Technology and Self-confidence
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Richard Thomas MSc(Psychotherapy)Postgrad.Dip.Psychosexual Therapy;MBACP(Accred)
31st August, 20110 Comments
There are many ways in which technology benefits us. It has a considerable potential to help our efforts to improve our self-confidence and self-esteem.
One of the reasons why people go into therapy is to increase their self-confidence and/or their self-esteem. Also, clients whose main difficulty might be anxiety, a phobia, a compulsion, depression or an addiction often also have self-esteem and self-confidence issues which are hard to separate from what appears to be the main issue. There are very few people who enter counselling or psychotherapy who are free from issues around self-confidence.
In practice, having a reasonable estimate of your abilities and your worth is essential to psychological well-being. I doubt whether anyone is born with a lack of self-confidence. Freud referred to “His majesty, the baby”, a phrase which points to the baby's innate sense of confidence in approaching the world and securing the satisfaction of needs. There are many deep causes of a lack of self-confidence which can usefully be explored and worked upon in therapy but the process can be helped by dealing with the issue in the present as well, both within and outside of therapy.
There are few areas of our life that have not been transformed by modern technology; psychologically, the good news is that technology can help us transform ourselves. You can use modern technology to remind yourself of your worth, your value to yourself and your friends and of your talents and interests.
Starting with probably the most ubiquitous example: your Mobile phone – what is your mobile phone screensaver? Is it of something you have picked up on the internet or is it a photograph of something or someone that you love? If you love your partner, your children or your pets, then have a photo as your screen saver and remind yourself every time you pick up your mobile that you have something very special. Have you ever won a cup, a certificate or a rosette for a Sports Day, a Quiz Night, for your saxophone playing, or for completing a Fun Run? A screen saver will remind you of your achievements.
Home and work computers – the same applies for your screensavers on your computers; beautiful landscapes are all very well but a photograph of your achievements will remind you constantly that you have lots to be proud of. And a photo of a landscape, if taken by you, may also confirm that you are a good photographer – a talent of yours. If you use an image of yourself doing something you love, you will be reminded of your skills and talents regularly.
Many of us are Facebook users but not everyone exploits its full potential. Do you feel that you lack friends, or, at the other extreme, your profile shows thousands of friends but you don't feel close to anyone ? Why not follow all possible links to the people you have known through your life? Make a friend request and then remind yourself to contact him/her on a fairly regular basis, just to find out how they are getting on. Closer friends too- why not comment on their photos and make them feel good about themselves? In this way you will soon be getting comments on your home page and will be able to truly remind yourself that you have a wide circle of interesting and amusing friends. Remember – no one has to click “like” on your comments or photos and the fact that people do is a sign that you are writing and recording good information. Psychological research supports the value of helping others to feel good and also of social contact.
Kindle – downloads books about self confidence and make sure you read them! There will be lots of hints and tips that you may find really useful. There are some very good publications giving useful accounts of how to cope with anxiety, depression, obsessions and phobias. There are also books which help you to gain self-knowledge- arguably an essential component of self-confidence- and others which help you to understand cognitive therapy and apply it to yourself. All of these can be put on your Kindle or iPad. A word of warning: self-help books may contain bad advice too, including some very outdated stuff suggesting that you ought to aim to be always positive rather than realistic.
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