Mental Health

Recovering From a Loss of Confidence

A person’s confidence and self-esteem can be fragile and easily lost.  A traumatic event can cause a damaging blow and sudden loss of both.  Recovering from a loss of confidence isn’t easy so how can it be regained?

Your confidence levels may fluctuate but there are ways to cope.

How Confidence Can Disappear

In many cases a recent trauma or negative event, or something more long-term like dysthymia could be behind this issue.

Confidence can disappear after an embarrassing or difficult moment.  For example, your self-esteem can diminish if a presentation at work is mocked and ridiculed by coworkers.  Your confidence can be hurt by unkind words and laughter.

Another common cause of low confidence is arguments.  Fights with your significant other or family members can make you feel unsure and unhappy about yourself.  They can lead to doubts about your abilities and skills.

Recovering From a Loss of Confidence

How the Loss Manifests Itself

The loss of confidence can appear differently for each individual.  You may react to it in several ways:

* Some people deal with a loss of confidence by freezing and not being able to make decisions.  They’re scared of making another mistake, so they avoid all decisions.

* Others deal with a loss of confidence by becoming defensive and argumentative.

* Another ineffective coping mechanism is to pretend nothing is wrong.

If you feel like your confidence has been shattered, try these strategies to restore it:

1.  Step back and evaluate.  Experts recommend stepping back and evaluating the situation in a calm manner.  It’s important to examine the situation without letting emotions take over.

* Why did the loss of confidence occur and how can you prevent the same issue from repeating itself?

* You may benefit from talking to a therapist or a good friend about the event and your loss of confidence.  Get an unbiased opinion, so you can start to see the patterns.

* Often, childhood issues are behind confidence losses.  There may be deep-rooted issues that need to be resolved.

Recovering From a Loss of Confidence

2.  Finish something else.  Finishing a task that has been left undone for a long time can boost confidence.

* Experts share that finishing a chore or work assignment can give an instant self-esteem boost.  This is caused by the brain realising that you can still accomplish great things.

* Find something on your to-do list that is easy to complete.

3.  Get help.  Sometimes it’s necessary to get outside help to deal with low self-esteem. Be honest about your situation and sudden loss of confidence.  You can’t receive help unless you’re open to it.

* Look for local therapy groups that deal with confidence issues.

* Consider going to a therapist and setting up weekly or monthly appointments.

* Find a close friend or family member who can serve as a confidante.

* Keep in mind that some people may need more help than others to regain their confidence.  Don’t be discouraged if your confidence doesn’t return right away.

Recovering From a Loss of Confidence

4. Review past accomplishments.  After a traumatic experience or embarrassing moment, it’s easy to think that you’re a failure.  However, remembering past accomplishments can serve as a reminder that you’ve achieved many impressive things.

* Go back and look at old rewards from school or college.

* Talk to your parents or siblings and ask them to share something constructive about your childhood.

* Go through your old photo albums or journals to remember happy moments.  Dig through your attic archives to unearth treasures from the past.

* Try to remember that you have made a positive impact on the world.

It’s normal for your confidence levels to vary over time.  Avoid letting a temporary situation turn into a permanent loss of confidence.  Actively pursue strategies that can bring back the self-esteem you’ve been missing.

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