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A surprisingly high number of people suffer from problems of low confidence or self esteem.   Confidence can be described as a feeling of being able to trust something (or someone, including ourselves).  Self esteem is about the value we place on ourselves.

It is possible to be over-confident or to have such a high self esteem that it becomes problematic (usually for others).  However, what is more common is for people to feel inferior or insecure, and this can hinder progress in life.

When we lack confidence, we tend not to take risks, even calculated ones.  This means we miss out on many things in life, as the saying goes - nothing ventured, nothing gained.  When someone has low confidence, the feeling of anxiety about something going wrong is usually greater than the hope of a positive outcome.

Self esteem is often linked to our childhoods.  The way we feel about ourselves is shaped by many experiences and influences - our parents, relatives, teachers, friends at school, even television.  When a message finds its way into our thinking, such as "I'm always going to be a failure", we tend to accept it as true, especially if we get that message as a child.  The main way children learn about the world is by observing and listening to adults.  Body confidence affects many people also, both men and women.  A 2014 British Attitudes Survey found that only 63% of women and 74% of men are satisfied with their appearance.

Sometimes a well-meaning adult might tell a child something positive but unrealistic - for example "you can be anything you want to be when you grow up".  This message might inspire many, but it could also lead to feelings of disappointment when a child becomes a young adult and realises they are not good at all things or perhaps they don't have the necessary qualifications etc.  This can lead to a belief that "I must be useless, because I didn't get what I wanted".

The good news is that recognising low self esteem or low confidence is a big step.  Learning to recognise some of the negative thoughts and unhelpful beliefs we have about ourselves allows us to re-evaluate and choose new ways of thinking.

If you would like to arrange an appointment with one of our team of psychologists, call us to arrange an appointment on 0131 215 1066 or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 0131 215 1066
Craigie Partnership, (Psychology & Coaching), Scott House, 10 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AZ

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