What causes a lack of confidence (13 possible causes)

In this article, we will discuss what causes a lack of confidence in a person.

Self-confidence encourages you to have optimistic and practical views of yourself and the circumstances in which you are involved. Usually, if you have self-confidence, you are not afraid of obstacles, you will stand up for what you say, and you have the strength to accept your shortcomings.

Most of us have areas where we feel very competent in our lives while knowing areas where we don’t feel positive at all at the same time. Getting a precise sense of self-confidence means avoiding over-confident or reckless conduct. It means you are not afraid to take chances on jobs that you can do and when faced with things you want or need to do, you are not paralyzed by fear and anxiety.

People with lack of confidence, feel bad about themselves, and consider themselves inferior to others are therefore at risk of not achieving their true potential in life. They may not take the initiative to set and achieve personal goals; they may not put any effort into their education or careers; they may accept families, friends, and romantic partners for poor treatment.

What causes a lack of confidence

Here is a list of possible factors that may cause a lack of confidence in an individual:

  • Your genetic makeup and temperament
  • Trauma
  • Uninvolved/ Negligent Parenting style
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Lack of supportive peers
  • Poor body image
  • Gender, race, and sexual orientation
  • Unrealistic future goals
  • Bad choices made in the past
  • Perfectionism
  • Negative thought patterns
  • Media
  • Depression and anxiety

Your genetic makeup and temperament


Our feelings of self-worth may all be greatly influenced by physical, sexual, and emotional violence. Sometimes, violence induces feelings of remorse and even guilt. A person may feel that he or she was doing anything to deserve the abuse, that he or she was not deserving of the abuser’s respect, affection, and care. People who have experienced violence can also have a large amount of event-related anxiety and depression, which can interfere with the ability of a person to lead a satisfying life.

Uninvolved/ Negligent Parenting style

Our feelings about ourselves are strongly influenced in many situations, and particularly when we are young, by how others feel about and treat us, especially our parents or guardians. Everyone needs a caring family, but at home, some young people have the misfortune of not having sufficient care. Parents or guardians with mental health problems, problems with drug abuse, or other issues may not be able to offer the treatment, support, and attention they need and deserve to their children. For young people, this may cause a major lack of confidence issues, as those who are expected to care for them most do not seem to.

Bullying or harassment

When it comes to appearance, intellectual and athletic skills, and other aspects of your life, childhood bullying will leave a mark on your trust. Humiliating adult encounters can also make you less likely to speak up for yourself or follow ambitious goals, like workplace discrimination or a peer group that disrespects or demeans you.

Lack of supportive peers

Being part of a social group that puts you down will cause you to feel like something is wrong with you, or that the only way for you to be respected is to do what others want and not listen to your own heart and mind, by not respecting you, by pushing you to do things you’re not happy with, by not valuing your thoughts and feelings, etc. This is harmful to the way you see yourself.

Poor body image

The image of the body is a huge factor in the lack of confidence of young people, particularly that of young women. We are surrounded by stereotypical representations of what women should look like, what the “ideal body type is from the moment we’re born. In the media, women’s bodies are increasingly objectified, making it seem as though their bodies exist for others to look at, touch, use, etc. They don’t turn into what we see on magazine covers or in music videos as puberty comes around and our bodies start to shift. On top of the profound disempowerment that comes with seeing your body as an object for others to behold, this may lead to feeling unattractive and inadequate.

Though body image messages are overwhelmingly affected by young women, young men are not exempt. Most young men struggle with a lack of confidence linked to weight and body composition, particularly concerning muscle mass. A man’s body is not so much regarded as an item for others in our society but as a symbol of his masculinity. As a show of strength and manliness, young men may feel forced to grow big muscles; they may also feel self-conscious about their height.

Gender, race, and sexual orientation

Research scores indicate that women are socialized to think more about how they are viewed and therefore to take fewer chances. Racial and cultural history, as well as sexual identity, can also make a difference. If you have been on the receiving end of prejudice, some derogatory, untrue messages about your potential and whether you “belong” may have been internalized.

Unrealistic future goals

If the expectation comes from themselves, authority figures, or peers, in terms of academic achievement, extracurricular activity, and/or social standing, some young people expect way too much of themselves. Those who fail academically may feel that they can always get straight A’s; those who do well academically may attempt to take on too many other things and consider them to be the best” after all. Young people who want attention can expect everyone to like them, something that just doesn’t happen, because you can’t please everyone no matter who you are.

Bad choices made in the past

We get stuck into a certain pattern of decision-making and behaving often. Maybe in the past, you were not a very good friend. You may not have applied to the school yourself. You may have been interested in risky activities such as drug use or unsafe sex. You may think that you are just the kind of person who acts in those ways. Due to past decisions, you might also hate yourself significantly, but don’t think you should now change courses. You can not, therefore, try. You’re going to continue making decisions that improve your negative self-view.


Another type of defective thought that leads to low self-confidence is perfectionism. Before we take action, if we think we have to have this all worked out those thoughts might prevent us from doing the things we value. Even understanding and recognizing what trust is and isn’t is a significant step in improving it.

Negative thought patterns

When you get used to the feeling, thinking, and communicating in a specific way about yourself, it becomes a habit. If you have done a certain physical activity such as riding a bike over and over again, your brain instinctively signals your muscles to do whatever the activity requires, keeping you balanced on the seat, for instance. You’ve already heard about muscle memory. Often your thoughts and emotions work in the same way. If you have ever felt like you are insignificant or inferior, if you continually think about negative thoughts and say negative things about yourself then until you break the loop by questioning your negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, you will go on feeling and thinking the same way.


Many media messages are meant to make us feel inferior. Usually, businesses that want to sell you things begin by making you feel bad about yourself, often by inserting a “problem” with your body that you would never have found otherwise.

The messages are hitting closer to home now that social media has become ubiquitous. Everyone around you has the ideal marriage, a dream career, and a supermodel looks to boot. It’s easy to believe.

Depression and anxiety

It is normal for depression and anxiety to go hand-in-hand with issues of lack of confidence. You should bring in your workbook and maybe go over it together if you’ve already been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression and are working with a therapist. It is courageous of you to overcome the stumbling blocks of self-assurance, and building trust will also help you minimize anxiety and depression.

Effect of lack of confidence 

You can hide away from social situations if you have a lack of confidence or trust, stop trying new things, and avoid things that you find difficult. Avoiding complicated and stressful circumstances may make you feel secure in the short term. This can backfire in the long term because it strengthens your underlying suspicions and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that avoiding things is the best way to cope. It can affect your mental health to live with a lack of confidence and lead to issues such as depression and anxiety. 

Therefore everyone needs to raise their confidence levels.

In this article, we discussed what causes a lack of confidence in a person.

FAQs: What causes a lack of confidence

What are the effects of a lack of confidence?

Anxiety, fatigue, isolation, and an increased risk of depression may be triggered by the effects of a lack of confidence. Friendships and intimate relationships create problems. Academic and work results are severely affected. Increased susceptibility to the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

What does lack of confidence mean?

You spend more time thinking and stressing about what other people are doing when you lack confidence than concentrating on your competence and ability. This fixation on others robs you of the positive energies that you need to fuel your ambition and achieve your goals.

How do I fix my lack of confidence?

You can fix your lack of confidence by taking control over it, grooming yourself, dressing properly, and thinking positively. You need to understand who you are and kill the negative thoughts that are creating a negative self-image about yourself. You need to act and think positively.

What are the signs of low confidence?

Signs of low confidence include putting other people down for their mistakes, seeking validation about yourself from everyone in your surrounding. You seek validation by constantly asking people or by assessing their behavior towards you. You frequently apologize even when there is no need to and you do not speak up for yourself. Your body language is not powerful and shows your low confidence.

How do I boost my confidence?

You can boost your confidence by visualizing your ideal self and working towards attaining it. Do things that scare you everyday, question the inner thought that brings you down, set yourself to win by slowly mastering a task. 





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