How to recognise

low confidence

young woman on laptop
young woman on laptop

Everyone has moments of self-doubt or low confidence; in certain situations, around certain people or when going through changes in life. However, low confidence that lingers too long, or takes over your life, can have a negative impact on your mental health and relationships. Recognising the signs of low confidence can help you to address spiralling negative thought patterns and help you feel better.  

Recognising low confidence

Do you agree with most of these statements?

I find it difficult to be assertive, or deal with confrontation
Other peoples' needs/wants/feelings are more important than mine
I say 'sorry' before speaking or moving, rather than just saying 'excuse me'
I tend to just go along with what others say is right/good, rather than express my own opinion
I often feel I don't deserve things
I struggle to make decisions, and often doubt the decisions I have made
I worry about other people's expectations; that I might get things wrong
I find it difficult to create boundaries in my relationships
A lot of my behaviour is people pleasing; I often seek reassurance from others
I often criticise myself, judge myself harshly, or tend to have a negative self-image

If these sound like some thoughts you've had, you may have been experiencing low confidence. You may have been having these thoughts as long as you can remember, or you may have slipped into the habit of thinking this way more recently, but you weren't born with such a lack of confidence.

Things that happen to you throughout your life can affect your confidence levels; for example, the way people treated you growing up, or negative experiences at school or work. However, it is possible to counteract these experiences by taking certain actions and building your confidence back to healthy levels.

Read our how to build confidence article for tips to address low confidence.

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