Loss of Confidence in Anxiety Disorders

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Loss of confidence is very often the result of suffering severe trauma or of having what is commonly termed a nervous breakdown. The various anxieties involved have to be overcome first and it is often partially the sense of achievement at succeeding in this which helps to restore a degree of confidence in oneself again.

But why do people lose their confidence in circumstances such as these in the first place?

Whether we realise it or not, we each tend to believe that if we are good and careful and do the right thing we will be ok. This is the basis for most people's confidence in their own ability to run their own lives.

Then suddenly one day, out of the blue, something bad happens to us through no fault of our own and we feel vulnerable. We realise that bad things may happen no matter how good and careful we are.

believing we can keep ourselves safe

For many years I treated the victims of car accidents.

It was always those who were involved through no fault of their own, who were doing nothing wrong, who suffered post traumatic stress disorder and the like.

The people who were responsible for causing the accidents rarely had this problem, presumably because they were able to tell themselves that if they hadn't done such and such it wouldn't have happened. This enabled them to believe that they retained some control over events which the innocent victims could not.

It's not unusual to hear accident victims saying things like, "Why did this happen to me?"

why did this happen to me?Sometimes bad things happen to people through no fault of their own

Although such loss of confidence appears to happen to both men and women equally, I have found in my experience that men tend to be harder on themselves believing that they are less of a man because of it. Consequently it then takes them longer to get over it. 

We live in a society which increasingly seems to teach us that someone is to blame for everything. The downside of this is that we expect nothing bad can happen to us if we are careful or that, if it does, it is someone's fault.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people through no fault of their own. That's life!

Unfortunate things are always going to happen to us from time to time. Unless we learn to accept that much of this is NOT within our control, we will always tend to feel a loss of control and confidence when they do.

So what's the solution to this type of loss of confidence?

Overall what's needed is a revision of the way in which we approach life. too many of us appear to exist under two huge misapprehensions:

Firstly, that life is fair - it isn't!

Secondly, that we get what we deserve and that if we haven't done anything wrong, as we see it, then we shouldn't have to suffer bad things happening to us!   In reality though, there's not always a link between what we do and what happens to us.

Whilst most of us accept that when we do something we know to be wrong or unwise there may well be negative consequences, we are less willing to accept that there may also be negatve consequences when we've done nothing to deserve them.

The only effective way to address this problem is by taking a broad approach based on a philosophy such as that taught in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Mindfulness. A simplified approach based on these is what is used in the Feelgood Way. 

None of us has the power to control everything in our environments - much as some of us would like to. Therefore the solution is to change our expectations.

Confidence comes from only trying to control what you have the power to control, and accepting what you can't.

Some of us have always lacked confidence... why?

In addition to those who have only noticed a loss of confidence following an accident of some kind, there are those who have suffered with this problem most of their lives.

The basic reasons for this type of lack of confidence is that we just don't believe we are as good as the next person. This may have come about through events during childhood, or, equally, we may not even be aware of where it came from.

One huge mistake all those of us who lack self confidence tend to make is that we try to get others to like us. This is always a waste of energy because others' opinions of us are generally based on their issues rather than on an impartial judgment of how they find us.

You could be the nicest person who ever lived yet some would hate your guts simply because they were jealous of you etc.

I have created a small booklet on this subject explaining in more detail why it's futile to try to get others to like us. You can get this for free as a pdf download by signing up to receive occasional updates from Anxaid.

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Common Symptoms of Anxiety

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  1. Overcoming Anxiety
  2. Anxiety Symptoms
  3. Lost Confidence