Low self-esteem or a lack of confidence is becoming a major problem in our society. Where it was found that the younger generation, which are students have a 19.4% prevalence. This means that 1 out of 5 students have low self-esteem. But it also seems that the lack of self-confidence is linked to other issues. In this article, we are going to answer if anxiety is a lack of confidence.
The lack of confidence can cause anxiety in an individual. There is a strong link between the two that needs to be addressed in order to increase the self-esteem of a person. Anxiety affects confidence because people with anxiety always have some sort of an inner voice that directly targets their confidence.
But what mechanisms of action does anxiety do to confidence. Moreover, does the lack of confidence lead to anxiety? What is their relationship and how can we build up confidence. We will answer them all in this article.
Is Anxiety a Lack of Confidence?
Anxiety is a lack of confidence. This is because one of the characteristics of anxiety is inner voice criticism. This inner voice directly affects the person’s confidence because it will always feed negative emotions to the person. This causes them to question their capabilities as an individual.
The worse thing about anxiety is people will only see the negative things in life. For example, if they have a group of people and a single person hates them, they will start to focus on the person that hates them.
Thus, they will start thinking that everyone hates them because of that single person.
The thing is that is not the case. They just focused on the single person that hates them which became a reason for them to think that everyone hates him or her.
Further down the road and they will start asking their social skills and if they are just unlovable, making them question their self worth.
The constant self questioning becomes a bigger problem the longer they believe in it.
The criticism will start to spread not just to their social life in this example to what they think of others, then themselves then ultimately their self-esteem and confidence.
If you are interested in knowing tips in order to not just improve confidence but also social skills, I have 25 tips in this article: 25 Tips to Improve Your Social Skills and Confidence
But we will discuss some effective anxiety specific tips later on in this article.
But how does anxiety affect confidence?
How does Anxiety Affect Confidence?
Anxiety affects confidence. One of the key things anxiety does is to slowly remove a person’s confidence within themselves. This comes from an overactive brain thinking a lot of negative things about themselves and rejects any positive things they have.
The problem here is that the overactive brain always feeds negative information. This can be a problem because it can mask the positive things a person might have,
This can come like a sort of comparison with their colleagues. Some examples of the mind chatters are: “Why is that person having the best time of their lives and I am just in my bedroom lying in bed?”
Another thing to worry about here is that we often forget about what we have once anxiety and comparison strikes.
Things such as: “He already bought a house at age 23 .”
The problem here is that we often forget what we have because our mind is filled up with negative thinking. Things such as a good family, a stable job, a car or whatever you might have that you don’t care about.
As some people say, you only see the importance of things once it is gone. Anxiety magnifies this effect on people.
Because all they think about are the negative things, they can start questioning their self worth. This leads to low self-esteem and ultimately losing their confidence within themselves.
From there, it becomes a downward spiral.
The relationship between confidence and anxiety is that they bring each other down like a downward spiral. This means that overthinking from anxiety causes us to lower our self-confidence. Furthermore, lower confidence causes more anxiety and the cycle continues.
Now that we know that the reduction of self confidence can destroy anxiety, the next question is will the increase of self confidence help?
Does self-confidence help with anxiety?
Self-confidence helps in anxiety because low self-confidence is one of the hallmarks of anxiety. By building up a person’s confidence or their belief in themselves, they can start battling their anxiety leading to a better, happier, and more meaningful lives.
While the trend of losing self-confidence is having worse anxiety attacks, uplifting a person’s confidence reduces anxiety.
This can happen by building good habits that boost our health. Things such as a good diet, exercise, and overall positive thinking.
This means that we have to build positive habits and learn how to neglect the negative chatters. Learn when to disregard the chatters and when to accept them.
There are simple steps that you can start immediately that will be discussed below for you to increase your self-confidence. It is a good place to start improving yourself.
How can we build up our confidence and control anxiety?
Here are some easy tips for you to follow when you are controlling anxiety.
1. Reduce Social Media Usage
Social Media is the modern cause of comparison. The thing about this is that you can compare yourself with everyone.
Remember that people post their best accomplishments in social media, in short the best days of their lives.
You can never compare the best days of people’s lives to your life in general. That is just not fair.
I have an article where I had a social media detox, it is a good read for you. Also, everything you need to know about social media detox is there: 1 week Social Media Detox
2. Reduce Caffeine Intake
One of the main cause of low self esteem is the racing mind from anxiety.
The relationship between caffeine intake and anxiety has been widely accepted and numerous people have reduced their anxiety once they quit coffee.
You maybe one of them. You could do one of the three things.
- One is to quit coffee/Tea permanently.
- Two is to reduce your caffeine intake.
- Three decaf coffee and tea aren’t that bad.
I took the decaf route.
3. Remove and Replace the Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones
I like to use the THINK model whenever you have a negative thought. It was originally made for online bullying but it also works well in negative thinking.
Well the inner mind is also a bully I suppose.
Whenever you have a thought, ask these first. If one of them fails, then remove the thought immediately
- T – is it True?
- H – is it Helpful?
- I – Is it Inspiring?
- N – Is it Necessary?
- K = Is it Kind?
Think of these when you had a negative thought. Once it fails one of the criteria, then you know that you are dealing with something negative.
4. Learn to Question Your Inner Thinking
Learning the habit of questioning your inner thinking is a good way to increase your confidence.
This is the application of the THINK Model discussed. Always question your inner thinking using the model and you will find that it is really effective.
5. Mindfulness is a Good Practice to Reduce Inner Voice
Some people chose to practice mindfulness or being present.
This comes from meditation which was found to reduce inner voice. In fact, some meditators attribute the mental benefits of mindfulness to the reduction of their inner judgment.
This is because our inner voice likes to give criticisms.
6. Learn to Motivate Yourself
Instead of listening to sad songs or videos, how about switching to happy music and motivational videos?
Your environment has a big impact in your thinking. Replacing your environment with something motivational can instantly boost a person’s confidence.
7. Learn to Cheer Yourself Up
There will be times where you will have no one to ask for help. You should slowly learn to be independent and to cheer yourself up.
Sometimes, life just throws a lot to us which we think we can’t handle. The truth is we can handle them.
While all of the tips in this article are good for boosting your self confidence, without the habit of learning to self-motivate or to cheer yourself up, you won’t see permanent results.
For your improvement to be really permanent, you need to learn how to cheer yourself up. It might not be at the start, but sooner down the road I hope you would.
8. Learn to Forgive
Forgive yourself for being harsh. For telling that you are not enough, or you are the worse person in your chosen career.
The first step towards self-improvement is to forgive yourself. This way, you can have proper harmony with each other, helping each other out to be better.
In the end, you will have only yourself to begin with. You are the only one that you can trust 100%. Befriend yourself.
It might sound weird but believe me that it works.
9. Remember that You are Not Alone in This
Remember that you might think that you are long in this. But that is not true at all. There are lots of helpful communities online that can support you in this journey.
There are also lots of qualified professionals to deal with it scientifically.
Furthermore, there are lots of information online which you can use to help yourself such as this website.
For 25 more tips in improving not just your confidence but also social skills, check out this article: 25 Tips to Improve Your Social Skills and Confidence
1. Nguyen, Dat Tan et al. “Low Self-Esteem and Its Association With Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation in Vietnamese Secondary School Students: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Frontiers in psychiatry vol. 10 698. 27 Sep. 2019, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00698