As adults and professionals, being self-confident already goes beyond possessing the ideal physical characteristics. While their outer appearances still matter, especially in certain careers, it was found that the actual causes of low self-confidence in young professionals are way deeper than their fears about not being attractive enough.
If you also suffer from low self-confidence, it is important to know that it isn’t your fault, because the factors that have caused it aren’t always under your control. Hence, let’s find out what could be the culprits behind your dilemma and how they affect your life and career.
Causes of Low Self-confidence
1. Genetic Factors and Temperament
As per studies, our genetic makeup affects the amount of certain confidence boosters in our brain. A neurotransmitter called serotonin, which is associated with happiness, can be restrained by certain genetic variations, so if you tend to feel blue often, it could be your genes at work.
The case is similar with our temperament. If you’re naturally more hesitant and vigilant, especially when you’re exposed to situations filled with uncertainty, you may experience a “behavioral inhibition,” prompting you to run away from uncomfortable situations.
Although behavioral inhibition can be helpful, because it keeps you from being impulsive, it can become a concern when it’s already dwindling your self-confidence, hindering you from taking great opportunities that require you to go out of your comfort zone.
2. Life Experiences
Unpleasant life experiences such as being bullied, traumatized, or having a strained relationship with your parents are also major causes of reduced self-confidence. If you’ve been bullied in the past because of your looks, intellectual abilities, or other areas of your life, it may lead you to believe that you truly have inadequacies, and so you make up for them by either underestimating yourself or being a perfectionist.
Meanwhile, traumas stemming from abuse may impact the way to see our self-worth. Memories of the harsh experience can trigger feelings of torment, preventing us from feeling good about ourselves. This abuse can also come from our parents, whose words, both good and bad, tend to affect us until adulthood. If you’ve been constantly belittled by your own parents, you may find yourself often resorting to negative self-talk, which ruins any self-confidence you’ve built.
3. The Media
The media tends to convince us that we’re lacking. They release ads showing what’s “wrong” with our faces or bodies, then promise a “cure” in the form of their products.
By knowing the difference between what’s actually bad in our lifestyles and what’s not, we can slowly build up our self-confidence, and realize that despite the little changes we need to make in our lives, we’re still beautiful and enough just the way we are. For example, going to your trusted dentist doesn’t mean that you’re unattractive unless you got your teeth fixed. It simply means that you value your oral health, because you love yourself, and you believe in the good long-term effects of a clean and well-aligned set of teeth.
The Impact of Low Self-confidence on Our Lives and Careers
Low self-confidence impedes us from reaching our full potential, because it tells us that it’s safer to stay within our shells, aka comfort zones. It rejects the idea of taking risks and failure, both of which are inevitable in life and work. As a result, we shy away from good opportunities, such as a higher job position, leaving a toxic work environment, or taking new, more challenging work assignments.
But you are not a hopeless case. We can actually rewire our brains to make it more accepting of mistakes, risks, and failure. By going easy on ourselves and seeking professional help when necessary, we can develop our self-confidence and finally break free from everything that holds us back from being the best versions of ourselves.