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Why do I lack self-confidence?

Updated on July 12, 2011


I believe it is estimated that more than 90% of the people in America suffer from a low self-esteem and self-confidence. Perhaps, you are one of them. Perhaps, you are yearning for self-identity and asking yourself "Why do I lack self-confidence?" I know how you feel. I've been there and often still feel that. This hub covers some of the reasons you may lack self-confidence and offers a couple tips to regaining self-confidence.

Reasons for Low Self-confidence

In my personal experience, reasons for low self-confidence can come from a number of sources:

Lack of approval

The first source of a lack of self-confidence could be a lack of a sense of approval from those around you. Perhaps, you had parents who set impossible standards which you could not meet and accordingly never affirmed their love for you apart from your performance. Or maybe you were a late bloomer and athletically or academically did not live up to early expectations or couldn't compete with your peers on siblings on a numbr of different levels.

Lack of support

A second source of low self-confidence is a lack of support. This of course is related to the first source. A person who lacks the support network of friends and family can feel like they don't belong and are not worthy of success in life. The lack of meaningful relationships leads to low self-esteem and low self-worth.

Lack of mastery

A third source of low self-confidence could be a lack of mastery in one or two skill areas. In my case, I could be referred to according to that old adage, "Jack of all trades; master at none." While I can lend a helping hand in a number of different areas, I really don't have the mastery levels to be fully confident in any of them. This lack of mastery plays havoc with my self-esteem and self-image.

Lack of focus

Related to a lack of mastery is a lack of focus. A lack of focus or impatience can also lead to low self-confidence. In my experience, the most successful people I've witnessed are those who focus on one or two competencies and say "no" to the rest. When you are an inch deep and a mile wide, it is difficult to feel confident which leads to low self-esteem.

Lack of purpose

Another source that could lead to a lack of self-confidence is a lack of purpose. The good book says "for lack of a vision the people perish." We need a reason to live; a reason to push forward; a purpose bigger than ourselves to remain engaged and motivated.

Addiction to Entertainment Arts

The final source I want to mention is entertainment arts including TV, movies, and video games. Entertainment can be fascinating, fun, even captivating. However, it is a vicarious experience which can eat away time and exact desire and strength from personal accomplishments. In a sense, you feel like you accomplished something by living out a fantasy through the hero or heroine. However, when the thrill wears off, you realize you have accomplished nothing and only wasted a lot of time. This feeling can wear down and wear away self-confidence.


Regaining Self-confidence

Even as you may feel overwhelmed by your lack of self-confidence, the good news is today is a new day and you can regain your stride. Here are few ideas for establishing a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.

Strengthen your relationships

The first idea is to strengthen your relationships. Chances are you will need to initiate and patiently cultivate the relationship which may be difficult for you but well-worth the effort. As you strengthen your relationships, you will gain a sense of belonging which will add to your self-confidence. If you do not have any relationships, join a church, local club or service committee and/or get involved in a service project or help out at a school in your community. Through these activities you can rub shoulders with others, get to know them over time, and make friends.

Focus your energies

Secondly, focus your energy. Take a job which is a good skill-personality fit and gain mastery in that job. Keep at it and become an expert in the field. As you become an expert in the field you will gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. This will strengthen your self-esteem and self-worth.

Just say "No" to time consuming distractions

Thirdly, say "no" to time consuming distractions. Cut down the time you spend watching TV and paying homage to the entertainment arts. This does not mean never go to concerts or other live events. It just means don't live your dreams vicariously through fictional or non-fictional characters. Live your own life and you will gain self-confidence.

Realize you exist for a purpose

Probably the greatest builder of self-confidence is the realization that you exist for a purpose. Purpose provides the motivation to be all you can be in this life. As a Christian, I believe God has made every man, woman, and child on the planet to fulfill a unique purpose in this world. I confess I have not always lived according to that realization. Nonetheless, you are a mastepiece of God's own hand and God has a unique place for you in this world. When a person really gets ahold of this idea, when it truly sinks in, then they gain a deep sense of self-confidence (not arrogance).


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    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 6 years ago from Corona, California

      lorlie6, thank you for sharing with me. I am excited that you found this hub helpful. I pray the best for you.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      ecoggins, this is quite an inspiring hub which seems to speak to me alone. ;) At the age of 54, I still struggle with self-confidence issues and find your writing incredibly soul-soothing.

      Thank you so much.

    • ecoggins profile image

      ecoggins 6 years ago from Corona, California

      c-bless, Thank you for your encouragement. Fergie's comment seems rather common. I once heard that Madonna worries more about the one person in the room who does not like her than the 99 in the room who adore her. I pray the best to you in everything.

    • profile image

      c-bless 6 years ago

      I recall seeing a recent television episode of Sarah, Duchess of York, being told that she's addicted to approval. She later wondered how to get self-esteem. Your article was a good read with great insights and pointers so I voted "up" and "useful". Thank you for sharing.