Confidence can be part of a vicious cycle: the less confidence you have, the more you want to stay away from a challenge, and the less you try challenging tasks, the less chance you have to build up your confidence! Confidence is the belief in one’s abilities, and that belief is grounded in knowledge and practice. Just as positive habits boost one’s confidence, negative habits can detract and cause you to become a hamster in your own wheel of uncertainty.

Here are five habits to watch out for that eat away at your self-confidence:

Obsessing over what someone saidWhen we are not as certain of ourselves, we tend to let others make decisions about us, about who we are. As we become more grounded in those opinions and defined by them, it matters more and more what that person says. Soon, we are obsessing over what he or she said or meant because it means so much more than what we think. This habit can grow rapidly and erode self-confidence along the way.

 Being late on projects and meetingsConfidence in our abilities comes from doing things well and professionally. The inability to manage time and deadlines plants a seed of doubt in our minds and likely the minds of others. As this becomes a habit, we lose trust in ourselves and in our integrity, which ultimately will impact confidence adversely.

Judging other peopleEmotional insecurity is often accompanied by the need to judge and be overly critical of others. This habit of seeing the worst in others and judging them provides a brief sense of respite from our own concerns. However, this backfires over time as the sense of being judged by others, in turn, becomes a real fear which takes a stronghold of our confidence.

Comparing yourself to everyone elseKeeping tabs on what people have or don’t have, their successes and failures relative to your own can become a self-defeating exercise. While some awareness and competitiveness can drive motivation and results, too much can suck up all your energy and confidence, leaving you in a rut instead.

Not doing your homeworkNot studying may have been cool when you were in high school but in the workplace, it quickly becomes a disadvantageous habit. At work, to stay ahead and deal with daily challenges, it is important to be prepared, do your research and check your facts. Your credibility depends on it, and this becomes the foundation of building confidence and trust.


Any time you indulge in habits that take you away from being proud of your inner YOU and make you search for external reassurance and validation, you can be sure that it’s most likely a confidence detractor. Time to get some help and break that habit!


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