Would you consider yourself a confident person? Take a moment to truly step back and think about yourself and your life. Do you live confidently or with self-doubt? As I’ve mentioned before, the way we view ourselves has such a strong impact on how we go about our daily lives. If you’re lacking in confidence, your mental health may be suffering as well.
What is Confidence?
Confidence is believing that you have skills and traits that allow you to take on tasks and achieve certain goals. It can be both a feeling and a personality trait. For example, you can feel confident about a specific task you’re carrying out, but you can also feel confident in all things performed throughout your life. This is not to be confused with self-esteem, which is more about how you view and value yourself. According to JeanHailes.org, when you’re confident, “[…] you are able to face challenges and deal with difficult circumstances; it is knowing that you are your best resource”. When we are experiencing a lack of confidence, there can be negative effects.
The Importance of Confidence
The relationship between confidence and mental health, as with most things, heavily depends on the person.
“Some people experience negative effects from a lack of self-confidence, though others may feel content even though they lack confidence in certain areas. Researchers and other experts point out that it is not actually necessary to be confident about every aspect of life, especially when a person’s self-esteem is well-developed.”
GoodTherapy.com goes on to explain that while low confidence does not affect everyone, it can still result in poor communication skills, social anxiety, feelings of inferiority and uselessness, and career and relationship issues. For these reasons, gaining confidence can improve mental and emotional well-being. People with more confidence tend to have more energy and feel more empowered to succeed. Even if a person has failed at a certain task multiple times, confidence could be the difference between them giving up entirely or trying again until they develop a new skill. If you are someone who struggles with confidence at times, there are many ways to build it up.
There are many things to consider when looking to improve your confidence. Your upbringing, past successes and failures, and your current situation and relationships are all factors that play a role in your confidence levels. Of course, therapy is always a great option for any help involving your mental health. Internal Family Systems Therapy is one modality of therapy that supports healing our past so that we may live our lives with more confidence and courage.
There are some ways that you can improve your confidence on your own. For instance, you could create a goal and reward system for yourself. When you set realistic confidence-boosting goals for yourself and achieve them, reward yourself! This creates positive reinforcements for your actions. You can also work on building your self-esteem and assertiveness. These are great traits to improve on even if confidence is not an issue for you. It goes without saying that working on blocking negative thoughts can help build your confidence, but also, working on positive affirmations can be beneficial as well. Positive-self talk is always a great place to start when improving your mental health and well-being.
Every struggle is different, but we can all help prevent suicide. If you or a loved one is struggling, please do not hesitate to call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 (1-800-273-8255 can still be used as well). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals in the United States. You can also visit their website.
Please feel free to contact me if you need help on your journey. I offer in-person appointments as well as HIPAA-compliant virtual options.