Having a lack of self-confidence can make an individual extremely introspective and is also very limiting. The person with little confidence may end up becoming depressed or he may withdraw completely from the society. It affects the way an individual behaves because he tends to avoid making any mistakes and thus miss out on the fun and amusement. People with poor self confidence are often the victims of cruel taunts and jokes which make them feel inferior and worthless. They also tend to isolate themselves from the crowd because they believe that everyone is superior to them.
Self-confidence can be built by building it up from the ground up. There are many ways through which one can boost up their self-confidence such as through adopting healthy eating habits, exercising, joining sports teams and taking up a hobby that helps build up their self confidence. Low self-esteem can be overcome if an individual takes on a challenge with a dare. For instance, if an individual feels he has little self-confidence and hence does not dare to do things that others do, then he can try and join a sports team where he will be able to show his abilities.
Self-esteem is also affected by the society one lives in, for instance, a society that places a lot of value on physical appearance, or a society that tends to portray the masculine figure as the ultimate goal, can affect an individual's level of self-confidence. The danger with self-confidence can be the stereotype threat. A society that puts a large amount of value on physical appearance through what they wear, what they drink or what they pretend to be could create an individual who feels uncomfortable and consequently lowers his self-confidence.
Self-esteem is also influenced by other factors, for instance, peer pressure and what we consider normal. It has been noted in many children that being picked on can lead to feelings of worthlessness and therefore lower self-esteem. There are those who are considered attractive by the opposite sex but feel invisible due to physical features. This can result in a negative internalisation of the stereotypes associated with the so-called 'ideal' body type. Conversely, there are some who are deemed unattractive due to physical features but have high self-esteem because they feel attractive and good about themselves. This may be an example of the e.g. perceived low self-confidence in a male but an attractive female figure.
Self-efficacy, which is defined as how much someone believes they are capable of, is also impacted by the level of self-esteem. When people are low in self-esteem, they are more likely to overestimate their capabilities in comparison to others, whereas those with higher self-esteem are more likely to underestimate their capabilities. Similarly, self-efficacy can also be influenced by the extent of one's understanding or perception of their own worth. When people have high self-esteem but low self-confidence, this is likely to manifest as a desire to be perceived as highly competent, even when they have limited ability.
Those who are perceived to be underperforming, or who receive little positive feedback are those who suffer from low self-esteem. This can lead to them focusing more on their perceived failures and less focused on potential successes. However, those who have greater self-confidence are less likely to give much thought to their performance and will instead focus more on the feedback they receive from others.
Those who are less self-confident are more likely to be affected by the negative feedback they receive from others. Those with low self-confidence are also more likely to be distracted, to shut down and not to be able to concentrate on the task at hand. On the other hand, those with greater self-confidence often focus on their successes and take little notice of the negative feedback they receive. They also realise that the opinions of others don't always reflect reality. Consequently, they are less likely to shut down and are better able to concentrate and focus on the task in hand.
While both are important, it has been found that those with higher self-confidence are more likely to take responsibility for their own actions and are less likely to make decisions based on instant reactions. Those with higher self-esteem also think differently to those with low self-esteem. Those with greater self-confidence are also more likely to engage and communicate with others and are more likely to be a successful and happy person. Ultimately, the ability to think rationally and to use logic as well as Emotions properly can help build greater self confidence and improve your quality of life.