In the field of psychology it is known that self-confidence has a major influence on our mental health. While there may not necessarily be a direct link, it indirectly effects how we live our lives. I will try and illustrate my point with a little example.
Let’s take two people called Emma and Jane who both work a corporate job somewhere in a major city. Emma has always been a high-confidence person, while Jane unfortunately has never really figured it out and as a result suffers from chronic low self-esteem.
They are both working on an important deadline and are struggling. Emma, being the confident person she is, has no problem going around and asking her boss and colleagues for advice. She gets some great tips, and is able to finish her task exceeding all expectations.
Jane on the other hand is also struggling. She however is not comfortable going up to her boss and colleagues and asking for advice. She is rather shy as a consequence of her low-self esteem. In turn she delivers a mediocre performance when finally finishing her task.
It is now that the effects of self-confidence on our mental health becomes clear. Emma is likely to get much praise after completing her task since she did such a great job. She will be seen among her peers as a capable and respected person.
All these praises and social benefits are a massive mental boost to Emma. They are likely going to increase her confidence even further as well as have many other mental benefits.
Jane on the other hand, will likely not experience any of the benefits. She is much more likely to get mediocre feedback, and if she has an overachieving boss, she might even receive some criticism for her work. For Jane this was not a positive mental experience. At best it was neutral.
This kind of situation can be applied in all fields and types of scenarios. It is safe to say that being a more confident person will produce moments in your life that will have net positive effect on your mental health. While a low-confidence life will likely not be able to attract these important mental boosts.
So you might think how much confidence is enough? Is there a limit to how much confidence I should have? Let’s explore some of the effects of low and high confidence.
Low self-confidence is when an individual does not believe that they have the skills necessary to be able to do a certain thing in life. This can range from not feeling confident in the way you look, to becoming anxious during an exam because you don’t believe you know enough to pass.
There are certain signs in your life you can look for to know whether you suffer from low self-esteem:
- Backing down when arguing with other people
- Need to “look busy” like doing nothing on your phone while in a social situation
- Not speaking up in conversations
- Not meeting people’s gaze or general avoidance of eye contact in social settings
- Slouching when walking, or looking at the ground when walking
There are many signs, and low confidence comes in all shapes and sizes.
So what are we able to do about this. I have already written an in-depth article on the 2 ways to solve any confidence issue you might have. It tackles the idea that your proficiency in a certain task as well as your attitude towards your surroundings are the main players affecting your confidence levels.
You can find this article here!
As you have read through this article, you might be inclined to think that the more confidence the better right? Well there are limits, as there is to everything on life. Gaining too much confidence, can often blind us to the truth and make us arrogant.
If we revisit our example where Emma delivered a stunning performance thanks to the helpful tips of her boss and colleagues. She might be so confident in herself now that her behaviour towards her peers might change. Emma might think that she can do any task that is thrown at her now.
Overconfidence and arrogance make us blind to our own limits. Since we become unaware of our own weaknesses, we stop trying to improve on them. As a result, Emma can actually become worse at the tasks she used to be so good at.
Overconfidence can become very destructive in terms of everything in your life, whether it be in a professional sense or for your relationships with your loved ones.
Many professional organizations consider people who are overconfident at a similar level to people with low self-confidence. The main reason for this is that while low self-esteem individuals don’t seek out help or advice, the overconfident ones will usually ruin relationships before they have the ability to get anything meaningful out of them.
Always stay humble in your life, no matter how successful you become in life!
Tips for Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
I made a small mention of this above, but essentially there are 2 main things you do that will influence your confidence levels.
The first one being your profeciency in a certain task. The more comfortable you are doing something, the more confident you will be about that task.
One perfect example in my personal life is from the gym. When I first started, I was very nervous walking into a new place that I had never been before. Now that I am a regular, and have been going for years, I am fully confident whenever I walk through those door.
The confidence stems from the fact that I feel proficient while I am working out. I know exactly what I am doing and how to do these things correctly.
The second influence on your self-esteem is the attitude you have towards other people and your surroundings. It is generally the thought of how others judge us that seeps any confidence we have right out of our systems.
This is something that is very hard to solve. In this article I highlight some methods you can employ to try and be less self-conscious about your self.
There are certain strategies you can use to try and improve your confidence levels. The main points that come to mind are:
- Don’t fear failure
- Don’t worry that others think
- Accomplish your goals
- Comparison is the thief of joy
- Adopting Stoic philosophy
- Practice makes perfect.
If you want to read a more in-depth explanation of these points, make sure you check out my “7 Methods to Gain Confidence in Yourself” article here!
Increasing your self-confidence is a journey that can often take many months and even years. As long as you see progress you are on the right path. Good luck!