Every problem has a core issue. When it comes to teen confidence problems, I believe the core issue is their underlying self-worth. Self-worth is like the foundation from which self-esteem and teen confidence can emerge. Because let’s face it, the way in which someone values, or does not value oneself, determines how confident they will be both situationally and in general. To illustrate how this works in our lives, I created the infographic below with “the cycle of positive self-worth”:
- From our core of positive self-worth come *positive beliefs about ourselves. (e.g. I am good enough, I am lovable.) *Positive suggests the belief is likely to serve as a benefit to the person with that belief.
- From positive beliefs come positive emotions and generally positive states of being or moods.
- From positive emotions, states of being and moods come positive actions (generosity, kindness) and positive habits (self care). These positive habits serve to reinforce the positive sense of self-worth.
I believe this cycle extremely valuable to know and oddly most people are completely unaware of how this works in their lives. I guess it could be argued that if all is well, you don’t need to know why. However, what if things are not going well? Perhaps you are terribly out of shape and you have poor eating and fitness habits. That leads us to the flip side of positive self-worth, negative self-worth.
Just like in the first infographic about positive self-worth, poor self-worth is a self-reinforcing cycle.
- Poor self-worth gives rise to negative or non-supporting beliefs about oneself. (e.g I am not good enough.)
- Negative/non-supportive beliefs give rise to negative feelings.
- Negative feelings give rise to negative actions and habits.
- These negative actions and habits reinforce their cause – poor self-worth.
So you see it’s not any ordinary cycle, it’s a truly vicious one. Sadly, most people will live and die unaware this cycle lies beneath the surface of our conscious awareness. Unfortunately, in a world where sickness, low energy, a pill for every purpose, obesity, etc. are the norm, it goes on quietly without people even realizing.
Is it odd to live in a world of people completely unaware of their value? Absolutely. Is there a way out of low self-worth and all the negative habits and effects that come with it? Absolutely. If you can arrive at the root cause of your low self-worth you can reverse the lifelong effects it has had on you and kick start your teen confidence.
In terms of root causes for low teen confidence, here are some potential things to look for:
- Situations, and stories from your childhood that suggested you weren’t good enough. Rejections. Embarrassments.
- People (Parents, siblings, family, teachers, coaches) who said things to you that made you feel less than adequate.
- Bad habits you hold today can help you figure out what’s under the surface.
Once identified, these items can be emotionally removed like weeds from the garden. More on that in a future blog post.
To your awesome teen confidence!