You may be asking what does self-confidence have to do with anxiety and stress management? Wikapedia defines self-confidence as “…self-assuredness in one’s personal judgment, ability and power, etc….” I like this definition because it emphasizes the concept of capability. Capability is a general feeling and belief that you can handle what life throws at you. When you struggle with anxiety you often struggle with self-doubt. You do not feel like you can trust yourself. This feeling itself can cause anxiety. So when you feel fear and/or anxiety in a situation you avoid it. The avoidance behaviors then reinforce the belief that you are not capable of handling that situation. Avoidance behaviors also reinforce the anxiety. So it is a vicious cycle. There are subtle avoidance behaviors and more obvious avoidance behaviors. Becoming aware of the ways in which you avoid are very important.
What is the origin of this lack of self-confidence? Negative core beliefs you hold about yourself that were formed at a very young age. These beliefs cause a low self-worth. Ask yourself, what do I think and believe about myself? Is it really true? No but it feels true. But luckily, feelings aren’t facts. You are just in a bad habit. You can change the way you view yourself, which in turn, lowers your anxiety.
There are two ways to change your negative core beliefs about yourself which will then help you let go of your negative self-image and increase your self worth. The first action you can take is saying affirmations such as “I am capable” and “I am worthy”. The other way to change your beliefs is taking small positive actions in your life and giving yourself credit for taking those actions. When you have fear and do something anyway, try focusing on the strength and courage you have rather than focusing on the fear. Don’t discount even the smallest accomplishments.
Take Care, Suzanne
“Self-trust is the secret of success.” Ralph Waldo Emerson