A lot of people talk about coping with low self-esteem, but less is said about self-esteem that comes and goes. The truth is, when it comes to self-esteem, most people fit in the middle of the spectrum, feeling fairly self-confident one minute and then anxious the next.

If you can identify with swings in your confidence, here are some ways to cope:

Understand Emotions Are Your Friend

Though it’s not always easy dealing with uncomfortable emotions, understand that they are part of our evolved warning system. We all have emotions for a reason, and they can be used as helpful guides in our lives, reminding us how we feel about things. Sometimes, however, this system can break down (as in the case of depression and panic attacks), but generally speaking, our emotions are there to help us. They are there to serve as indicators that something is going on with us. Take steps to start to embrace emotions so that you can understand them, and then do something about them.

Sometimes a Loss of Confidence is Justified

Sometimes when we have a sudden loss of confidence, it is completely justified. For example, you may have started back dating. It was a risk you decided to take because the reward of having someone special meant much more. You went on a few dates, and most of them may have went very well, but maybe one or two of your dates were negative towards you and made you feel unwanted. That negative response is likely to shake the confidence that you have been building up because you want very much to experience the love you always dreamed of.

Our psyche has been designed to react to any kind of uncertainty or mixed signals with anxiety. If it weren’t for our ability to find and react to possible dangers, human beings would have gone extinct a long time ago.

The moral of the story is, don’t make your loss of confidence even worse by chastising yourself for feeling less confident. In many situations, it is a common reaction.

A Loss of Confidence Can Help You Make Better Choices

Often when we feel a sudden loss of confidence, it is a signal that we need to make better choices. Our intuition is trying to get our attention and let us know, “Pssst, you’re not doing it quite right,” or “This wasn’t what you had in mind.”

Instead of panicking about your lack of confidence, listen to it to hear what it’s trying to tell you.

Some common things it might be trying to say are:

  • Finish what you started
  • Test your strategies to see if they are really working
  • Ask for feedback

Typically, our self-confidence comes back as quickly as it left us. But for some, this might not always be the case. Some people struggle day to day with low confidence because they have underlying low self-esteem. These individuals would greatly benefit from working with a therapist to uncover where these feelings stem from, and how to manage them in the future.

If you or someone you know lacks self-confidence because of low self-esteem and would like to explore treatment options, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

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