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Typical behaviours of people with low self confidence


This blog is based on examples that I have come across both in the therapy room and generally in conversation.

These things are incredibly common in people who have low self-confidence and I always find it such a shame.

With a little work, even the people who do the following can learn to be confident.

Overly critical of themselves...

We all know these people, even if you think something they have done is great, they will find negatives or criticisms of their performance.

This can often be accompanied by what we call maximising and minimising where a person will minimise their own positives or skills and maximise others. This gives them a very skewed view of the world where everyone around them becomes much better by comparison.

Self-destructive behaviours

There are a number of reasons why someone with low confidence will engage in behaviours such as excessive eating or drinking, drug taking or excessive risk taking. Lacking in self-confidence is a big reason why people do this.

Often people with low confidence don’t feel that they deserve to be healthy/happy or successful and so will take steps to make sure that they sabotage any chance of achieving those things.

Undervaluing capabilities...

I hear this loads, people often say "oh, there's no way I could do that". If they gave it a go they would probably surprise themselves or if they didn't then they could probably learn!

Their default position is that there is no point in giving things a go when it is very likely that they will go wrong anyway.

Sometimes these people are forced to give something a go that they wouldn’t have tried and actually surprise themselves by succeeding. However, with low self-confidence, these people end up seeing it as luck and then don’t want to try again.

Worrying about past failures...

Somehow, people manage to apply this to most situations. I worked for a company for a while who partnered with the great run series so they were trying to encourage their staff to get involved.

This was a quote that made me cringe the most: "There's no point me getting involved, last time I ran I only managed a few hundred meters before I had to stop"

Shame!!! also that's pretty much where I started my marathon training 

Preoccupation with negative outcomes...

Check back to my cognitive distortions blog because this links well to the "what if" question. In this case a person may be creating problems rather than solutions and will be seemingly convinced that whatever they need to do will never work.

These people can be exceptionally hard to work with, especially if you are trying to collaborate with them.

Why is this bad?

Low self-confidence can be incredibly limiting. This often leads to a self-fulfilling prophesy where a person thinks the worst and on occasion, drives the worst thing to happen.

People with low self-confidence can be very difficult to be around as they often don't like to do new things or meet new people. It can be very sad for me when someone comes to see me and they have got to the point where they have very few friends and lack the confidence required to connect with existing friends or find new ones.

What can you do?

if you identified with the behaviours above then do find a way to work on your self-confidence. There are many suggestions on this site alone that could help you.

People can learn to be confident, even if they have never felt confident in their lives it is still possible.

Something you can try is to challenge any of the above behaviours and try and consider alternatives.

The online anxiety 2 confidence course is also a great option as one of the modules is about improving confidence, it also covers how to manage negative thoughts and behaviours like those in this blog.

Finally you can book a hypnotherapy session with me! Sessions can be done through video call or in my clinic in Andover, Hampshire UK. Book a free phone consultation here and we can have a chat about how I can help you.



Discover which common negative thinking patterns you have.

The way we think has a huge impact on our mental health. If you are looking to overcome your anxiety or just improve your mental health then first you need to know what thoughts are making things worse.

This download gives you a list of the most common ways we think negatively. All you need to do is see which ones you do most.

Also, keep an eye on your emails! I will be sending you a really useful video that goes with this exercise.