Although two very different conditions they appear together here as the root causes for both are similar. Also, the resolution i use for self-confidence and self-esteem is the same. Let’s take a look at each and see how they differ to identify which is which. It is worth noting it is possible to suffer one without the other or in some cases suffer both.
Self-confidence is linked to how you feel about your abilities to achieve a goal. It can be seen as having courage to believe in yourself and act upon your beliefs. It is when you value yourself, even if you make mistakes and regardless of the work you do. That you feel good about yourself, worthy, even though you may have imperfections. To have the courage to stand up for yourself and be assertive. Know that you are worthy of the respect of others and their friendships.
Self-confidence is about having a positive outlook on one’s self. About having the confidence to do something regardless of the outcome. The confidence to try juggling, but knowing it doesn’t matter if you drop every ball.
Lack of self-confidence.
Lack of self-confidence manifests itself as, self-doubt, unworthiness, inferior to others, apathy, loss of enjoyment, anxiety. The anxiety it creates is because we have a conflict in our psyche. We consciously want to do something and partake, but find a part of us holding us back.
Self-confidence is genuinely feeling positive about yourself whilst accepting that you have faults and weakness. Someone with Self-confidence will start a new job knowing that they won’t be immediately good at it. That they will learn over time and get better. Self-confidence is not linked with being good at something. It is linked to the fact you will try regardless.
Self-esteem is one’s own subjective evaluation of their own worth. It is your opinion of yourself. Not how well you can do something, but how you rate yourself as a person. Someone with high self-esteem will treat themselves with respect and be positive in who they are.
The belief you have about yourself determines who you are, what you can do and what you can become. Having low self-esteem can cause you to live a very restricted, unhappy life.
People that have low self-esteem have an increased chance of depression and anxiety. When someone suffers low self-esteem they don’t have a solid foundation to deal with what life may throw at them. It can leave them feeling anxious, upset or depressed.
We can be self-confident in some aspect of our lives and less in another. We may be good on drums but, not so on guitar. But having self-confidence as whole means this doesn’t matter. But Self-esteem is more of a constant across whatever we do. If we feel a failure, we may connect that to whatever it is we find ourselves doing. Even if we are good on the drums and guitar, subconsciously we believe we are still not good enough. You may have seen this in yourself or others where there is a need to self-sabotage.
Why do we suffer these conditions?
At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned that they both shared the same root cause. Here I will explain what that is.
When working using analytical therapy, we are able to find out the actual causes of a person’s presenting problem. Often, people will start therapy and tell me they know exactly why they are like they are. Sometimes they are close, but more often than not are wrong. This is because they have a conscious idea of what is the reason, but the actual reason is hidden in the subconscious. Regression techniques employed via hypnotherapy have a knack of uncovering and removing these root causes. More of this will be discussed later on. But, for now, let’s look at why we can suffer these symptoms.
Cumulative trauma is when there is a repetition of a similar negative event. As a one off single event, it would not have caused any ill effect to the person. But, when it is repeated numerous times it can be taken on board and become a response pattern. Cumulative events are not normally repressed, although they may appear out of reach of conscious awareness. This is because they have become ‘normal’ and part of the client’s belief system.
Cumulative trauma is divided into two parts
If we imagine ourselves as a top trump card. I am sure you know what they are. Cards that have a score against traits. You are 5 years old and against confidence/esteem you have 100 out of 100. As you experience either of the above trauma types that number starts to decrease. It might not for the first few times, but after a while it starts to take on board the suggestions and this number falls. Once you get out of childhood these numbers may have dropped to 30.
A child is around a father that never got any breaks. He under achieved throughout his life, so that is the way he see life. As a child you are eager to do things. But, rather than having a father that praises you every time you try he constantly puts you down. Regardless if you succeed or not. Whatever you accomplish he tells you it is a waste of time and it is rubbish. The first few times you hear this, you may just feel naturally upset. But, after many times of hearing the same thing you consciously switch off. Unfortunately your subconscious didn’t stop listening. It now has a belief that whatever you do is a waste of time and not worth doing. Your top trump card now shows 30 out of 100 for confidence.
Because these things happen over and over the child becomes brainwashed and doesn’t even realise there is anything amiss with their belief system. They just know that when they attempt to do something there is a likely hood of being criticised for trying. So at this point, they stop doing things. Having confidence is having the assurance to try something. This is assurance has been removed.
As mentioned, self-esteem is how you look at your own self-worth. Very similar to the previous example in how your esteem can be undone. Mum is now 40 and jealous of her pretty daughter. Whenever the child does her makeup, or attempts to look pretty the mum shoots her down. She may make comments about her weight, appearance, hair, etc. This child grows up having issue with their appearance, weight….. Even though they are beautiful and a perfect weight. The subconscious took on board the suggestions from the mum and now the child is using them for the rest of their lives. Again their top trump card that was at 100 is now drastically decreased so self-esteem is now an issue.
Both confidence and esteem are easily hurt if you are bought up with these traumas. Just because you placed in these traumas doesn’t actually mean you had a sad and unhappy childhood though. In regression, I see many occasions where a parent did what they believed to be best. They just didn’t realise the implications.
Pickup bad habits
A recent client I worked on had a very anxious mother. The mother would continually point out what could go wrong to try and make the child avoid any pitfalls. The child though started to believe that there was danger behind every door though so grew up to be an adult with very low self-confidence. The mother was just trying her best to keep her son safe. But without realising installed a belief that trouble is just around the corner.
My dad taught me to be streetwise. He gave me one or two hints on how to look after yourself when out about. Don’t walk down dark alleys, avoid walking through certain areas on your one. If in doubt cross the road to avoid a potentially dangerous liaison. I still live by these rules. They make sense to me but, they don’t overwhelm me to the point I don’t leave the house. They just kick in when they need to.
The client with the anxious mother would state all manner of things that could go wrong when you step out of the house. Be careful of groups of other youngsters, your bike might get stolen, you might get mugged, etc. It became over powering to the child. He started to believe that almost everything could be dangerous. His self-confidence was dented and his adult life was severely impacted.
I will repeat this part again as it can’t be understated. It doesn’t mean you have to experience a bad childhood to suffer from either condition. It just means that you were repeatedly exposed to something that caused your psyche to take on an incorrect belief.
My favourite methodology for treating confidence/esteem issues is hypnoanalysis. Here is a link to another blog that I wrote specifically about analysis. In a nut shell Hypnoanalysis allows regression to those moments that are defining your current reactions. When you return to them you are able to let them go as they are out of date beliefs. You may see them as your parent’s truths and not yours. Or you simply see that they were there with good faith to protect you, but you don’t need them anyone. Once the rule is removed your top trump card stats will rise as does your confidence/esteem
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