What Are the Causes of Low Self-Confidence?
Low levels of self-confidence can leave you feeling ineffective in many areas of your life. Your career, family, love relationships and friendship may suffer if you have low self-confidence.
According to author Robert Anthony in his book, “The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self Confidence,” low self-confidence can cause you to look to others for happiness instead of looking to yourself and relying on your own strengths and abilities.
Your upbringing can have a dramatic impact on your level of self-confidence. For example, if your parents didn’t praise you when you performed well in school or other activities, you may have low self-esteem and little confidence in your own abilities.
In more extreme cases, your parents may have been indifferent to you, not reacting positively or negatively to anything you did or accomplished. On the other hand, some parents set their expectation levels too high, and if you were unable to live up to their expectations, you could be left with a feeling of being inadequate or incompetent, which can persist into adulthood.
Other parental causes of low self-confidence include physical, mental and emotional abuse. According to author Anthony, for whatever reasons, you may have inherited a set of self-defeating concepts, beliefs and values from your parents that became permanently ingrained into your psyche.
As you were growing up, your relationships with others may have produced a sense of low self-confidence that continues to persist today. For example, if you had a sensitive nature and were teased or bullied by other children in school, you may develop beliefs that you were somehow deserving of this behavior.
Your performance in school also has an impact on your self-confidence. According to Anthony, negative comments from teachers, performance on IQ and other standardized tests and overall scholastic performance may have left you with feelings of inadequacy, inability and overall low self-confidence.
As an adult, your relationships with friends and romantic partners can also contribute to the persistence of low self-confidence. Additionally, abuse in romantic relationships, friendships or work relationships can leave you feeling powerless or victimized and cause low self-confidence levels.
Societal pressures to appear a certain way, have a certain lifestyle or play a certain role may cause you to experience low self-confidence. For example, you may struggle with your weight or other issues related to your appearance throughout your entire life in an effort to conform to certain societal standards.
According to Help Guide, societal expectations for beauty, youth and thinness are also a major contributing factor to low self-esteem and depression, and particularly depression in women.