Much of the time, when an anxiety client comes into the clinic, I soon discover that their anxiety stems from a feeling of low confidence. In order to understand that, you need to be clear on what anxiety is, and on what confidence is.
The symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person, but whatever they are, they are the result of the person feeling overwhelmed. It is as if the unconscious mind is saying “This is too much and I am now malfunctioning”, a bit like a computer crashing. This feeling of overwhelm carries with is a sense of danger, like a red alert. You might get racing thoughts or panic attacks. You might develop phobias or other expectations of things going wrong.
Confidence is essentially about believing in yourself, your ability to do something, and to be someone. Self-esteem is more about how you value yourself as a person but for simplicity’s sake, let’s add that to the mix. So if you believe in yourself and you value yourself, you can be said to be confident. Some people have low confidence in just one area in their lives, while others have a generalised version.
Which Comes First?
There are cases of anxiety which have little to do with confidence at first, but then the anxiety causes low confidence. An example might be where a person suffers emotional trauma which creates anxiety, such as a car accident that affects your ability to drive confidently, later on.
So often, however, the anxiety will be formed as a result of a loss of self esteem. Someone who felt not as good as their sibling, when they were growing up, could develop low confidence, or a ‘not good enough’ feeling. That feeling could create anxiety with regards to proving themselves in the world, at work or in relationships for example. It could also create a generalised anxiety, or any number of issues.
What Does Low Confidence Look Like?
Often I will ask my client to identify the key area they would like to work on – what feels the most pressing. Is it the weight issue, the drinking habit, the low confidence, the anxiety, the depression and so on? By identifying the key issue, we can generally resolve many if not all of the others. As you can see above, anxiety and confidence are interrelated, and so are many other conditions. Because of this, low confidence can look like a number of things, including:
- weight issues
- drinking problem
- smoking addiction
- anger issues
- phobias – various
- insomnia and sleep issues
- low motivation
- feeling stuck
- and more
Is Low Confidence Behind Your Problem?
Possibly. Or it may be a result of your problem. Ask yourself this… If you felt like you were good enough, that you mattered, were capable, felt listened to, secure in yourself, could trust yourself, or similar, would you still have this problem? If your answer is NO, then you could probably use some assistance with your confidence and self-worth. Horizons Clinical Hypnotherapy Noosa.