8 Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence by Ariana Dagan

How to Unlock Your Full Potential By Eliminating These 8 Negative Habits to Boost Your Self-Confidence and Live Like a Boss

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I’ve talked about confidence and tracking habits a few times now, but its important to understand how they correlate to each other, and their impact on each other. In fact, if you’re feeling a lack of self esteem, chances are you incorporating one or more of these negative habits into your life. The good news is, if you can identify and understand why you are doing these natural habits, you can fix it, create happy habits and ultimately increase your self confidence as you do!8 Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence by Ariana Dagan

1 | Comparing Yourself to Others

If you find yourself depressed after scrolling through your Facebook feed, or feel the surge of excitement after accomplishing something you are proud of promptly dissipate as soon as you see others doing the same, then you are probably comparing yourself to others. Comparison is possibly the biggest confidence killer out there. The good news is, its totally unnecessary and therefore you can beat it!

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The first step is acknowledging that you are comparing yourself to others and then understanding when and where this is happening. Are you losing your nerve while scrolling through social media or walking into a store, or when you do a presentation? By recognizing the situation, you can take the steps to avoid that situation. Here are some suggestions:

  • If Facebook is your downfall, stop scrolling. Delete the app if necessary.
  • If walking into a store kills your confidence, maybe reevaluate if that store is where you want to spend your money. Maybe there is a different store that can boost your confidence as opposed to kill it.
  • Is presenting is hurting you, try to change the situation. Maybe present directly to your boss, or virtually, or even recorded instead.

Sometimes changing the situation can’t happen. Maybe you need Facebook for your business, or you work at the store that makes you uncomfortable (a job is a job, I get it!), and maybe you don’t have any other options with that presentation.

If that’s the case, then take a deep breath. Understand that we are all in this TOGETHER, and if someone isn’t on your side, then be the bigger person and be on THEIR side. Compliment them, be their cheerleader and their biggest supporter. Understand that they are human as well, and they may be just as uncomfortable in that situation as you and showing it in a completely different way. Remember, what you see is only one side of the story, and you never know what its happening behind closed doors.

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2 |  Saying “I Don’t know…”

Saying “I don’t know” might not mean much to the people you are saying it to, but it sends a very important signal to your own brain. Now don’t get me wrong, no one can do everything, nor should they. But the ability to tackle the unknown and attempt to find the answer can make or break your self confidence. The more often you find yourself saying “I don’t know…” the more your brain believes it, and it will begin chipping away at the confidence you have in yourself in what you DO know and the belief in your ability to learn.

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Instead of saying “I don’t know…”, try re-framing it from a negative to a positive. In other words, find a way of saying “yes”. Consider phrases such as “I can find out” or questions such as “how can I do this?”. Questions are great, they not only encourage engagement with others, but they give your brain an actionable response, open the ability to learn, and change our view-ship of the world.

3 | Staying in Your Comfort Zone

They call it the comfort zone for a reason. It’s comfy. You can curl up there and fall asleep doing nothing. Or spend all day reading (or drinking) and just generally ignoring discomforts. But guess what? You don’t grow there. You don’t evolve or change, or become a better person. And the longer you sit in your comfort zone, the more your confidence DIES. You are literally telling yourself DAILY that you can’t do it. It doesn’t even matter what “it” is, but that’s what you are telling yourself, and the more you tell it, the more you believe it.8 Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence by Ariana Dagan

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So get up. No more excuses. Step out of that comfort zone. Try something new. Can’t run? Then settle for walking, or crawling even. But you have to. Start by figuring out WHAT your comfort zone is, and determine little things to get out it. Do you shrink every time the phone rings? Try paying your bills by phone this month, it will force you to be on the phone with a stranger and push you out of the zone, even if only temporarily. That’s all you need! One tiny step out of the zone will release endorphins to encourage you to take another tiny step. Each and every step will build back confidence that years of comfort zone helped destroy, so don’t forget to celebrate a step, no matter how small. Because you deserve it!

[RELATED: 5 Steps to Get Out of Your Own Way to Achieve Your Dreams]

4 | Procrastinating

This could easily tie in with the 3rd habit, but its a harmful habit all on its own and everyone is guilty of it sometimes. The problem is when it goes from something that occasionally happens to a habit, a daily occurrence, and a way of life. People joke about procrastinating, but they do it because they are literally procrastinating on something right then. Each time you avoid doing something “today”, you are signalling to your brain that you don’t have control over yourself or your life. You are telling yourself you “can’t” do something. And when you miss deadlines, or wait until the last second, you are proving to yourself over and over again that you lack the skills and abilities to do things appropriately (and stress free).

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The easiest way to combat this habit is to tackle it head on (and do it early so you don’t procrastinate)! A simple way to do it so to create a schedule. Even if its not an in depth on (have to start somewhere), try making a master list of items you need to accomplish by the end of the week, then each day make a list from that master, for items to accomplish. To ensure you do it, break down those items in actionable steps. Seriously. Turn one item into 15 steps if you have to. And as you accomplish each, cross it off. Every time you cross something off, you will feel a wave of accomplishment and pride. And the more you accomplish, the better (and more stress free) you will feel! Every time you are able to cross something off, you will PROVE to your brain that you CAN accomplish things and finish them on time and in turn you will increase your self confidence!

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5 | Believing Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic is a haunting presence, its always there and follows us around. It preys on our darkest moments and waits for weakness before it strikes! Your inner critic talks down to you, strips you of dignity and demeans your work. And every time you let it win, you lose chunks of your sense of self worth. Your inner critic is a bully, and it wants you to give up, it wants you to drop what you’re doing so it can win. The consolation prize is your confidence, piece by piece.

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Normally people suggest pushing it down, not listening, and simply ignoring this inner voice. But I suggest the opposite. Listen to what its saying, and understand WHY its saying it. Your inner critic is trying to help you. Yes its often destructive and demeaning, but its well intended. It bullies you to become better, and stronger. It bullies you into becoming the best version of yourself. It tells you you aren’t good enough because it knows you can do better, work harder, and get what you deserve. It’s tough love (very tough) but it is love. So next time your inner critic tells you you aren’t good enough, say “you’re right, I could do better, thanks for the advice”. And each time you prove your inner critic wrong, your confidence will soar to heights you can’t even imagine.

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6 | Setting Unrealistic Expectations

Do you ever find yourself setting goals? Maybe its Instagram followers, or monthly budget spending, or standards for your closest friends. The idea doesn’t sound unreasonable. But if you find yourself feeling constantly let down, perhaps your expectations are unreasonable. Setting Instagram follower goals is fine, but if you expect 100 followers and only get 5, there’s a disconnect that will break your confidence each time you miss a goal or your expectation is missed. Being unreasonable with your goals and expectations can only hurt your confidence.

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Instead of making goals and setting standards off the top of your head, take a chance to consider your goals instead. The first step is to consider patterns before you set a goal to understand how they may change organically. For example, if you gained 20 Instagram followers last month, it may be reasonable to assume you will gain 20 followers in the next month by doing the same things you were already doing.

The next step is ensure you have a strategy in place. If you’ve assumed you can gain 20 followers by doing the same thing, that is your current strategy. However if you want to push that number, you may add things to your strategy to try to increase it. With more work being done towards your goal, setting a goal of 30 or even 50 may not be unreasonable to achieve.

The final step is to simply ensure you keep to your strategy so that even if you don’t hit your goal, you know that you have done your due diligence in trying to achieve it. Your self respect can and will grow, not only when you hit goals, but in knowing you have tried your best as well. Remember, you can always reevaluate goals and strategies, I recommend setting a reasonable goal and a “stretch” goal so you can ensure you are pushing yourself as much as possible! 8 Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence by Ariana Dagan

7 | Being a Yes/No Woman

If you find yourself feeling drained because you often respond to requests the same way, either as “yes” or “no”, its important to stop right away. Every time you respond to requests without consideration for yourself you are signaling to your brain that you don’t matter, and your confidence will slowly drain with each one. Introverts tend to be “no” people, they have internalized fear of saying yes and that fear keeps them from saying yes no matter how much they want to do something. This causes no-people to lose friends because the negativity reflects back on others. On the other hand, people pleasers tend to be “yes” people, agreeing to anything and everything simply because they don’t want to feel like they’ve let someone down. They take on too much, get over stressed and find themselves resenting others. For both types of people, saying “yes” or “no” too much, causes a deep seeded resentment in both themselves and others requesting things.

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If you find yourself in this situation, its important to take a moment to reflect on your emotions. If someone asks you to go somewhere, think about whether it sounds fun or interesting or educational and if it fits with your personality, interests, and budget. It’s okay to say “no” if there is genuine fear behind it, or “yes” if there is a genuine interest, and its even OK to answer not for yourself occasionally. But the majority of a time you answer, make sure you its for you and not the person asking.

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For example, maybe you dislike skating, but a friend is throwing a birthday party at a skating rank, its OK to say yes because you want to celebrate your friends birthday even if its not your idea of fun. But as long as you take a moment to reflect on your own feelings towards the request, you are signaling to your brain that you matter, your feelings matter, and while it may not be your first choice, you’re responding in a certain way for the right reasons, not for the wrong ones. When you start taking yourself into consideration, you will be amazed at how your confidence will soar!

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8 | Dwelling on The Past

We all have history, some more painful than others, some wounds fresher. Learning from the past is important, and should be an activity you partake in to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes over. The same goes for positive memories, so you can push to make similar ones. But when you begin to dwell on these memories, both good and bad, you stop living in the moment and you stop moving towards the future. Doing so sends messages to your brain that the current moment isn’t important, and planning for the future doesn’t matter. These sub-conscious messages affect your confidence exponentially. This also links to other confidence killers such as setting expectations too high when you try to recreate a memory instead of using a positive memory as inspiration, or using a negative memory to keep you in your comfort zone so you don’t get hurt.

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The good news is, while its easy to get stuck in your memories, its also easy to get out of it. There are three steps you need to

  1. Understand the memory in full, don’t sugar coat things. Explore the memory for all its worth and work through its accompanying emotions (good or bad)! If needed, talk to someone, share the memory and the emotions with them to get it off your chest.
  2. Accept the emotions. Accept that it happened and is now over. Accept the decisions that you made, and the lack of responsibility you had for the decisions others made in the situation. Forgive yourself, and others.
  3. Learn from it. Take the good and the bad, and consider how you apply it to your current situation, or life.

Accepting the emotions and responsibility that accompany a memory can help lead you to any forgiveness required. Even ‘good’ memories may require you to forgive yourself for the situation not currently repeating itself. Forgiveness releases the emotion from you heart and allows you move towards learning. And learning is amazing inspiration to start living your life, and applying these lessons to new situations or creating new memories! Doing this peel away the negative perceptions you’ve been telling your brain about your current situation, and help you build the confidence you need to make new memories!

8 Habits that are killing Your Confidence by Ariana Dagan

If you find yourself feeling drained, stuck, or generally lacking confidence, make sure you take some time to check yourself for any of these bad habits that will most certainly kill your confidence! Make sure you always take the time to take care of yourself not only because you deserve it, but because it makes it easier to take care of others if you are running in tip-top shape! Invest in self love today!

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37 comments on “How to Unlock Your Full Potential By Eliminating These 8 Negative Habits to Boost Your Self-Confidence and Live Like a Boss

  • Julia Markle , Direct link to comment

    What a phenomenal read! This article is well researched and well articulated and engaging! Thanks for bringing this to my attention

  • Rebecca @ Boss Single Mama , Direct link to comment

    Comparisons are a beast, especially in the blogging world. It’s so hard to stay focused on what you’re accomplishing sometimes when you’re bombarded with how many zillions of dollars or page views or whatever it is that someone else is getting. And I’m definitely guilty of saying yes when I should be saying no. I always feel like I’m going to let someone down when really I should be doing what’s best for me. Thanks for sharing this!

  • page , Direct link to comment

    love this post – especially how you included ways to overcome those bad habits! ❤ x

  • Natalie , Direct link to comment

    I am learning to step out of my comfort zone. I love your spin on it. If I don’t, I’d still be stuck and reliving the past, I’m so guilty. It’s so important to heal and move forward.

  • Despite Pain , Direct link to comment

    Such a good post. I can relate to a few of your points, especially having unrealistic expectations. I will try to take your suggestions on board.

  • platypus6 , Direct link to comment

    I am very guilty of staying in more comfort zone. I’m not a big risk taker.

  • brendaburrows , Direct link to comment

    LOVE this! I have never thought about what saying “I don’t know” does to me. Im going to change that after reading this.

  • marieoliver8 , Direct link to comment

    Everybody needs confidence to successfully get to any challenge or obstacle. Great advice!

  • Ala , Direct link to comment

    So true, these habits are so bad, we just have to love ourselves much more and evit to do these mistakes.

  • Bellissimamma , Direct link to comment

    These are all great tips! I especially love the part about not saying “I don’t know” and saying “I’ll find out” instead. Thanks for today’s motivation, girl!

  • A Nation of Moms , Direct link to comment

    I totally agree that things like social media can make you feel awful about yourself. Sometimes even shows like home improvement shows or ones where people buy a vacation home. It makes me feel depressed when I should be grateful for what I have.

  • Jenn , Direct link to comment

    These are so true! I like how you gave tips on how to overcome these bad habits. It’s important to remember that it’s normal to fall into these things, but we need to engage to get out of it!

  • Shellie Lynn , Direct link to comment

    I am guilty of most of these. I am the worst at saying, “I don’t know”. Sometimes I say it even when I do know, but just too tired to give it any thought. I always thought I was preserving my precious energy, but now I can see how damaging it is 😩

  • Shellie Lynn , Direct link to comment

    I am guilty of most of these. I am the worst at saying, “I don’t know”. Sometimes I say it even when I do know, but just too tired to give it any thought. I always thought I was preserving my precious energy, but now I can see how damaging it is 😩

  • Shellie Lynn , Direct link to comment

    I do quite a few of these. I’m the worst at saying, “I don’t know”. Sometimes I say it even when I do know, I’m just too tired or overwhelmed to think about it. I always thought it was a way of preserving my precious energy, but now I can see how damaging it is 😩

  • Michelle , Direct link to comment

    Love this! Been working on some personal development and making some much needed changes in my life. This is a huge help! 💞

  • minimalistmama22019 , Direct link to comment

    I am so guilty of so many of these things! Especially living in the past. I also really love the point you made about saying “I don’t know.” It’s one I hadn’t really thought about before! It’s such a great idea to change your way of thinking to make not knowing a chance for growth! I also totally relate to the being a “yes/no woman.” Except, I’m a “yes” but then later “no” kind of person. I really need to get better as assessing how I feel in the moment and being honest with myself and others in my response. I could keep going! These are such great tips! Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Britt K , Direct link to comment

    I’m so bad about listening to my inner critic. That’s something that I have been working on for quite a while now, and still working my way through.

  • Deb B. , Direct link to comment

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! Holy cow – these are great tips. I find myself using language like I don’t know, or thoughts like Ugh I have to say yes cuz I don’t want to let them down, or I dwell too much in the past. So much confidence non-boosters happening. Love this post because these are things we know and understand but just need the reminders and extra encouragement. So thank you for that!

    • christyk3 , Direct link to comment

      This post hits all of the main reasons I sabotage my own self confidence! I’ve learned to stop saying yes too often, but I still do it. I’m also plagued by the “I don’t know” syndrome. Thank you for sharing 😊

  • Deb Balino , Direct link to comment

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! Holy cow – these are great tips. I find myself using language like I don’t know, or thoughts like Ugh I have to say yes cuz I don’t want to let them down, or I dwell too much in the past. So much confidence non-boosters happening. Love this post because these are things we know and understand but just need the reminders and extra encouragement. So thank you for that!

  • jenniferwise4heritagemakers , Direct link to comment

    1, 5, 6, and 8 are my big ones. These are great suggestions and things to remember!
    #embracingchangelinky

  • Tiffany , Direct link to comment

    What a great list, and exactly at the time I needed it! Comparing is always a struggle! Thanks for the reminder of ways to combat those issues!

  • Hollye , Direct link to comment

    This is such a great post! So many things we don’t realize we do on a daily basis!! I definitely needed to read this thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Cynthia , Direct link to comment

    This was great. A number of these habits were mirrors that I had to look into. I appreciate that you gave strategies for dealing with the unproductive habits. Thanks for the post.

  • Huda Saleh , Direct link to comment

    i love this! one of the best positive posts ive read lately. i love that you not only listed what could kill your confidence but also how to counteract that. i learned a lot from this 🙂 thanks!

  • Maria , Direct link to comment

    I like the “I don’t know” and “Dwelling in the past” points the best. I feel like you are limiting yourself and putting it out there in the universe that something can’t be done or is impossible for you to learn, so being positive and resourceful is the way to go! Thinking about the past is definitely not getting us anywhere, so definitely agree with you on that one too!

  • obsessedbookluvr , Direct link to comment

    Self-confidence was something I have always been lacking, since middle school. It was hard for me to figure things out and ID what was happening. Thank you for sharing this post, I will definitely keep these ideas in mind and use them in the future.

  • Rachel , Direct link to comment

    Ohhh girl, such good points. I have definitely been procrastinating on self care and putting myself so far down on the list, but not anymore. If I’m feeling my best, then I have my best to give to others, as well!

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