You might be utterly amazed at the sneaky little things that can zap your self confidence in a hot minute!. Why? Because, contrary to popular opinion, self-confidence can be a tenuous thing. One minute you’re screaming:” Hey ma…look at me I’m on top of the world”, and the next, you feel like a pile of rubbish. You may not realize it but little, everyday things can affect your self-confidence in a big way.
Many obvious factors can influence your self-confidence, here are five, not so obvious, things that can zap your confidence and leave you feeling like a dud.
1. Not Eating and Drinking Properly
Believe it or not, when it comes to our moods, research has shown that we are what we eat. You may be uber aware of how food affects your body, but have you ever considered how what you put in your mouth affects your emotions? According to an article by the Harvard Medical School, there is now a term called Nutritional Psychology and it’s all about how the food we eat affect our brain and hence our mood. According to the research:
“Studies have compared “traditional” diets, like the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet, to a typical “Western” diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet. Scientists account for this difference because these traditional diets tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood, and to contain only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy. They are also void of processed and refined foods and sugars, which are staples of the “Western” dietary pattern. In addition, many of these unprocessed foods are fermented, and therefore act as natural probiotics.”
As you can see, a diet that is packed with nutrients can help to reduce anxiety, boost your mood, and help you feel more confident. If your diet is currently loaded with sugar and a ton of processed foods, you might readily experience severe mood swings and energy spikes that can lead to a dip in how you feel about yourself and your future.
2. Your Body Language
Most women focus on their body image, which is an important factor in overall confidence. But it is a little known fact that poor body language can zap your self-confidence just as quickly as poor body image. Social psychologists believe that if you lack self-confidence, you should fake it until you become it. If you are struggling with your self-confidence, take a look at your body language. If you find that you are slouching, slumping, or standing in a stopped position, this can all lead to lowered self-confidence. Studies have shown that our body language can affect how we feel about ourselves. More specifically, a study in Health Psychology found that people who feel stressed can kick their negative mood and even boost their self-esteem by sitting upright. Other research found that good posture was associated with better body image among people with depression
Fear has the power to completely stop you dead in your tracks and completely zap your self-confidence. Fear is usually nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real (I’m sure you heard that a million and one times). In other words, when you are working toward your goal, you may find that your mind is providing you with false evidence that you may think is real but can quickly throw you off course. It is essential that you acknowledge this fear and face it instead of running away. Facing your fear and actually taking action in the face of it will actually increase your self confidence and help you to create new muscle in the areas that previously defeated you.
4. Your Very Own Inner Voice
Your inner voice is extremely powerful and can zap your self confidence in a heartbeat. The trick is to recognize it for what it is, or should I say who it is. These voices that bombard our mind on a daily basis need to be called into question. Once you are actively aware of what’s happening you can be more effective in designing a strategy to defeat it. You may be involved in warfare and maybe totally oblivious because that voice is so familiar. However, you have the power to choose whether to listen to it, ignore it, or give it a different narrative. Because the subconscious isn’t able to distinguish fact from fiction, when your inner voice tells you that you can’t do something, you just simply believe it.
5. Stress and Pressure
Our natural fight or flight mechanism automatically kicks in when we are under pressure or stressed. When our survival is actually threatened, this mechanism is excellent. However, if this response kicks in because you are always worried about money, work, or family, the adrenaline and cortisol running through your system can eventually make us sick, really sick and causes your confidence to plummet.
There can also be a vicious cycle between unmanaged stress and low self esteem. Many times, a person with low self esteem has a very hard time saying, “NO”. So they take on more and more responsibilities and tasks trying to somehow feel better about themselves and their abilities. This burden leads to more stress and more stress leads to lowered self esteem. Hence, the vicious cycle occurs. Learning how and when to say no (especially to those things that don’t serve you or your purpose and priorities) is a step in the right direction towards lowering stress and pressure. The bonus may be an overall boost in your self esteem and confidence.
Building and maintaining your confidence is skillset that takes time and effort. Understanding some of the underlying factors that can zap your self confidence will allow you to begin to take the action required to keep your confidence from taking a hit.
As always, I hope this help you in the battle of protecting your confidence.
Be well + prosper,