By this time in our life we tend to beat ourselves up a little when we feel like we don’t have our shit together. But there are many different possible issues going on that are screwing up our confidence. One big one being that we’ve hit midlife and watched our boundaries get soft.
Lack of confidence can be caused by a number of things. We know we have to make changes within ourselves, but is that the only issue with our self-esteem? Is it all just us? While there are many internal things that cause low self-esteem, there are also external factors that contribute greatly.
Instead of looking inside for all the reasons you’re not more confident or successful, let’s look at the space you live in. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time thinking about your answers.
Are You Playing Small?
Sometimes we feel small because we’re living small. This doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and go backpacking through Europe right now, or that every moment of your life has to be an epic adventure.
But, for many people with low self-esteem, it’s easy to get into a rut. You start believing that you can’t do better and so you stop trying. You create a self-fulfilling prophecy without realizing it. Look at your life right now. What limitations have you accepted without challenging them? What areas of your life have you accepted as “good enough”?
Have you been complaining about your shitty job for years? Staying there and hating it is playing small. Look for classes to take to improve your resume and then get them out there. Life is too short to stay miserable.
Are You Encouraged and Uplifted by Your Friends and Family?
We are deeply influenced by the people we spend time with. This can be a good thing if you’re spending time with positive people. But if your friends and family are unkind or negative, that same attitude can rub off on you.
Ask yourself how you’d feel if you didn’t speak to a certain friend or family member for a week. Would you feel relieved at the thought of missing Aunt Sylvia’s rants about the job she hates? Would you feel sad if you missed that call from your sister who helps you see the best in the world?
If there’s someone negative in your life, you don’t have to cut them out completely. But do look for ways to limit your time together and don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation if things take a negative turn.
Sometimes we must take a hard look at those we hang around with and make changes. Thankfully, a lot can be changed with open communication. In my Midlife Boundaries workshop you will figure out boundaries that make you happy and celebrate healthy relationships.
Are You Pursuing New Experiences?
Often a lack of confidence and self-esteem can be caused by becoming too comfortable.
Do you find yourself:
- Doing the same things every day?
- Doing them in the same way every day?
- Challenging yourself to experience new things?
- Getting out of your comfort zone?
When you go outside your normal and look for new experience, you open yourself up. Discovering new ways to do things will become fun and you find solutions that you wouldn’t have come up with any other way. A big thing is you learn more about yourself and the world around you.
You can find new experiences into your life just by looking for opportunities outside of your comfort zone. Try a different type of cuisine. Drive a different route to work. Volunteer at an organization that you wouldn’t typically support. Take a weekend road trip and see where you end up.
Your environment shapes your self-confidence, so don’t be afraid to look around at your life and make some changes. Surround yourself with people and experiences that build up your self-esteem and make you happy.
Happiness is a choice,, it’s time to remember that.