10 Habits That Ruin Your Self-Confidence

Written by Mariana ~ Category: Living & Traveling ~ Read Time: 5 min.

Let’s all agree that not everyone is full of self-confidence, no matter how much we want it. We may want to blame our parents, genes, society, or the role models around us.

However, self-confidence is the key to living our lives to the fullest, being happy and balanced, and achieving our personal and professional goals. According to research, highly self-confident people tend to have a positive outlook on life and themselves.

Now, you will think, “Easy said than done.” Yes, words are easy, but actions bring results.

It’s not always easy to understand and identify lower self-confidence. People spend hours in therapy to realize that their actions are caused by their inability to believe in themselves. There are no magic solutions to attain self-confidence within 8 hours of sleep, but you can identify some habits that show you need to work on your self-confidence and start living your life the way you want!

1. Keeping up with the Joneses

Aka, comparing yourself to others. One of the biggest confidence killers is benchmarking yourself and evaluating your life, actions, and accomplishments based on others. Unfortunately, social media often makes it worse; all this glam around the world, with digital nomads and influencers going around the world and living their lives to the fullest, can be mentally painful. However, when you scroll down your Instagram feed, keep in the back of your head that people usually show a curated version of their lives that seems perfect. No single person in the world doesn’t deal with struggles; they don’t want to expose them on social media!

When you keep comparing yourself to others, you nurture feelings of inadequacy and jealousy —usually for no apparent reason. It’s important to remember that everyone has their own timeline and distinctive experiences.

2. Talk Negative To Me

If you find yourself in front of the mirror, preaching about how you don’t have this or you can’t do that, it is a sign of negative self-talk. The way you talk to yourself matters. Negative self-talk can be incredibly damaging, reinforcing feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. Phrases like “I’m not good enough” or “I can’t do this” can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Also, downplaying your intelligence and skill set through all this negative talk can sink your self-confidence for good.

3. Who Is Around You

Show me your friend, they say… That means that our social environment and our close people can significantly impact our self-confidence. If you surround yourself with toxic or negative people, then it’s given that they will drag you down and drain your energy. Toxic and negative people usually make us doubt ourselves and feel inadequate and insufficient. Check if such people surround you and take a distance from them.

It’s ok to put some distance in order to reevaluate the situation and learn how to not get into this vicious cycle with them.

4. Seal of approval

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This is a classic habit of people who lack self-confidence. If you rely on other people’s approval in order to feel good about yourself and your actions, your thoughts, and your decisions, then you definitely need to stop that. The only person you need validation from is yourself and nobody else. Constantly seeking validation and approval will end up leaving you without self-confidence and will increase feelings of emptiness and insufficiency. Nobody is in your shoes, so you don’t need anyone’s approval.

Relying on others’ approval to feel good about yourself is a slippery slope. It’s important to recognize that you can’t please everyone, and constantly seeking validation can leave you empty. Also, taking all criticism to heart, especially when it’s groundless or harsh, can erode your self-confidence. Let’s accept that not all feedback is constructive, and it’s important to distinguish when someone is helpful or just harmful.

5. Rock Bottom? No, Thanks

Do you feel like you are not trying new things because of your fear of failing? This may be your sign to work on your self-confidence. Fear of failure can prevent us from trying new things and reaching our full potential, personally and professionally. Perfectionism can also cause this fear, paralyzing and stopping us from taking risks. Staying in your comfort zone might feel safe and comforting, but it can prevent you from growing. Avoiding challenges means missing out on opportunities to prove to yourself what you’re capable of and enjoying all the perks life offers.

6. Self-Neglect

One of the main characteristics of people with self-confidence is that they prioritize their self-care. What is very common among women, especially, is that they put others before themselves and tend to neglect their self-care in order to take care of the people around them. However, this trait shows that you put yourself second, and it can severely impact your self-esteem and, therefore, your self-confidence. Being confident on the inside and on the outside means that you spend time with yourself and take care of your needs and your mental and physical health. Not only will you feel better, but your self-confidence will grow immediately!

7. Cry Over Spilled Milk

Dwelling in the past and on past mistakes can destroy your confidence. The past is the past and cannot be changed. However, it’s always ok to reflect on the past and learn from it. The key here is not to focus on adverse experiences like failures, regrets, or missed opportunities but to acknowledge that things are not going great every time and accept the lessons learned. The ongoing replay of negativity breeds self-doubt and erodes our belief in ourselves, so it’s important to learn from the past but not let it define you. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s how you move forward that counts.

8. Disregarding Your Accomplishments

blog-900x550-_2_ (1).webp Women tend to downplay their achievements, attributing success to luck rather than their own efforts and talents. Are you sure that this is how you want to play it? Luck sometimes matters, but do not look down on you so much. This can diminish your sense of accomplishment and confidence. Everyone has things to be proud of, and celebrating our victories in life, both personal and professional, is more than okay as long as it doesn’t get arrogant.

9. Over-Apologizing

Unfortunately, women tend to apologize excessively; this nasty habit signals that you’re unsure of yourself and leads to diminishing your sense of authority. Not apologizing is wrong: when we make a mistake that affects others, it’s important to apologize. But that’s it. Over-apologizing may seem like you are not as confident as you should be and, frankly, can tire people. Say “I’m sorry” genuinely and sincerely and move forward.

10. Avoiding Conflict

We sometimes believe avoiding conflict is a way to keep the peace, but constantly avoiding it can prevent you from standing up for yourself and your needs. Conflicts are normal situations among people, and sometimes, we shouldn’t prevent them. If you keep avoiding conflicts, it can lead to resentment and a diminished sense of self-worth. Nobody told you to start screaming around to prove your point. Conflicts can be addressed calmly and assertively, especially when they have to do with your boundaries.

Recognizing these habits is the first and most important step in building self-confidence. It doesn’t happen overnight; however, trying to break unhealthy habits and set clearer and stricter boundaries will eventually help you achieve greater things and grow more confident and stronger.

Challenge yourself to break one habit at a time. Keep a journal of your accomplishments, and watch your self-confidence build up!

It took 2 coffees to write this article.

About the author


Mariana is our amazing psychologist. She is generally shy, but she has the answers to all questions. She is calm but can be pretty sarcastic if she wants to! She is working with women who are struggling in their jobs. She also loves knitting. She helps our Working Gal Team with her valuable insights and tips for a balanced work life.

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