Confidence & Self–Belief

Why Do People Suffer From Confidence & Self–Belief Issues?

This is a difficult question to answer as the causal factors for such issues may be manifold. These issues may exist becasue of a lack of validation by others in early development, they may exist because of continuous negative comparisons being drawn between the individual and others, or it may be the result of bullying or the development of a "Fixed Mindset" through childhood and adolescence. Whatever the causes, these issues are serious and debilitating for the individual in question.

What Is Confidence?

The clinical definition of confidence is; "A state of mind, being or self–reliance brought about through repitition." Confidence is a resource that you are born with. However, this resource needs to be used in order to develop and, if (in developing it) we take a knock, we often put the resource to one side and stop using it, which results in the develppment of confidence issues and a lack of self–belief.

Fixed Moindset vs. Growth Mindset

Unfortunately, we are all a byproduct of a fixed–mindset system, in terms of ecucation, parenting and social pressure. A Finxed–Mindset is something that comes about when we are told that the most important thing is that the end result is important, as opposed to the act of doing something simply for the fun of doing it in the first instance. This is why most young people are obsessed with their final grades and can get almost suicidal with the stress of their exams.

This often results in the individual develping the belief that they are good at certain things and bad at others and, further to this, they then avoid the things they believe they are bad at and seek opportunities to show the world how great they are by only focussing on the things they are good at. Therer is a problem in this and the easiest way of explaining it is to use a line from the original draft of C.S. Lewis's Alice in Wonderland where the Mad Hatter responded to Alices self–depracating coments by telling her; "If all you ever do is all youv'e ever done, then all you'll ever get is all you've ever got."

Give Yourself Permission To Get It Wrong

If we are to become confident social citizens then we need to give ourself permission to try new things in the knowledge that we may probably not get it righ first time, in fact why not try some Old Things that you were bad at the first time around and see where repeated endeavour gets you?


Another major factor in increaasing lack of confidence or self–belief is that we are constantly defining events and even ourselves in ways that feed into our belief that we are useless. If you buy into the belief that there is such a thing as "success" (perfect outcomes) then, by defaul, there must be something called "Failure". Why would anyone set out to try something that they are likely to fail at?

The starting blocks for increasing confidence and self–belief is to redefine such events a way that enables us to at least try something out, even if we are apprehensive about it in the first place.