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Are Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence Holding You Back?

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Have you ever had an idea that you thought would be great, only to stay silent and watch a disaster unfold? Perhaps you’ve been agreeable for so long that you feel unable to stand against something, even though it’s causing you distress. Now try this; close your eyes and think of the most successful person you know. How would they have dealt with your situation? Got that scenario clearly in your mind? Good. Now answer this without thinking; why didn’t you do that? 

Why didn’t you act in the way that person is acting in your mind?

Think about how the person handles the situation, and identify what they would do that’s different from you. Chances are that you see this person as confident and self-assured, qualities that you can’t see as well in yourself.

Confidence manifests in different ways in different people, so don’t think that just because you lean towards introversion that you’re lacking in some way. In fact, as William Shakespeare wrote in act 4 of Henry V, “The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.” Sometimes, the people who make the most noise have the least say. They act boisterously to hide the parts of their personality that they don’t like or to detract from their lack of substance. A popular phrase amongst Texans illustrates this even more perfectly; “The rooster may crow, but the hens deliver the goods.”

Being confident doesn’t always mean being loud or forceful, sometimes it’s enough to just know that you’re right. Take my friend for example; she didn’t correct the men who told her “Well, actually, I think you meant to say Cro Maga, not Krav Maga.” Nope, she just smiled, secure in the knowledge that they’re out in the world making fools of themselves when they talk, incorrectly, about an Israeli self-defence system.

“Well that’s all well and good, Alexis, but how do I improve my confidence? Reading the last four paragraphs explains the concept well enough, but how do I apply that to my life?”

Well fear not, dear friend, because I’m about to drop a knowledge bomb on you below:

1. Check the Facts

If ever you catch yourself doubting your abilities or reverting to negative beliefs, look for evidence and check the facts. If your low self-esteem is telling you that you never finish anything, list all of the things that you’ve never finished. Then list all the things that you have.

They don’t need to be big things, they can be as small as “I watched all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, even after everyone said not to bother with the last one.” It could be “I entered all of my expenses into QuickBooks and filed my tax return on time.” See? You can finish things, can’t you?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” – Michael Jordan

2. Prepare for the Worst

Got an impending task or engagement that’s filling you with dread? Why not let your imagination run riot and think up the worst possible outcomes? You can’t stop there though, you have to follow up by thinking of solutions should the worst arise. Chances are, the worst things you can conjure up have no possibility of happening, but anything that does crop up will seem minor compared to your catastrophizing, and you’ll handle them like a champ.

3. Be Your Own Cheerleader

If you feel in a slump and you want to hide on your couch, away from the world where it’s safe and familiar, try some positive affirmations. “Hosting a dinner party for ten people was really knackering, but my guests had a great night.” “I doubted that I would hit my deadline, but I actually submitted my work early.” “Coaching the kids’ football team can be so frustrating at times, but seeing their faces as they work together makes it all worth it.” List your achievements and be proud of them. Yay, you did the thing!

4. Be More Yes, but Also More No

Agree to things before you can talk yourself out of it and open yourself up to new experiences. Do things that terrify you and you’ll be amazed at what you can do. But don’t forget the power of NO. 

If you don’t want to work late finishing a group assignment on your own so that your colleagues can go out on the town, tell them so. If you don’t want to sit around gossiping behind someone’s back, walk away from the conversation or ask to change the subject. Follow the example of Phoebe from Friends; “I wish I could, but I don’t want to.”

“Put all excuses aside and remember this – you are capable.” – Zig Ziglar

5. Flip the Script

The language we use about ourselves, both internally and with other people, has a significant effect on the way we see ourselves. I’m going to paraphrase something that has stuck with me from Hannah Gadsby’s stand-up comedy show Nanette to illustrate this; self-deprecation is self-humiliation, and I’m not doing it to myself anymore. There’s a bundle of nerves in our brain stem, the reticular activating system (RAS), which works to filter out unnecessary information so that we can focus on what’s important. By using negative-self talk, we unwittingly tell the RAS to look for information to back up the belief that we’re stupid/incompetent/unloved. Simple changes to the words we use have a huge impact.

Instead of:“I’m really struggling to cope at the moment.” 

Try This:“I’m experiencing many challenges at the moment, but this feeling is temporary, and by getting through it, I’ll have learned skills that I will use again in the future.”

Instead of:“I’m still single and it must be because nobody finds me attractive.”

Try This:“I haven’t yet met the person who is deserving of my time and wants me for who I am. I’d rather be on my own than with somebody who makes me miserable.”

What are some ways people can improve their self-esteem and confidence? Share your thoughts with us and the readers below!

Would you like to learn how to smash through your blockages and achieve your full potential both as an entrepreneur and even as a woman? Alexis Jane is an uplifting and inspiring coach and best selling author, who specialises in helping women to stand in their power. Working with clients on issues of blockage, hesitation and procrastination, Alexis gently helps them to shift their mind-set and break through blockages, often with a dramatic effect on their business and personal life. Alexis recently contributed to an inspirational book entitled “Change Makers” – 20 Stories of Inspirational Women”, that details the personal journeys of a variety of female entrepreneurs.

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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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