Ask Jigsaw: Loss of confidence
Ask Jigsaw: Loss of confidence
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
I’ve always been an anxious person but over the past year I have noticed myself it has gotten worse due to certain experiences. I never had a lot of confidence in myself and this is showing a lot more now and family and friends have said it to me which makes me break down each time.
Over the past few number of months my confidence has declined hugely both as a person but also confidence with my body image as comments have been passed. The constant thoughts of ‘I’m worthless and useless’ run through my mind nearly everyday when I look at myself.
Since I was younger I always put on a brave face and always had a smile on my face just to meet the expectations and perceptions that people had of me, but I’ve come to a point now where I cannot physical do it anymore, it was all to please other people!
Overthinking is another thing my mind is constantly going at 100 miles an hour. I always wanted to make an appointment and to speak about this in person but every time I do talk about or even think about it I completely break down. I just want to try and fix this because it has affected relationships and aspects of life hugely as I am isolating myself from the people I love but unfortunately I just don’t know how so, it would be great if you could give me some advice and ways I could overcome this!
It sounds like there’s been a lot going on under the surface and it’s become too much to keep in anymore. While it can be hard to hear from other people that they’ve noticed you don’t seem as confident, they must really care about you and want to see you feel more comfortable in yourself.
Body image and anxiety
When we’re not happy in our bodies, this can distort the way we think and affect our emotions. This can cause anxiety which feels hard to manage sometimes. Overthinking is also common with anxiety, where you might find yourself constantly going to the worst-case scenario, making assumptions or over generalising. The app Mindshift can help you to better understand these thoughts and give you tools for how to deal with them in the moment.
While “people pleasing” was a coping style that worked for you before, it’s great that you’ve recognised you want to improve how you’re coping. That time of change or transition can feel really uncertain because our previous coping mechanisms aren’t serving us but we’re not sure of what else we could be doing, so here are some suggestions to try out:
- Changing your internal dialogue
We all have an inner critic that can keep confidence down. Become aware of those negative thoughts and try to challenge them. If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.
- Forgive mistakes
Regrets can keep us stuck in the past and cause worry about the future. No one is ever all good or all bad, everyone makes mistakes and that’s okay! All you can do is accept them, learn, and move on.
- Set realistic expectations
Sometimes we strive for perfection, and that’s just not possible. Having small, achievable SMART goals will help keep you motivated and build confidence.
- Avoid comparison
Everyone is different and with different strengths. Unfollow anyone on social media that you may compare yourself too, or feel worse after looking at.
Constant worry can zap your energy and makes it hard to spend time with others. This can result in feeling isolated. But it’s so important to talk about what’s going on for you, especially if it’s been going on for a while.
Deciding to get support with your mental health can bring up many feelings. You might feel nervous, worried, vulnerable or excited. And that’s okay! If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the moment and are unable to communicate what’s going on for you, it might be helpful to try and write it out first. Try a journal for yourself or a letter to give to someone in your support system.
You’ve had the courage to take this first step on the journey to getting support, so trust that you can take the next step of talking to someone to get the help you deserve.
Conor, Jigsaw Clinician