“I just want to feel more confident” is a request I’ve heard from countless clients over the years. They’ve tried positive thinking, affirmations, and “faking it ’til [they] make it” (spoiler alert: they didn’t “make it”). Yet here they are, in my office (or these days, on my computer screen), frustrated that they haven’t achieved the confidence they’ve been told they ought to have.
Their “low self-confidence” can manifest as social anxiety, performance anxiety, test anxiety, generalized anxiety, perfectionism, passivity and passive-aggressiveness, eating disorders and negative body image, depression, and addiction. It can create challenges in our relationships (insecurity, continued reassurance-seeking, poor communication), keep us from ever getting into a relationship, and hold us back from career success (for example, not apply for positions we believe we’re “not good enough” for, underselling ourselves to our peers and superiors, or experiencing crippling anxiety in interviews and meetings).