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What Is Low Self-Esteem and Lack of Self Confidence?

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 137

Reaching your potential in life is one of the most important goals for most people, however most people don't take action. This is due to some degree of low self-esteem and lack of self confidence. When you lack these vital inner factors it's very hard to achieve anything, let alone something amazing. You're probably reading this because you can identify with this personally or perhaps though someone close to you. Either way this article is important for you to read, it'll give examples and briefly cover the difference between self-esteem and self confidence, as well give you a broad idea of how you can improve from it.

Aren't Self-Esteem and Confidence One and the Same?

Esteem and confidence are two different ideas and really should be spoken of separately and also collectively, they are generally interlinked and one generally impacts another greatly.

Self-esteem in a nutshell is how one feels and thinks about ones self. It is, in a sense, your feeling/appraisal of self worth and separated from external aspects.

Self confidence refers to how you feel concerning factors externally (i.e. how you behave), it pertains to your feelings about talking before other people or encountering fresh scenarios. It comes down to the amount you trust your personal capabilities, or your capacity to learn.

As noted above they are different concepts and two faces of a coin, one relates to the feelings and thinking related to internal aspects (esteem) and the other external factors (confidence). They are not discrete, in the sense they're experienced on a spectrum ranging from high self confidence or esteem to the low.

High Levels:

Having complete confidence in yourself can be a great thing, and it's often displayed in go-getters and self-starters - the kind of person who displays their own ideas and aren't easily intimidated. People who are dare devils have extremely high levels of self confidence, and in their minds fear is just another challenge that they will complete.

Arrogance is one of the words used frequently to describe people with high self-esteem. However it isn't usually true that they believe they are superior, it's simply that they value themselves as worthy individuals. Healthy levels of self-esteem naturally leads to healthy levels of self confidence.

Low Levels:

On flip side of the coin are those with extremely low self-esteem and thus lack of confidence. When you don't value yourself to be worth other people's attention it has a knock on effect on your mental state. It's quite common to see people suffer from depression and other mental disorders due to a loss of self-esteem.

It's hard to accomplish things you set out to do when you lack self confidence because along the way all the negatives - criticisms, set backs, etc - all seem matter more. Confident people don't place much attention on those things, they just carry on as they planned. When you worry you lose focus and are more likely to fail, and when you fail the negative emotions and behaviors are reinforced. It's difficult to break free of this cycle.

Society Demands

Human beings are very social animals, operating in communities, working together to improve ourselves. But as with all things there are things which don't quite fit perfectly, and the way in which people react to society is one of these systems. Pressure from the community also has a cycle of negativity for people with low self-esteem, because normally people interact and grow more use to and better in a social situation. For sufferers this becomes a nightmare.

Once you've experience self consciousness and low self-esteem it becomes a field of worry and neurotic thinking. Is this person looking at me because I look silly? I am talking the right way? and more question along these lines run through the thoughts, rendering you into a state where simply communicating is tough.

What makes it worse is seeing other people interacting seemingly normally, it puts a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform to the same standard. But in truth most other people also suffer to a degree some self consciousness and doubt, they themselves are putting on a strong face. You need to realize this and that your worries are blown way out of proportion, stop occupying your mind with these thoughts and you'll actually be able to use some of that focus on the conversation.

It's All In You Head! - You CAN Break Free

The cycle of low self-esteem reinforcement as described above is a catch 22 situation. Each failure fuels lowering self confidence which in turn diminished self-esteem and increases your negative reactions to set backs, and on the next task you are, as a result, more likely to fail again. This cycle is very destructive and hard to escape.

That's not the end of it. All of this negativity is more than likely to lead to problems with depression, affecting all aspects of life. It stops you from wanting to see friends and family, pursue your hobbies, and generally impacts life in a very bad way. When this happens it becomes even more difficult to break free from the cycle because when you are depressed simply attempting to do anything becomes a challenge in itself. With less action there naturally is less chance of you succeeding in something. And the less you take any action the more use to inaction you become, making taking action feel even harder and alien.

There is a way out however. It involves external forces in the form of a mentor and friend who understands what you're going through. When you're stuck in a cycle you need someone to throw a spanner into it to break it. Once you get to used to this habitual cycle breaking from occasionally to very often you'll get used to not falling foul of the cycle. With some practice you can begin to regain the healthful inner self you were born with, and rebuild your self confidence.

Going through this process is useful and a very important lesson. Once you've regained your inner self you can avoid the pitfalls from experience, and more mindfully plan for your wellbeing.

Gerald McIntyre suffered from low self-esteem during his teenage years, as a result he also lost a lot of confidence to pursue the things he enjoys the most. Since then he's worked hard to regain what he once had, and helps others with the same issues. He write on his website about topics relating to how to regain your self-esteem and build self confidence.

Source: EzineArticles
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