and that any criticism may demotivate you, make you feel like giving up or enrage you. I understand how you feel, and perhaps people like that who tried everything they can but still can’t take criticisms need to find something they can do which doesn’t involve their personal works judged and criticism by others all the time. (i.e. Creative types like artists, web designers, authors and lyricists regularly face this)

It also doesn’t help that many people on the internet lack proper criticism skills and are simply being rude. I suggest to avoid those, get some kind of filter for your comments so you don’t have to deal with certain words when people are just saying that to be mean.

Sometimes, criticism can help us improve. In fact, this is probably many people’s intentions. If you find it very hard to take it personally, then I suggest reading criticisms for something similar so you get an idea of what you can improve. Often when the criticisms doesn’t directly relate to you personally, you’ll find that it’s much easier to take. Another method is try detaching yourself from the work, imagine it being created by someone else and you are the judge, think about how you would feel about it?

We often go through a phrase when we’re super excited and proud of our work. This is usually the worst time for anyone to hear criticisms because at this point, you probably love your work so much that you can’t possibly imagine someone else disliking it. I suggest when you’re going through this stage, do not show it to anyone yet.

Final Words about Confidence

I firmly believe that confidence is happiness and pride in yourself radiates from within. It’s something you can work toward by setting goals for yourself and celebrating your progress. I also believe that self talk is very important. See if you can pick out whether you’re negatively or positively self talking yourself throughout your days. Perhaps we call ourselves ugly or foolish in our subconscience minds without even realizing. We need to isolate that pattern of thinking, catch it and throw it in the trash!

We also need to realize that even though we may not like something about ourselves, someone out there in the world would probably love it so much they’d do anything to trade.

Finally, an important thing to realize is that often when you’re worried and panicking about what someone else is thinking about you, that person is probably worried about what you’re thinking about them!