5 Ways Men Lose Confidence

We sat around a bonfire laughing as six friends and I celebrated a good friend’s retirement from our local fire department. But I could hear my wife yelling at me from the porch about a phone call. Who could be calling me on a Saturday night?

My boss, and he’d called me for the third weekend in a row. My anxiety heightened. This constant disruption of my life shook my confidence as I felt stuck between providing for my family and sticking up for myself. To be the best husbands, fathers, and men, we must have confidence in everything we do. That’s not just true at work but at home. And for most of us, a bad job isn’t the only thing that destroys our confidence. Here are 5 ways men can lose confidence.

1. Comparing Ourselves

Constantly comparing ourselves to friends or colleagues can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. It’s one of the most powerful ways to lose confidence. Earlier in my life, I would compare myself to friends and classmates related to my career and family. It always left me feeling inadequate. Comparing where I was in my career and my job title, my kids’ athletic accomplishments, and even my social status didn’t build me up. It made me think I was trailing my friends. We all have unique paths, and confidence wanes when we focus on keeping up with our friends and peers.

Confidence wanes when we focus on keeping up with our friends and peers.

2. Fearing Failure

Sometimes, being confident means taking calculated risks. When we’re confident, we view failure as a natural part of the process and look at it positively as a learning tool to help us improve. When we fear failure, a natural result is that we second guess our intuition, leading to less opportunity for personal and professional growth.

3. Negative Self-talk

If you’re anything like me, you can be your own worst enemy. Negative self-talk can erode confidence over time and put you into the wrong frame of mind. You can’t be confident playing a negative soundtrack in your head because you keep a negative mindset, and doubt fills your thoughts. It’s essential to be mindful of your thoughts and to challenge any negative or limiting beliefs. You have two paths to go down each time you’re faced with an idea. Choose the positive one.

4. Lack of Self-care

Neglecting one’s physical and emotional well-being can lead to feelings of fatigue, and even depression, which can affect self-confidence. Being a man today is demanding and includes a very active family life and an increasingly “always on” professional life. An old mentor once told me, “You’re nothing without your mental and physical health.” He was right. You can’t be confident when your physical and mental health isn’t a top priority. Your body and mind need to be the best they can be, which helps build your confidence.

5. Not Setting Boundaries

If you’re like me, you’ve learned the negative side of not setting boundaries when you realize you’re overcommitted or taken advantage of. When I don’t set boundaries, I often find myself overwhelmed as I find it hard to say no. Over time, I’ve improved at saying no and communicating my boundaries. This includes the art and discipline of saying “no” when necessary. Protecting your peace and prioritizing those things in your life leads to a happy and more confident man.

Sound off: What are some other ways men lose confidence? 

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some of your biggest accomplishments?”