Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Monday, October 22, 2018 10:48:08 AM
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

Cricket »

Imrul Kayes scores career best 144

Bangladeshi opening batsman Imrul Kayes proved his worth scoring his 3rd ODI century with career best 144 runs in a tough situation against Zimbabwe in the first match of the three-match ODI series at the home of Bangladesh Cricket-Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.When Bangladesh were losing wickets on ...

Football »

Emery's Arsenal face gruelling week

Unai Emery admits Arsenal will struggle to cope with a draining schedule that sees them host Leicester at the start of three games in seven days.Emery's side will be pushed to the limit by the television schedulers, who moved their Premier League clash with the Foxes to Monday evening at ...

Entertainment »

Shahnoor: Shukla of movie Indubala

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Shahnoor loves acting in different roles. She always feels comfortable to present herself in challenging roles. For this reason, she was seen to act in such type of roles in recently acted movies. As a part of its continuation, she is going to work in a challenging ...

City »

Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Jubo Dal and other organisations brought out a procession protesting verdict against BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman in August 21 grenade attack case at Kalyanpur area in the city yesterday .

International »

Withdrawal from nuclear arms deal `dangerous step` for US: Moscow

AFP, Moscow: Withdrawing from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty with Russia as US President Donald Trump has announced he plans to do is a dangerous step, Russia's deputy foreign minister warned on Sunday."This would be a very dangerous step that, I'm sure, not only will not be comprehended by ...

Editorial »

Khashoggi`s brutal murder has brutally damaged image of Saudi Kingdom

The Saudi Kingdom has ultimately confirmed that writer and critic Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul city.  Saudi state media reported Khashoggi was killed in "fist-fight" with the Kingdom's officials inside its consulate. The announcement marked a U-turn from the Kingdom, which had previously denied ...

International »

Khashoggi criticises Saudi Prince in newly released interview

Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "authoritarian rule" shortly before his death, in an interview published following confirmation he died at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.Speaking off the record to a Newsweek journalist working on a story about the Saudi leadership, he insisted he did not view ...

Business & Economy »

Economists sign declaration against Brazil frontrunner

AFP, Rio De Janeiro :More than 350 economists -- among them a Nobel Prize winner -- have signed a declaration saying Brazil's frontrunner to be president, far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro, is not the best choice for his country.The experts stated that Bolsonaro's leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, was "the best alternative" ...

Entertainment »

Sonakshi to play the female lead in Mogul?

A biopic based on the life of a T-series honcho Gulshan Kumar is in the pipeline, but looks like the film is facing a lot of hurdles. After the director of the film Subhash Kapoor was accused in the ongoing #MeToo movement of sexual misconduct, Aamir Khan who was co-producing ...

Entertainment »

Vidya Balan's first look from the NTR biopic

Vidya Balan is one the top actresses of Bollywood. She has the ability to captivate the audience with her performances. Vidya has already impressed the audience with her brilliant performance in the biopic of Silk Smita that was titled The Dirty Picture and now the actress is set to do ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaking at a rally organised by JAGPA–an ally of the 20-party alliances on Saturday at the DRU Auditorium demanding release of Khaleda Zia and annulment of Digital Security Act 2018 and verdict against Tarique Rahman, party's Senior Vice-Chairman.

Editorial »

European Union must challenge the undemocratic election process

THE European Union has decided not to deploy an election observation mission during the 11th parliamentary election in Bangladesh due by January 28 next year. This has been conveyed to the Election Commission in a diplomatic note. A copy of the note verbale was also handed over to the commission ...

Sports »

Los Angeles Dodgers' Austin Barnes hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Cricket »

Ten-wicket Abbas destroys Australia for Pakistan's series win

AFP, Abu Dhabi :Medium pacer Mohammad Abbas took his maiden ten-wicket haul in a match to fire Pakistan to a 373-run win over Australia in the second Test in Abu Dhabi on Friday.Abbas followed his 5-33 in the first innings with figures of 5-62 to wreck Australia for 164 after ...

Entertainment »

Aamir Khan`s smile in new poster of Thugs of Hindostan

Ever since the intriguing trailer of Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Katrina Kaif starrer Thugs of Hindostan has been unveiled, there is much excitement around the film. The film is one of the biggest releases of the year and will hit the silver screens on November 8. ...

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