South West Wellbeing Centre

South West Wellbeing Centre

People are different – We are all individuals, with different personalities, different experiences, different lives and……different bodies. Surprise!? That may not be a surprise to you…….but for many people, being confident can be a big challenge and can impact significantly on their life.

Whether you are a man or a woman, an adult or a child –  “confidence” is sometimes a challenge.  To be “confident” means to show certainty in something. It is also about showing confidence in yourself or your abilities.  It may be a belief that you can do something well.

This “confidence” issue can be situation dependent.  Most people would feel comfortable, call it “confident” if they are with friends or family.  This could be confidence to speak, or confidence to say your mind. Perhaps it is confidence to ask a question or confidence to wear what you like.


There are a few  situations that many humans may have challenges with—

*Meeting someone new, introducing yourself

*Talking about yourself to someone

*Asking a question in a group

*Speaking in front of a group

*Speaking in front of a very large audience


In the above situations, this “confidence” or lack of confidence issue should not be confused with anxiety. Some people have anxiety, a specific condition that affects their body in certain circumstances. This confidence, or lack of confidence issue may involve anxiety, but it is not a “clinical diagnosis” of anxiety.  It may involve some stress related features and behaviours that occurs for many ” normal” daily functioning people.

Being confident does relate to your self esteem. So,  how you feel about your self is directly related to your life so far, your childhood experiences, and your adult memories.  Some people are shy personalities, or anxious personalities.  They are not confident in many social situations.  Many people who are functioning well in daily life may still have a challenge around being “confident” in certain situations,

So, what’s it all about?  Let’s think about how our bodies work. In the field of psychology, how the brain operates is of great interest.  Much focus has been on assisting people with managing challenging situations. A large part of the challenge comes from our mind, and what we are thinking about. It does however, also relate to our experiences, and also to our memories.

For example, if as a child you spoke in front of your class and it was a positive experience, you would be more likely to feel comfortable to do this as an adult. Even in a new situation you would be able to use some strategies to calm your self and to get thru the challenge.  However, if you had a challenging childhood, were teased and bullied or experienced abuse in your family environment, it is more likely that your self esteem would be negatively impacted, and this is more likely to affect how you feel about yourself as well as your interpersonal relationships.  If your memories of speaking in front of a group were traumatic or you experienced severe anxiety in new situations, then being “confident” would be more of a challenge for you.  So our experiences and our memories affect how we are and what we feel confident to do.

In addition, our physical body is going to respond and react on certain ways. We all know how it feels to be nervous, stressed, worried or fearful. For some people  the anxious response is a strong physiological reaction which affects their ability to function or to do certain things.  The physiology and mental thought processes interact together and  then we feel worried, anxious or less confident. The key to getting through can be a combination of self awareness and cognitive strategies. Some people may also need some behavioural strategies, such as relaxation techniques to assist them.


So Some “tips” for “being confident” ……. Are:

*Be self aware, notice your thoughts……

*Notice how your body is…. What you are feeling

*Change your posture, hold your shoulders back,- stand up straighter and smile

*Do something that will help your mind and your body


This means that you might need to reassure yourself, “I will be ok, I can get thru this”

Or you might need something to help you be prepared, having notes and dot points with you

You can do this- remember, everyone is different -we all have different challenges. That’s ok, things can be different!

If you feel the situation is too challenging, like you just can’t do it, or you get a migraine or your stomach is so upset you spend significant time on the toilet, or you can’t leave the house……then you might need some additional professional help. You may need to Talk to a counsellor or a  Psychologist. Perhaps there are some experiences or memories that are impacting on you now, affecting your “confidence”

Remember that everyone has difficulties sometimes. You will be able to make some progress. Share your thoughts with someone close to you, someone who will listen and could give some positive suggestions. Set a few goals. Be brave,,, try it. Reward yourself. Enjoy life!


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5 ways to build your kid’s confidence through Art

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