Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can be caused by a number of things. One of the big myths of self-confidence is that to fix low self-confidence and self-esteem, you have only to look inside yourself. Yes, there are internal things that cause low self-esteem, there are also external factors that can contribute to it and these don’t always get the attention they deserve.
Instead of looking inside for all the reasons you’re not more confident or successful, let’s look at the space you live in. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time thinking about your answers.
Are you settling for living small?
Sometimes we feel small because we’re living small. This doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and go backpacking through Europe right now or that every moment of your life has to be an epic adventure.
For many people with low self-esteem, it’s easy to get into a rut. You start believing that you can’t do better and so you stop trying. When this happens you create a self-fulfilling prophecy without realizing it.
Take a look at your life right now. What limitations have you accepted without challenging them? In what areas of your life have you settled for “good enough”?
Do your friends and family support you?
We looked at this briefly in Part 2 of the series. We are deeply influenced by the people we spend time with. This can be a good thing if you’re spending time with positive people. But if your friends and family are unkind or negative, that same attitude can rub off on you.
Ask yourself how you’d feel if you didn’t speak to a certain friend or family member for a week. Would you feel relieved at the thought of missing Uncle Joe’s rants about the job he hates? Would you feel sad if you missed that call from your sister who helps you see the best in the world?
If there’s someone negative in your life, you don’t have to cut them out completely. But do look for ways to limit your time together and don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation if things take a negative turn.
Are you trying new things?
Often a lack of confidence and self-esteem can be caused by spending too much time in your comfort zone. You get stuck in a routine and do the same things in the same way every single day. You don’t change things up. You don’t challenge yourself to experience new things and you don’t go beyond what’s safe and comfortable. This can cause you to stop growing as a person.
When you go outside your normal and look for new experience, you open yourself up. You discover new ways to do things. You find solutions that you wouldn’t have come up with any other way. You learn more about yourself and the world around you.
You can find new experiences into your life just by looking for opportunities outside of your comfort zone. Try a different type of cuisine. Drive a different route to work. Volunteer at an organization that you wouldn’t typically support. Take a weekend road trip and see where you end up.
Your environment shapes your self-confidence, so don’t be afraid to look around at your life and make some changes. Surround yourself with people and experiences that build up your self-esteem and make you happy.
NOTE: This is Part 3 of a 5-part series on believing in yourself and building self-confidence.
Part 1 – Believing In Yourself – The First Step To Building More Confidence
Part 2 – Believing in Yourself – What Stops You?
Part 3 – Believing in Yourself – How Does Your Outer World Affect Your Self-Esteem? (You are here)
Part 4 – Believing In Yourself – How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk
Part 5 – Believing In Yourself – Creating a Future You Can Believe In