Lack of confidence is easy to spot.
Regardless of the exterior, once you get to know someone you can quickly get a pretty good idea of how confident they are.
That’s because those lacking confidence almost always hold the following limiting and self-defeating beliefs.
If you find that you have these beliefs, too, it’s time to let go of them!
If you come across others who subscribe to these kinds of convictions, you can also help encourage them to see past the self-sabotage and tap into their potential.
1) “I can’t do it”
If I told you to do four hundred chin-ups and you said “I can’t do it,” you’d probably be right.
But after a couple of years of training you just might be able to do so.
It all depends on why you’re doing something and how bad you want it.
People who lack confidence don’t just believe they can’t do things, they also focus on what they can’t do instead of what they can do.
Set your sights on what’s possible and then grind hard to get there.
Replace with: “I can do it. I will do it. I am doing it.”
2) “I don’t belong”
I’ve struggled a lot with this belief and at times it’s really sapped my confidence.
I know everybody feels it at some point, particularly those who are more introverted and introspective.
People who lack confidence are overly sensitive to whether or not they belong and focus on it a lot.
The problem is that they internalize this certainty they don’t belong and then begin to project it even where they actually do belong and are wanted.
Replace with: “I belong to myself first and foremost. I will find a tribe where I am valued in the same way I value myself.”
3) “The system is rigged”
From finances to politics it’s easy to see that a lot of “the System” is, in fact, “rigged.”
I’ve met far too many people who focus on this all the time, however.
They become obsessed and passive, a professional critic who starts focusing so much on how unfair and tainted everything is that they stop really doing things in their own individual lives.
Realizing how much the System is rigged can be a necessary step to growth and realization, but it shouldn’t be the full-time focus of somebody’s life.
Replace with: “The System isn’t in my control, and I need to stop using it as an excuse.”
4) “The world is against me”
It can feel like the world really is against us from time to time.
Everything we do is met with resistance and problems.
Using a feeling the world is against you as motivation is actually great in my experience.
But using the feeling the world is against you as a focus of your life and an excuse not to try new things saps energy and willpower.
Replace with: “the world is what I make it. The world and Providence will assist me in my purpose and mission.”
5) “Nobody understands me”
People who lack confidence believe nobody understands them.
Even when somebody tries to understand them, they generally shut down or resist this, which seems strange when you think about it.
The reason most usually is that they are subconsciously sticking with this feeling of being different and misunderstood in order to cling to a victim mentality.
Replace with: “As Saint Francis said, ‘seek not so much to be understood as to understand.’”
6) “I’m not good enough”
This belief is extremely common among those who lack confidence.
It often has roots in early childhood and being overly criticized or traumatized.
Like the belief that something can or can’t be done, it tends to be self-fulfilling.
Confirmation bias shows us proof we are or are not good enough in line with our pre-existing and primary belief about ourselves.
That’s why it’s so important to shift this belief.
Replace with: “I’m even better than I realize and I will continue to improve myself and achieve my potential.”
7) “Other people are better than me”
This ties into the previous belief.
The biggest problem with it is that it becomes self-fulfilling.
The other thing is that none of us are static. Somebody may currently be better or worse than somebody else in a certain way (career, fitness, wealth, happiness), but that can soon change.
This belief is common among those who are
Replace with: “I am worthy, and so are other people.”
8) “I don’t have the resources I need”
People who lack confidence tend to focus on what they don’t have or doubt that they can get.
This includes focusing on resources that are missing:
- Not enough time
- Not enough money
- Not enough energy
- Not enough support
These ultimately boil down to being excuses.
As motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins says, “resourcefulness is the greatest resource.”
Replace with: “I will draw on my resourcefulness, friends and colleagues to find new ways to achieve my goals or I will adjust them.”
9) “I can’t recover from past trauma”
Past trauma can’t be wished away.
We all bear the imprint of things which happened to us which left a mark.
But people who lack confidence tend to cling to past trauma and refuse to take action in life because of it.
It may be controversial to say, but some people do cling to past trauma as a kind of identity, believing that focusing on it will keep the insecurity and scariness of life at bay.
The truth is life and time won’t wait for any of us, despite past mistreatment we suffered.
Replace with: “Moving on from past trauma and being OK does not mean past trauma didn’t happen or doesn’t matter. It just means I am ready to take full responsibility for my life and moving forward.”
10) “I’ll never find love”
This is a really crippling belief, because it also tends to be self-fulfilling.
When somebody begins to feel they are cursed or uniquely marked out for loneliness, they see signs of it all around them.
Life acts as a kind of mirror, seemingly proving that only other people find and keep love.
But the truth is that love is a process that starts within and that none of us are uniquely granted or barred from love.
Replace with: “I am already in the process of finding love and it starts right in my own heart and actions.”
11) “Life has no real point”
People who lack confidence tend to be nihilists.
Traveling the world I’ve been shocked by how many young people I’ve met who believe life has no purpose, or at least no purpose beyond a completely subjective belief.
This disempowers them and leads them to feeling like what they do in their life also more or less doesn’t matter.
To be frank:
It’s the wrong ideological path to take if you want to succeed and have a fulfilling life.
Replace with: “life has a purpose and so do I. Every day I move closer to finding it.”
The confidence cycle
Confidence goes in a cycle:
The more limiting beliefs you hold, the more they become part of your reality and are confirmed by your reality.
Confirmation bias is a very real thing, and when you believe the juice isn’t worth the squeeze and you’re not high value, you notice what seem like signs and confirmations from life that say “it’s true!”
But when you drop the beliefs above and replace them with the empowering beliefs I mentioned, you’ll begin to notice signs from life that affirm these empowering beliefs.
There will still be let-downs, struggles and disappointments. There will still be times you feel misunderstood or wonder what the point of life is!
But you’ll be able to move into the reality that you’re a valuable, high-capacity individual with the power to change your life.
That’s a great place to start your new journey!