Understanding Confidence and Self Esteem

What is Confidence and Self-Esteem?

Confidence is about believing in yourself, your abilities, thoughts and ideas. Trusting your own judgment and your ability to do things well. It also means you can accept that you might not be great at everything but that’s okay as well. It gives you an acceptance of who you are and how you look, without feeling the need to change. Confident people don’t feel the need to be the centre of attention, or the loudest voice heard and can even be quiet or a little shy.

Self-Esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves and our feelings of self-worth. When you have healthy feelings of self-esteem you tend to feel more positive and are better able to deal with the lows and highs of life. When your self-esteem is low you tend to look at life in a negative way and have negative feelings about yourself.


There can be a variety of reasons for a decline in your confidence or self- esteem. These can include things like not getting a job you applied for, or an exam result you expected to be better. Negative influences from social media of friends and family, which might affect your body confidence, or lack of their support when you feel you need it most. Peer pressure, a sudden change in circumstances like moving areas or changes to your personal situation or relationship.

Physical Symptoms

When your confidence and self-esteem is low or has taken a knock you might notice the following, but symptoms do vary between individuals and this list is not wholly inclusive.

·     Poor sleep patterns or insomnia

·     Headaches

·     Stomach issues

Psychological Symptoms

·     Fearing making mistakes

·     Struggling to say no

·     Being sensitive to criticism

·     Having self-critical thoughts

·     Lack of motivation

·     Starting to believe everyone is more capable than you

Behavioural Changes

·     Socialising less than you would have

·     Apologising more often or unnecessarily

·     Fearing expressing different opinions

·     Coming over as arrogant or bullying to mask feeling of low self-esteem

·     Not taken compliments when given or credit for your achievements

Self Help

There are ways to help you to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem and you may find that reminding yourself of the following daily might help.

·     Start to like yourself as a person, your friends and family do

·     Start believing in your abilities again, you did before and were successful

·     Don’t dwell on mistakes and be too critical of yourself, everyone makes mistakes, it’s fine if we learn from them

·     Believe you matter and are good enough

·     Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy

You can also find information and exercises on-line to help you, if you have been feeling like this for some time, you might want to check with your doctor that you have no underlying health issues.

Professional Help

If you still find that your having problems with your lack of self-esteem and confidence, and that you’re struggling to keep a happy work and social life, or that it’s negatively affecting your personal relationships, then you might want to consider seeing a mental health professional. They can help you with a variety of therapies including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, clinical hypnotherapy and psychotherapy to rebuild your confidence and self-esteem by retraining your brain to think positively and to stop negative thinking. 

Written by Jan, Jeana and Wendy at Barnsley Hypnosis and Counselling (UK). For more free information click above link.