People can be randomly provoked into feeling worthless at just about any time. But consistently feeling as though you do everything wrong, or feeling undeserving of what you have, is not necessary.
If you can’t shake that feeling that your self-confidence is waning, it’s time to explore your circumstances. You likely experienced people in the past telling you you’re not worthy, and you’ve been clinging to those old feelings.
Let’s explore seven common experiences that cause self-confidence to take a hit, along with some helpful tips for turning things around.
- People around you are toxic and negative.
Most people care what others think of them. And we care more about what family, friends, and coworkers think of us. Perhaps you’ve experienced a series of relationship problems, disastrous jobs, or missed opportunities, so you now feel as though everything you’re involved in is doomed to fail.
Many people have repeatedly heard that they’re worthless. Some had parents who routinely vented their frustrations on them. Others have a boss or a colleague at work who makes them feel like they’re not good at anything.
Clearing toxic people from your life is challenging. But you’re worth it. If you have people around you who are not building you up, it’s time to start standing up for yourself.
- You tell yourself you’re worthless.
If you’re used to hearing nothing good or encouraging about yourself, you’re probably telling yourself the same things. But it’s important to be sure that your thoughts are your own.
If you’re an adult who lacks self-confidence or feels in any way that you don’t deserve your life, you need to explore why you believe such discouraging things. You wouldn’t talk like that to a friend. So, why are you treating yourself so poorly?
Think about the origin of these feelings you have toward yourself. Try to figure out from where the thoughts came. They may not be originating with others. It’s often hard to find our place in society. This is especially true if we didn’t have a positive, self-confident role model.
Once you figure out why you treat yourself so negatively, you can begin to consciously incorporate more kindness and positivity into your thought process.
- You compare yourself to other people.
People who constantly compare themselves to other people always wish they could do more or had more. So, stop focusing on other people. Stop watching them, reading about them, wishing you had their life, made as much money as they did, or had their house or job.
Instead, start focusing on yourself. Note what you have and be grateful for it. No matter what you have or how you feel, there are many reasons for you to be thankful for your life and how it is right now. Consider your possibilities. Look inward and see how you’ve grown compared to who you used to be. Strive to be even better.
- You’ve experienced a significant life change.
If you’ve recently lost a job or gotten a divorce, you may not know how you should quantify your value. Significant changes in our identity can change our sense of self. It may even become challenging to relate to other people and to the life you used to have.
As an attempt to gain control over your situation, it’s common to blame yourself when living through tragic losses or dealing with trauma. Aside from the negativity and misery you’re feeling over losing your identity, your negative thoughts about yourself won’t help.
It’s best to allow yourself space and time to process what happened. Don’t judge yourself.
- You feel as though everybody else is against you.
You may be feeling bad about yourself not due to how you think about yourself, but because of how you think about others.
It’s easy to make assumptions about what other people are thinking about us, and to put words in their mouths. If you feel as though the whole world is against you, it isn’t because everyone actually is out to get you. You’re only thinking that they are.
But when you conceive these circumstances in your thoughts, they often play out in reality. Turn your thinking patterns around and make sure you’re looking at situations more objectively.
- You’re simply not an optimist.
Do you often dwell on mistakes or criticisms you’ve made? Do you feel like negative events draw you in more often than positive ones do? This is so common that it even has a psychological label: “negativity bias.” Negative events actually have more significant effects on us than positive ones have.
If you feel bad about yourself and struggle with your self-worth, you may want to continue feeling that way, and subsequently want to draw others in to feel bad for you, too. You get trapped in negative thinking patterns and perpetually perceive your proverbial glass as half-empty, rather than half-full.
So, if you feel low and just can’t seem to break free from the pessimistic rut you’re in, you may need to consider the possibility that it’s your own fault.
You need to flip your point of view. Rework your thought patterns and deliberately see that your glass is half-full. Focus on things that are important to you, things you enjoy, and what you have. Turn your attention off of what you think you’re missing onto what you have.
- You may have preexisting physical or mental health issues.
If you genuinely feel as though you are not the problem, but you still can’t control your thoughts, and you’re trying but you aren’t making any progress, you may need to consider seeking professional help.
Don’t wait and assume that things will work themselves out. Consult your doctor to discuss how you feel, and explore together what you need to do to feel better.