Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Sunday, May 26, 2019 02:14:16 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Tricks to avert low self-confidence

photo by

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Alice Boyes, PhD :
I had one of those days today when it felt like life was delivering one kick in the teeth after another. We all have those days. When they happen, it's normal to go into a mode of fluctuating self-confidence and second guess all your life decisions.   
Here are some of the mental tips and tricks I use when I'm feeling this way and recommend to others. Give them a try and see if they work for you!
1.    Ask yourself: "What did I find anxiety-provoking at first but is now relatively easy?"
Fluctuations in self-confidence often happen when we're embarking on challenges that are new, hard, or both. Try keeping a mental (or physical) list of things that were intimidating and anxiety-provoking when you were a beginner but come easily now that you're a pro.  
Your examples can be big or small. For instance, maybe you've learned how to create a listing on Craigslist. Or maybe you have examples in the parenting domain. I remember feeling really intimidated about installing a car seat in a rental car the first few times I did it, but now I wouldn't find that anxiety-provoking at all. Technology and money-related skills are good categories to consider when you're trying to come up with your own examples.
Tip: You might find it difficult to recall examples when you're in a low mood, so do some brainstorming when you're in a better mood so that you have a list you can think back to.
2.    Step back to gain perspective.
When your self-confidence has taken a blow, it's easy to go into a mental tailspin to the point you start asking yourself if you're a loser at life in general. Try to step back and get some perspective.  Are you a decent parent? Are you reasonably competent at lots of things? What are your accomplishments?
Be specific with yourself about what's happening for you mentally. For example, I ended up with a $300 water bill due to a stupid mistake, and it triggered me to think, "I'm terrible at things to do with money." Objectively, this isn't true. Balance your thinking. You might not be perfect, but you're probably not terrible either.
3.    Ask yourself: "Who I am comparing myself to?"
When something knocks your confidence about your decision-making, that mood drop often triggers social comparison. When this happens for me, I find myself comparing myself to people who've made outstanding accomplishments (like these people who bought a run down warehouse for a bargain and rehabbed it, increasing it's value to the point they have several hundred thousand dollars of equity in it.)  I think "Why aren't I doing things like that?" However, if I'm more reasonable in my social comparison, I can see that I'm doing pretty well. Again, I'm not an absolute rockstar, but most of my decisions are still good ones and I've got plenty of accomplishments.  Everyone can achieve outstanding accomplishments eventually, but these tend to be few and far between, even for high achievers, and they're interspersed with mistakes and mediocre results.  
Common objects of social comparison include siblings, Facebook friends, classmates, and people you read about or watch online. Sometimes I compare myself to people younger than me and think "I should be doing better than I am at my age." I know it can come across a bit disingenuous and irritating when accomplished people talk about experiencing low self-esteem moments. However, it just goes to show that behind the scenes even successful people are still making plenty of life mistakes and have patterns of self-sabotaging behavior that frustrate them. Life is messy for everyone.
4.    Recognize that feeling self-doubt doesn't necessarily mean you're on the wrong track.
Like all emotions, self-doubt is an evolved signaling system. It prompts us to think carefully about what we're doing. However, it's an imperfect signal. The system produces many false alarms, especially for people prone to anxiety, and can trigger unhelpful rumination. Feeling self-doubt doesn't necessarily mean you're on the wrong track. It often just means you're confronting a challenge that is hard, new, or both. While self-doubt feels uncomfortable, it has some benefits too.  My colleague, Dr. Barb Markway, wrote an excellent piece on the upside of self-doubt.
When your self-doubt isn't completely a false alarm, there are plenty of strategies you can use.  When you feel regret over imperfect decisions, you can try these tips for coping with regret. When you realize you need to improve in an area, it's easier to do this if you're prepared to focus on improving your habits rather than attempting to achieve perfection (shooting for perfection will likely backfire).
5.    Know what you need to weather the storm and bounce back.
Know what works for you when you need nurturing in order to get through emotional challenges. You might choose social strategies, like contacting friends, or debriefing about stressful situations with your romantic partner. You might have physical strategies for coping with stress like having an early night, napping, exercise, slow breathing, yoga, or meditation.  Or, consider your favorite behavioral strategies, like treating yourself to food you like or going to a movie. If you feel socially isolated, consider reaching out to some weaker social connections, such as colleagues who you know but aren't particularly close to.
Lastly, keep in mind anything you tend to do when you're stressed that actually makes you feel worse, like staying up very late. Troubleshoot self-sabotaging patterns like this. It's natural to want to stay up when you need to wind down from your day, but if it's causing issues for you, then you might need to start your wind down process earlier in the evening. For example, take a bath at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. on days when you're feeling stressed.
Wrapping up
Pick your favorite few tips from this article and try them out next time you doubt yourself and your decisions. Not every strategy will work for everyone, but there are plenty to try, so experiment and see what works for you.
(Alice Boyes, Ph.D., translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Sports »

A scene from the fifth round matches of the Walton International Rating Chess Competition at Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room on Saturday.

Cricket »

Rubel eyes to finish World Cup as one of top five boawlers

Bangladesh speedster Rubel Hossain insisted on Friday he wants to finish the ICC World Cup 2019 as one of the best five bowlers.The right-handed pacer recovered from a side strain that prevented him to play all the matches during Bangladesh recent tri-series in Ireland. Before the main assault in the ...

International »

US troop move to ME dangerous for international peace: Iran's FM

AFP, Tehran  :Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a "threat to international peace," state media reported."Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be ...

Editorial »

Take time-befitting diplomatic steps

THOUGH the foreign relation of Dhaka with New Delhi and Beijing is remarkably good, it is not working well especially in the Rohingya issue. Dhaka had requested both the nations for several times to mount pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation, but they kept limited their efforts in extending 'assurance' ...

Entertainment »

Dimple Kapadia bagged Christopher Nolan`s Tenet

Dimple Kapadia featuring in Hollywood director Christopher Nolan's Tenet has got everyone excited. From Bollywood celebrities to regular moviegoers, everyone has expressed their delight and congratulated the actress on social media for her achievement.  Dimple Kapadia's manager revealed to a daily how the actress bagged the role. The manager shared ...

Front Page »

290 migrants rescued near Tripoli

Egypt Independent , Tripoli :Libya's coast guard rescued 290 migrants clinging to inflatable rafts on Friday in two operations near the capital Tripoli, a naval forces spokesman said.The western coast of Libya is the main departure point of hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing their countries from wars and poverty ...

Editorial »

HC concern over slow pace of banning toxic food items

THE High Court on Thursday rebuked Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for its failure of removing and destroying 52 substandard food products from the market. The HC earlier ordered the BFSA removing the substandard goods of 43 companies from the market but the BFSA did nothing except publishing only a ...

Entertainment »

Poppy, Hasan Jahangir’s Eid drama Nayikar Honeymoon

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :National Film Award winner actress Poppy earlier acted with actor and play director Hasan Jahangir in Innocent Love, Bhalobasha Du’jonai, Mental and Nayikar Biye. On the occasion of coming Eid to telecast on Asian TV, Poppy again paired up with Hasan Jahangir in a drama titled Nayikar ...

International »

Taiwan holds first gay marriages in historic day for Asia

AP, Taipei :Hundreds of same-sex couples in Taiwan rushed to get married Friday, the first day a landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage took effect.Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage last week in a legislative vote on a cause that the island's LGBT rights activists ...

Editorial »

DMP fails to discipline city roads

TRAFFIC jam is a common scenario almost everyday in the capital city Dhaka. Usually, it intensifies every year during the Ramzan. This year it is no exception. But sufferings of commuters have been increased manifold this year because of constructing metro rail projects and unplanned digging in different areas under ...

Cricket »

T20 kings West Indies seek to make fresh World Cup mark

Can the West Indies take the form that has made them such a potent force in Twenty20 cricket into the World Cup?That is the question confronting Jason Holder's side as they head into the one-day showpiece in England and Wales that starts on May 30.The Caribbean team, who open their ...

International »

May clings to power as Brexit gambit backfires

Reuters, London  :Prime Minister Theresa May was clinging on to power on Thursday after her final Brexit gambit backfired, overshadowing a European election that has shown a United Kingdom still riven by division over its EU divorce.May's departure will deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to ...

Entertainment »

Momtaz performs with her daughters at Eid Ananda Mela

Entertainment Report :Legendary folk singer and Member of the Parliament Momtaz Begum has been passing best time in her career. Recently her mother Uzala Begum got Gorobini Maa award on International Mother’s Day. Basically Momtaz is delighted with her success. On May 19, Momtaz along with her two daughters - ...

Editorial »

BB failing to lead banking sector

WHEN there are huge frustrations among the political circle, civil society members and the ordinary masses over ongoing banking irregularities, at that time the High Court has halted the loan rescheduling facilities for defaulters till June 23, earlier offered by the central bank, the Bangladesh Bank. The HC on Tuesday ...

Sports »

With the world at her feet, Osaka takes Paris in her stride

AFP, Paris :Twelve months ago at Roland Garros, an embarrassed Naomi Osaka bristled at being hailed as the 'coolest thing' in tennis.Now, however, the 21-year-old Japanese returns to Paris as comfortably the sport's hottest ticket with the world number one billing, a bank balance bursting at the seams and on ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news