Many men who seek out help from a therapist do so because their confidence levels are slowly dwindling.

The reality is men aren’t the biggest fans of speaking about how they feel and it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s mostly because society has taught them that’s not something guys do.

It’s honestly a shame that so many men have this very rigid idea about what masculinity is, especially since this lack of self-confidence can lead to depression.

Your self-esteem is directly linked to your self-worth, and there are a number of reasons why men tend to feel less than worthy. We uncover some of those triggers here so that you can start experiencing more confidence in your day-to-day life.

Habits that Can Destroy Your Self-Esteem & Relationships

Here are a few of the most common habits that could be affecting your confidence as a man as well as your relationships.

Not Opening Up

If you find it difficult to open up about how you were feeling, this could be affecting your self-esteem as well as your relationships. Unfortunately, when you are surrounded by friends and family members who aren’t big talkers either, the problem just gets worse. If you have ever experienced a major challenge and pretended it’s no big deal or if you use humor as a defense mechanism, it might be time to see someone who you can open up to. You’ll be surprised at how your life changes once you start speaking about the issues that are bugging you.

Buying into Toxic Beliefs about Masculinity

It’s always surprising to discover how many men still buy into toxic masculinity. Ideas such as men not talking about how they feel, that you’re not allowed to experience self-doubt and that feelings such as shame and depression make you less of a man – these are all toxic beliefs that you need to stop living by if you want to experience more confidence. A therapist can help you with this, and it helps to surround yourself with people who don’t buy into this type of thinking either.

Trying to Ignore Lingering Body Image Issues

Men experience just as many body image issues as women do and pushing them to the back of your mind is not going to help you feel more confident. According to CALIBRE Clinic, along with developing healthy thought patterns about your appearance, it’s important to speak to a professional if you feel that there are areas of your body you would like to change. Why let something so simple affect your quality of life when there are solutions available?

Using Alcohol to Boost Your Confidence

After a few beers, you may feel more relaxed and have the confidence to talk to other people but having one too many can have the complete opposite effect. There’s nothing worse than waking up the next day and realizing you said or did something out of character – this will only take your self-esteem levels down even further. Plus, having too much to drink can also turn your time in the bedroom into a negative experience, which will only have a negative effect on your relationship and confidence.

Being a Prisoner of Your Past

Many men don’t realize how much they’re attached to the past until they realize how many great opportunities they have turned down because of it. Perhaps you don’t want to go out on another date because the last three went so badly. Maybe you don’t want to learn a new skill because you failed too many exams in the past. Learning how to let your past go and create a new future for yourself is one way you can boost your self-esteem going forward.

Playing Negative Thoughts on Repeat

What does your mental tape sound like? Is it telling you positive things that make you feel happy, confident, and accepted, or are you constantly playing that negative mental tape that keeps holding you back? Finding ways to break your negative thought patterns may be a struggle at first, but it can be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself. Instead of telling yourself that you always make a mess of your interviews, you can start telling yourself that your job interviews always go really well.

Avoiding People

When you don’t feel good about yourself, it becomes harder to convince yourself to get out of the house and see other people. Isolating yourself from the world is not going to help you lead a happier life. If you don’t feel great when you spend time with family and friends, perhaps you need to question who you are spending time with and whether you are replaying negative thoughts that convince you people don’t like you.

Passing Blame

It’s much easier to blame other people for what you’re currently experiencing than to take charge of your life and make changes that will help you build an exciting and happy future. Perhaps your childhood was filled with abuse or your last partner up and left you out of the blue? These people are responsible for their actions, but you are responsible for how you react to them.

See a therapist if you need to but take positive steps to turn your life around. You get to decide who you want to be and how you want to live your life, so take charge.

Being in Denial about Your Mental Health

Mental health is still something that many people are afraid to talk about, which is why so many men and women are living with mental health issues. We live fast-paced and demanding lives that lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Denying these feelings will not make them go away; in fact, it could end up turning into a chronic condition if left untreated. Getting the help you need will boost your confidence and ensure you experience a better quality of life.

Using Drugs to Escape and Relax

Using drugs to relax and feel like you fit in is not going to give you the long-term results you’re hoping for. Along with wasting your money, drugs will eventually start affecting your health and your future. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re immune to addiction. You never quite know how this habit will affect you in the long run, so it’s best to quit while you’re ahead.

How you feel inside will determine what you project on the outside. Feeling more confident is an inside job, and it isn’t a journey you need to go alone either. If you recognized any of the behaviors above, it might be time to pause and decide what you can do to increase your self-esteem and improve your quality of life.

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