No-one can claim to be confident all of the time. There might be the odd occasion where we feel like we can conquer the world and get away unscathed, but sometimes something has got to give – and every now and again, this might be your confidence.
Taking a knock to your confidence is a sure-fire way to make you feel crap about yourself. But fear not – these knocks don’t mean that a collapse of self-esteem is imminent. These knocks can instead be taken as a learning curve for how to better prepare for them in the future. Here are 6 Things That Might Knock Your Confidence & How to Overcome Them…
- WITNESSING PEOPLE BEING JUDGEMENTAL
People can be judgemental. People can be dicks. Therefore, it’s right to assume that people can also be judgemental dicks. Sadly, more often than we come across people being kind to others, we come across people being judgemental of others – which sucks, frankly. When you are friends with, are related to, are in love with or simply spend time with someone who proves themselves to be judgemental, your confidence can take a knock. Unexpectedly, we take the judgements of others and internalise them – for example, someone might comment negatively on someone else having tattoos, when you yourself have tattoos. Thus, making you feel shitty about your incredible ink. Societal pre-judgements run a lot deeper than the ink on our skin and reading between the lines, demoralising and discriminatory elements are often at play. If someone makes a comment that you deem judgemental then you can choose to do one of three things: call them out on it, remove yourself from the situation, or simply ignore them. The choice is yours.
NOT RECEIVING PRAISE WHERE YOU THINK IT’S DUE
When you have battled with confidence issues, not receiving praise when you think it is due can be a massive knock to your self-esteem. Whether in a work environment or relating to a personal achievement, if you have succeeded in something, it’s only right that you receive the praise for doing so. Sadly, such is the ethic of our society, that if we try to ask for praise or suggest that we are lacking in that area of our work or lives, then we are called needy or high-maintenance. It’s time to realise that your work and achievements are valued – and they should be acknowledged as such. So, if you don’t think that you are being rewarded in a satisfactory manner by your workplace or in your personal relationships, then this is something that needs to be discussed. The longer that you leave the issue unspoken, the longer you are going to have to suffer feeling unappreciated, and you’re well within your rights to ask for praise when you’ve done well.
SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES
When it comes to body image, shopping for new clothes is probably one of the biggest confidence knocks. When embarking on a shopping trip, we face a number of factors which limit our ability to stay strong and confident when out and about. Models depicted in shop advertisements, judgemental shop staff, the person (or people) you are shopping with and varying clothes sizes in stores can impact the way we feel about ourselves, and without realising it we can return home empty handed and feeling deflated. When you are shopping for clothes, there’s no doubt that you’re going to come across things that challenge your confidence – but if you want to keep it intact, here are three ways that could help:
- Choose your shopping buddy carefully: Go shopping with someone that you trust and who is going to be honest with you. Not only that, but make sure that they like coffee, as that mid-shop coffee and gossip is essential.
- Make a plan of action: If you choose the shops you want to go to before leaving, you can avoid any shops where they don’t sell the sizes that you need, or shops that you know will make you feel pants about yourself.
- Shop somewhere that you know: A lack of confidence can sometimes come from not knowing our surroundings – by shopping somewhere that you know you can eliminate this uncertainty.
BEING CONSISTENTLY UNDERMINED
Is there anything more demoralising than being constantly undermined by someone? If this happens to you regularly, then it’s time to speak up as this is a sure-fire way that your confidence will be flattened to the ground. Whether a colleague is always going above your head with their next big idea, whether a family member isn’t hearing you out, whether a friend dismisses your feelings in favour of their own, or if a loved one puts you down – you don’t need to stand for that kind of behaviour in your life. Whilst this knocks your confidence, it can also easily become a regular pattern of behaviour and may slip into something more serious, so please do try to combat this issue as soon as you notice it happening. If this is happening to you, there’s only one thing that you can really do, and that is to open up an avenue of conversation with that person about their behaviour. Here are some tips on how to do this in a regulated and safe way:
- Neutral ground: Pick somewhere neutral to talk where you both feel comfortable. Consider somewhere in public too as this may be helpful in eliminating any negative behaviours.
- Don’t lead with an attack: Try not to point the finger, instead assume that this person is behaving in a particular way because of personal reasons. But at the same time – don’t excuse them because of this – they are answerable for their behaviour.
- Have a friend nearby: If you feel particularly concerned or worried, then ensure that you have a friend nearby that you can call on if needs be.
REJECTION – IN ANY FORM
Let’s face it, any type of rejection knocks our confidence. Rejected by someone you fancy – ugh. Didn’t get the job you wanted – double ugh. Friends leaving you out of their plans – triple ugh. You get the point, rejection isn’t nice in whatever form it comes in – but even worse is the way that it affects your confidence. Confidence and rejection have a complex relationship and one can severely impact the other – if you have higher levels of confidence, you may be inclined to deal with rejection better, whereas if your confidence levels are lower, rejection can hit you like a ton of bricks. There’s no way to lessen the impact that rejection has on your confidence, but by working on building up your self-confidence you can provide yourself with the tools that you need to deal with the feelings that rejection conjures up. My blog post Let’s Start a Positive Conversation gives some tips on how you can begin cultivating a positive relationship with yourself.
SELF-DOUBT & SELF-CRITICISM
Two of the most significant things that can negatively impact your confidence are self-doubt and self-criticism. Through no fault of our own, we are told that we aren’t good enough to be feeling confident because: we’re not thin enough, our hair isn’t shiny enough, our skin isn’t clear enough, we don’t fit into our prescribed gender as society thinks we should, our skin isn’t light enough, we’re not a straight, white, cis male or female. Everything that society places on a pedestal as the accepted and the norm has a knock on effect as it seemingly highlights everything that we are not and why we don’t fit in as we should. Unfortunately there is no quick fix to eliminate self-doubt and self-criticism, but there are plenty of resources out there whereby you can re-learn how to interact with your confidence and how you can rebuild a positive relationship with your body and mind. Here are just a few of my favourites that might help:
- Dothehotpants http://dothehotpants.com/
- Michelle Elman https://www.michelleelman.com/
- Nourish & Eat https://nourishandeat.weebly.com/
- Callie Thorpe http://calliethorpe.com/
- Ragini Nag Rao http://curiousfancy.com/
- Isha Reid http://www.an-autumnsgrace.com/
- Margot Meanie http://margotmeanie.com/
- Stephanie Yeboah http://www.nerdabouttown.com/