Relate Well! Blog

Addressing the all-important and often perplexing topics and issues related to enhancing your personal growth and professional development

3 Signs of Low Self-Confidence

We all feel inadequate or foolish at times. When these feelings are chronic, however, they lead to low self-confidence. People with low self-esteem develop habits and behaviors to cope with and avoid these negative, discouraging and uncomfortable emotions.

Healthy solutions to coping with low self-esteem essentially involve two options. First, you have to want to change and be willing to do something about it. And, second, you need to learn effective strategies for accepting what can’t be changed.

Maladaptive Coping Strategies

People who don’t pursue healthy options often default to relying upon “maladaptive coping strategies”. That’s a psychological term that just means “things that probably make matters worse instead of better”. In other words, they’re common, but terrible, ways to deal with low self-confidence.

In the extreme, maladaptive behaviors can include excessive drinking or drug use, abusing others the way you were abused...

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The Costly Effects of Low Self-Confidence

Everyone struggles with a lack of confidence at times. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population experiences low self-esteem and consequently, low self-confidence at some point in their life.

We all know the feeling of inadequacy and incompetence. It can happen when you face a new job, new relationship, or an unknown situation. There is some comfort in knowing that you are not alone, but you don’t want to get stuck in low self-confidence because it can impact every aspect of your life. It can be at the root of disappointing friendships and love relationships, lower long-term earning potential and missed opportunities for high quality jobs and promotions. There is also strong correlation between low self-confidence and substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and other destructive conditions and behaviors.

How Low Self-Confidence Affects Relationships

People with low self-confidence are more likely to have trouble starting and maintaining quality...

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Self-Esteem vs. Self-Confidence: Working Together for Your Good

To feel successful and be satisfied in life, a person needs a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Let’s look at what these qualities are and how they work together.

“Esteem” in Latin means to appraise, value, rate, weigh, or estimate. Simply stated, your self-esteem reflects what you believe about yourself – positive, negative, or neutral. Your beliefs in turn influence the quality of your emotions. And, in many cases, it is the quality of both your beliefs and emotions that strongly influences and shapes your behavior.

Self-esteem generally covers two primary types of belief. The first involves beliefs related to self-efficacy. This fancy word means the degree to which you believe you can succeed at something or accomplish a certain task. For example, if you have a strong sense of self-efficacy and your boss assigns you a difficult project you may think, “Wow, this won’t be easy, but I can get it done.” Weak...

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Do You Have a Need to be Right?

At times, wanting to be right is simply an outgrowth of healthy, good-humored competition. For example, if you are playing a trivia game with a group of friends, whoever gets the right answer will probably tease other players, cheer for themselves and maybe indulge in some “trash talk” to rub it in that “I was right, you were wrong!” If everyone laughs along with the winner, it’s a good indication that the friends are confident in themselves and their relationship to one another. But if one of the players becomes angry or distressed, it may be an indication of an unhealthy emotional response to being wrong.

An unhealthy need to be right may grow out of a pervasive fear that they are not good enough or smart enough, or that their value is based on performance. This dynamic shows up at times in counseling with people who have been subjected to highly critical parents or spouses. If someone perceives that they must be perfect in order to be accepted,...

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Raising Mature, Confident Adults (or How to Avoid Messing Up Your Kids)

We all have “issues” of one kind or another. Many of them stem from fears, past experiences, misunderstanding, or lack of accurate information. Many people point to their upbringing as the source of their problems today.

The truth is, no parents are perfect, and there comes a time when we have to let go of blaming all of our problems on our childhood and choose to develop the confidence to make the best of our own lives. In some cases, this may involve forgiveness of everything from not getting the toy you always wanted, to being forced to take tuba lessons to traumatic abuse. It’s an important part of growing up to finally realize that your parents may have done the best they could with what they had and knew and to begin taking adult responsibility for your adult life.

That said, maybe you can learn a few things from your past experiences that will help you avoid some of the mistakes that can potentially have a long-term negative effect on your children.

Here are...

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