A lot of people 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, most people fit in the middle of the spectrum, feeling fairly self-confident one minute and then challenged with self-doubt the next.
We’ve all heard the phrase “mood swings”, but what if your confidence is swinging by the wind every so often? Try considering some of these tips to help cope:
Understand Emotions Are Your Friend
Though it’s not always easy dealing with uncomfortable emotions, understand that they are part of our evolved warning system. We all have emotions for a reason, and they can be used as helpful guides in our lives, reminding us how we feel about things. Since our thoughts are linked to our feelings, break out that pad of paper and pen and try to list what the thoughts are that your mind is telling you when feeling less than confident. That’s the first step.
Sometimes a Loss of Confidence is Justified
Sometimes when we have a sudden loss of confidence, it is completely justified. For example, you may have started a new job and don’t know all the ropes or players on your team. One day you pitch an idea to your new boss and colleagues. Most of them react favorably, but one or two people have a negative reaction. That negative response is likely to rock you disproportionately because you feel you have a lot to prove.
Our psyche has been designed to react to any kind of uncertainty or mixed signals with a variety of feelings – anxiety, overwhelm, frustration, to name a few. If it weren’t for our ability to find and react to possible dangers, human beings would have gone extinct a long time ago.
The moral of the story is, don’t make your loss of confidence even worse by chastising yourself for feeling less confident. In many situations, it is a common reaction. And, most importantly how others react to your “pitch” most likely has all to do with their feelings than anything to do with you.
A Loss of Confidence Can Be Fueled by Your Inner Critic
Often when we feel a sudden loss of confidence, it is a signal that we need to pay attention to what our thoughts are telling us. Remember, thoughts are stories we tell ourselves and often are not rooted in facts, only assumptions we have been making. As in the earlier suggestion above, it is helpful to make a list of all your thoughts. Then ask yourself, is your thinking based on a guess, an assumption, instead of provable fact. You have the power to choose whether to remain thinking a thought that results in feeling less than confident, or deciding that you want to feel confident and what would be the best thought to have toward helping you to feel this way.
A lack of confidence, feelings of self-doubt, not thinking yourself as good enough, stuck in the spin cycle of critical thinking. Sadly thoughts can become routine and habitual as looking back over a month of lunches and realizing you tend to routinely order the same thing. Need some support to sift through the cobweb of accumulated negative thinking resulting in that lack of confidence.
I’ve Got You!
I am your advocate and accountability partner that will ask you tough questions. I will ask you to commit to some homework but I will be with you, sleeves rolled up, ready to work alongside you, so LET’S DO THIS! You have nothing to lose except to be in a different place with your thoughts and with yourself than you’ve been in for far too long.
I invite you to schedule a 30-minute call with me, my gift to you, to explore the benefits of working together.
Photo credit: Brooke Lark on Unsplash