Image via WikipediaConfidence is learned!
From the day we are born our family, friends and the environment contribute to the development of our confidence. But they can also contribute to our lack of confidence.
Day by day throughout our lives, we receive a barrage of messages. This can encourage or erode our ability to develop confidence.
Most parents want only the very best for their children. But if they, themselves, do not have the right skills how could they know how to encourage confidence in their child.
If our parents lack confidence, we may become shy and lacking in confidence. If parents are cold and distant we may grow up lacking confidence. Or perhaps they found it difficult to praise or they were constantly criticizing that in turn can lead us to have a poor self image.
With brothers and sisters, other family members and teachers, if we feel or are treated as different, or we find it difficult to fit in, lack of confidence may result.
Often those who contribute to our lack of confidence have little or no understanding of the effect they have upon us. They may mean us well. But their unthinking remarks can have a very long lasting effect.
Bullying and feeling ‘other’ and outside the group as a result of poverty, disability, ethnicity, and religion, lack of education or physical appearance can contribute to a lack of confidence.
What started in childhood can be further reinforced by life events, for example, long term illness or acquired disability, long term unemployment, family difficulties or domestic violence. For someone who has little support and/or has not learned coping skills, events of this kind can lead to or further destroy confidence.
Luckily all is not lost.
Working with a coach or therapist can help. With time and support we can find that confidence we lack. But it can help to understand where that lack of confidence came from in the first place.