The 5 factors that hold you back from true self-confidence

By Justina Shatonhoka|

Self-confidence, though a great necessity to great undertakings, can be a fleeting tool; ever up and down if not built on the correct and strongest foundation.

Often, what is powerful enough to hold you back from building an unshakable self-confidence is also the very opposite of what is powerful enough to build that unshakable self-confidence. So, if you’re ever determined to build your self-confidence, look for what affects it and go from there.

Although they might seem easy to discover, the factors that hold you back from being truly confident can sometimes be deeper and more complex to realize. Take a good read at the ones I’ve listed below and tell me if you agree:

  1. The wrong environment – yes, it’s a fact that sometimes we get molded when the conditions are harshest, but let’s face it, if you can’t even learn anything from that environment, cut your losses if you can and go where you can learn something.

With that said, let me clarify what’s my idea of the wrong environment: if everything flows so easy and does not encourage you to push for your very best, it’s way worse than when everyone around you is negative. When everyone around is negative, it can be truly awful, but a spoilt way of being is worse than awful.

The more you’re challenged, the more you have to try (assuming you’re tenacious), and the more you try, the more you realize your limit can be stretched.

How on earth are you going to realize that you’re stronger if you never have to be stronger to survive? The wrong environment is one where you never get to discover your abilities, and there’s no environment that does that better than a constantly easy environment. Rather, challenge yourself.

  1. Lack of self-awareness – for the same reason that you cannot fool a mathematician into arriving at the wrong answer by lying to them (because they’ve mastered the subject of mathematics), you cannot convince a self-aware person that they’re not good enough because of their flaws.

They already know their flaws, but self-awareness is not just about knowing your flaws, it’s also about realizing that you have strengths that are enough to overcome your flaws. No one can manipulate you with your flaws if you already know them, because you have the power to decide what they mean.

However, if you don’t know yourself, anybody can decide who you are for you and thus do away with your self-confidence if they so wish, and you’ll let them, because you cannot debate what you don’t know.

So, embark on a self-discovery journey and learn your blind spots, weaknesses and strengths, so that you may tell the world what they mean and not the other way around.

  1. Lack of self-acceptance – everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. Not accepting yourself makes it hurt more when your flaws are thrown in your face. What you are is an unfinished product trying to tell itself its worth ahead of time. Stop it seriously. Let God lead the way and do what you can.

It’s OK to not be perfect. God knew what he was doing when he created you the way that he did anyways. He never intended for you to be perfect, he just wants you to try and improve yourself.

Every day, try and be the best version of your true self, not the false version of what society depicts. Society can be wrong; it doesn’t have an accurate measure of true value.  Like I said: everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

  1. Fear – the opposite of fear is blind faith. Faith is to stare the monster right in the face and know you’re going to be OK anyways, therefore you might as well not be afraid.

But fear is sneaky and creeps in wearing the shoes of negative thoughts.

Yes, you must face your fears if you’re to defeat them, but before you’re able to defeat your fears, you must admit you have them. When was the last time you actually said out loud “God, help me, I’m afraid’’. Fear cannot affect your self-confidence if you embrace it, because it will cease to have power over you.

  1. The wrong mindset to hardships – there are 2 things that appear valueless before they fully develop: a diamond and a person that’s being tested by life.

A diamond was just a piece of charcoal that could only be turned into a diamond by immense pressure because of its chemical makeup. Just as well, hardships can only turn you into a confident and thus valuable commodity if you have the correct mindset to those hardships.

Hardships are a good thing for the most part. Don’t shun them and miss the moment that’s supposed to be a lesson. Let your hardships teach you what they’re trying to teach you. If a piece of charcoal could look valueless one moment and turn into a diamond the next, then it stands to reason that how rugged your life looks does not nullify the potential you have to be great.

– Justina P. Shatonhoka is an author of motivational books and a motivational speaker. To learn more about her and order her book How to build your self-confidence: The ultimate guided journey visit She can also be reached at: