There is a lot of talk about coping with low self-esteem, but less is said about self-esteem that comes and goes. The truth is, when it comes to self-esteem and self-confidence, most people fit in the middle of the spectrum, feeling fairly self-confident one minute and then anxious the next.
If you feel like you’re in the midst of a drop in confidence, here are some ways to cope:
Understand emotions are your guide
It’s not always easy dealing with uncomfortable emotions, but it is important to understand they are a part of our evolved warning system. Emotions can be used as a helpful guide in our lives, reminding us how we feel about people, places, and things. Sometimes the system breaks down (such as in the case of depression and anxiety), but generally speaking, our emotions are there to help us.
Sometimes a Loss of Confidence is Justified
Sometimes when we have a sudden loss of confidence, it is completely justified. For example, say you recently started a new job and don’t know all the ropes or the go-to players on your team. One day you are pitching an idea to your new boss and colleagues and most of them react favorably, but one or two people have a negative reaction. That negative response is likely to affect you disproportionately because you feel you have a lot to prove and want to keep your job.
Our psyche has been designed to react to any kind of uncertainty or mixed signals with anxiety. If it weren’t for our ability to find and react to possible dangers, we would have gone extinct a long time ago.
To sum it up; don’t make your loss of confidence even worse by chastising yourself for feeling less confident. Take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if this recent loss of confidence is warranted.
A Loss of Confidence Can Help You Make Better Choices
Often when we feel a sudden loss of confidence, it is a signal that we need to make better choices. Our intuition is trying to get our attention and let us know, “Hey, maybe you’re not doing it quite right,” or “Maybe this isn’t what you had in mind.”
Instead of panicking about your lack of confidence, listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Some common messages might be:
- Finish what you started
- Test your strategies to see if they are really working
- Ask for feedback
Typically, our self-confidence returns as swiftly as it seemed to vanish. But for some, this might not always be the case. Some people struggle day to day with low confidence because they have underlying low self-esteem. If you fall into this category, you may want to explore ways to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. If you’ve done this on your own and still struggle, you may want to consider reaching out to a counselor for self-esteem guidance and support.
Are you looking for help with self-confidence in New Haven?
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Woodbridge, CT where they help adults and teens get their swagger back every day. If you need a help with improving self-esteem, managing anxiety and stress, contact us today for a free consultation.