We all have times when we lack confidence and do not feel good about ourselves. But when a lack of self–esteem becomes a long-term problem, it can have harmful. With a lack of self-confidence, you have too little confidence in and in yourself. Self-confidence is your own awareness that you can do certain things. For example, you learn a test from the awareness that you will understand what the material is about and that you can pass the test if you make an effort.
People are not born with confidence. You develop it by experiencing that something succeeds, such as passing the test for which you have learned. You can also gain confidence by complimenting others on something you can, do or are.
Symptoms of a lack of self-esteem
People with too little confidence start many things with the idea that they will not complete it successfully. They underestimate themselves and their possibilities. From the idea that it won’t work, you avoid the task (you don’t even start it) or you work on it with little effort, because you don’t feel that your energy will lead to anything.
As a young person you have to slowly start living more and more independently: you are no longer a child who depends on his parents for solving problems. On the other hand, you are not yet an adult who has already learned and experienced how to organize your life independently and without the help of others.
So you are in a period of your life in which you encounter many situations for the first time and do not yet know how to act in them. This period is therefore accompanied by trial and error, with many mistakes. These mistakes can give you the idea that you cannot achieve much on your own.
It is therefore not surprising that many young people, perhaps temporarily, lose confidence in themselves and in their own abilities.
How does a lack of self-esteem arise?
A Lack of self-esteem usually arises from a combination of several factors. The main three factors are explained below.
The way your parents educate you. For example, by solving all the problems for you for a long time, so that you do not learn how to do it yourself. So if you don’t have to solve your problems yourself, you don’t experience that you can.
Also, some parents cannot accept their child as he or she is. They often praise their child too little and show too little that they are proud of their son or daughter. Parents’ expectations may differ from the way you are actually put together. If they then reject this, you may feel that you are not worth much.
You also see that young people develop too little self-confidence because parents have offered too little help. Parents have not helped their child enough at times when you as a young person have to practice and try out everything, such as handling money, organizing a party yourself or going on holiday alone.
Due to certain characteristics of you as a person, You may behave a little passively or you do not feel very responsible for your own life. Then you may also let the help of parents or others lean on you. In this way, you do not learn how things go and that you can do them yourself.
Also, people who are somewhat aloof and closed to the other person receive little information about themselves from the environment. If they do something right, they will not get a pat on the back or a compliment for it.
People may also fear the risks associated with the activities they undertake: they would rather do a few new things as possible.
The way friends or classmates judge your behavior and performance In general, people find it easier to criticize than to compliment. If you often get a lot of criticism, you will start thinking that you cannot do anything.
Compliments give you the feeling that you are accepted as you are, then you dare to do something that you do not know in advance if you succeed.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Sufficient self-confidence is necessary to actually dare and tackle the problems and assignments that you encounter in your life. If you think positively about yourself in advance, the chance that something will work out is greater than if you think in advance that you will not succeed.
It is important to think soberly: you can not be good at everything and there is always something that you will not or less good. It is true that you can only find out by trying it. You will gradually notice that you may have more qualities in one area than in the other.
This has everything to do with your self-image: the ideas you have about yourself. For example, you know that you are good at languages, but that you have less at home in the field of sports.
What can you do about it yourself?
You can increase your confidence by doing activities and encouraging yourself by thinking that you will be able to (positive thoughts about your chance of success). Afterward, you can compliment yourself on the self-achieved result or your commitment.
This requires that you know yourself, that you know your strengths and weaknesses. After all, self-confidence does not mean that you have to believe that you can do everything. Every person has good qualities and skills, but will also encounter difficult situations, which appeal to skills that you simply have less mastery.
If you don’t avoid problems, if you feel responsible for yourself, then you give yourself the opportunity to develop confidence. You may get positive reactions from the environment or you feel good because you have tried something that you have been bothered about. This positive feeling gives you more courage to try something like this next time. This way the confidence in yourself increases.
The image you have of yourself and that is fed with ideas about what you can and cannot do may not yet be clear. You could get more clarity on this by making a ‘plus list’ of five skills and traits that you like about yourself.
If you find that difficult, see if you can do it with a friend and make a list of good qualities. Also, make a ‘mini list’ with what you don’t have or can’t. By putting the side of the list by side, you can determine in which areas you are satisfied with yourself and which steps you could take to become more satisfied.
There will always be things that you cannot change because you just don’t have it: for example, you would like to be something smarter, richer or more beautiful. This applies to everyone: you cannot have everything. You can certainly change something about other things that you are not satisfied with or that you would like to own. To achieve something you can take a course, make an appointment with someone or try out a hobby.
When to seek help for a Lack of self-esteem?
More confidence means more courage to do things. If you do more things, your confidence will grow again. Conversely, the same applies: some people are extremely critical of themselves and think that they never actually do anything right. When those feelings predominate, you can get into a negative spiral. In this case, this means that the ideas about yourself become more and more negative and you ultimately hardly dare to say or do anything anymore because your self-confidence has disappeared. Because you no longer have positive experiences, your self-confidence decreases.
If you think negatively about yourself for a period of time (I’m worthless, I’m no good, I can’t do anything, nobody thinks I’m worth it), then it’s good to seek help. A school psychologist or mentor can help you get out of that negative spiral. This is necessary because people who think negatively about themselves for a long time are at risk of getting into depression.
General advice and precautions
Some people tend to take a very critical look at themselves: that does not increase their belief in their own abilities. In this case, it would be good to compliment yourself every day on something you found difficult, something you accomplished or something you tried.
Compliments from others also have a positive effect on your self-confidence. With that knowledge in mind, you could also strive to give a compliment to another every day. The chance that you will receive a compliment is high so that the knife cuts both ways.
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