Stop Cancelling Plans Because of Low Confidence
Cancelling plans can be easy to do when your confidence is low. You may be anxious or uncomfortable, and those feelings will probably intensify as the plans draw nearer (take the Social Anxiety Disorder Test: Do I Have Social Anxiety?). Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and negative thoughts take over. Negative feelings can get so uncomfortable, and pulling out of your plans may seem like the easiest thing to do. However, cancelling plans or not showing up can make things worse. It’s important to stop cancelling plans because of low confidence.
Cancelling plans may be a sign of a mental health condition such as depression or social anxiety, and it’s important to address the root issues (see PTSD-Related Avoidance Avoided With This Coping Technique). I encourage you to seek the help of a mental health professional if you need it and, as always, these tips are not intended as a substitute for therapy.
How to Stop Cancelling Plans Because of Low Confidence
- Address the underlying issues. Underlying issues such as depression or social anxiety can be debilitating and they can be challenging to overcome on your own. It’s important to get the help you need.
- Be accountable for your decisions. Know that you always have a choice, whether it's to make a plan, commit to it or say no. Stop being a people pleaser, learn to say no and accept only those plans that you’re prepared to commit to. Occasionally you might have to pull out a plan for a good reason. Accept responsibility for letting the organiser know your change in intentions.
- Fight the negative thoughts and feelings. Don’t let your negative thoughts and feelings talk you out of going. Stop making excuses and stop using avoidance to deal with self-esteem issues. It’s important to act regardless of your negative feelings. Additionally, a distraction can help keep you occupied, and take your mind away from the negative self-talk.
- Make showing up your goal. Turning up is an achievement in itself. Don’t expect the experience to be perfect and know that you’ll get better, and more comfortable with practice.
- Focus on the benefits of turning up. Turning up can be empowering in so many ways. It can lift your mood and it’s an opportunity to socialise and make new friends. Turning up can help you to feel better about yourself and it can help with depression and anxiety.
- Visualise a confident you. Imagine how you'll look, act and feel as a confident person. Mentally rehearse being in that situation (Visualization Exercises Can Conquer Anxiety).
- Do something to motivate yourself. For example, you might listen to uplifting music, talk to a friend, use positive affirmations or do some exercise.
- Expect feelings of disappointment if you cancel. Cancelling or not showing up can make you feel disappointed and stuck in your situation. It may also be disappointing for others who planned for your attendance, or genuinely wanted to see you.
- Stop being too hard on yourself. Sometimes, despite best intentions and efforts, you end up cancelling plans. It really can be hard to commit when you’re feeling down or anxious. While it’s important to not keep using that as an excuse, you might really be struggling and genuinely need to pull out of a plan. Look after yourself and stop beating yourself up over it. At the same time, accept responsibility for getting the help you need.
- Consider being honest. As well as being honest with yourself, it can sometimes be helpful to be honest with others, particularly if you are struggling with a mental health issue. However, that will depend on the people involved and how well you know them. Many people will be understanding and helpful, however, others might not be. It's therefore important to use your judgement and do what's right for you.
If you’re thinking of cancelling plans, perhaps you’re expecting the worst and don’t believe you can cope with the uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps you don’t have the energy or just don’t feel like it. Before you talk yourself out of it, I encourage you to consider what you’ll gain from showing up as well as the consequences of pulling out. See the bigger picture and realise that turning up has benefits for you in the longer run. Committing to your plans is a way of building confidence and I encourage you to make the effort. Stop cancelling plans because of low confidence.
You can find Fay Agathangelou on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.
Agathangelou, F. (2015, November 17). Stop Cancelling Plans Because of Low Confidence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2015/11/stop-cancelling-plans-because-of-low-confidence
Author: Fay Agathangelou
I was going to text my friends and say I couldn’t meet them tomorrow. I’m terryfied but determined that I at least try am do something social for once in my life. Thank you.
sorry for incorrect spelling
I went to the two meetings. Glad I went. Didn't say much, but I did listen to all of the presentations.
Well done for showing up John, that's a big achievement in itself. I'm glad you went too, keep up the great work :)
How to stop cancelling plans because of low confidence is great food for thoughts. Thoughts on looking at the reasons why and reflecting on how low confidence is demeaning and that we have the power not to let it rule.
Once we are aware of low confidences's pawning effects on our lives, like systematically cancelling plans, the advices in this article come really handy. I also find the test "Do I have social anxiety" useful in getting conscious insight of our mindset.
In my particular case, I got more aware that procrastination is a way of avoiding to face the issue at hand. However, I have experienced that dance helps into shifting to a more positive state of mind and into action quite swiftly.
I appreciate this reading a lot!
Thanks for your comment Turenne, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Confidence can certainly interfere with our lives, and it's important to face our challenges instead of avoiding them. Self-awareness (i.e. knowing what's good for us, and how we self-sabotage) is very important for building confidence. Glad you found dancing to be beneficial, it's a great thing to be doing.
I haven't left my house, except for Dr.'s appointments, in over 5 years. I am terrified of the outside world and I panic. I am sweating now even as I write this. This article showed me that I need to get a grip on my social anxiety and begin living my life. I know the road is long, but now I have hope. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing your experience Lynda, and sorry to hear what you've been going through, that must be hard. I'm glad you can see that there is hope for you. The road might seem long, but social anxiety can be overcome and you can create the life you want. Just remember that you're never alone. Keep on getting the help you need and keep on persevering because it will be worth the effort. Glad the article was helpful and I wish you all the best with it.
Dang. Now you have given me good reasons to not skip the meeting I was going to skip on December 3. Now I will go. Those were good points. Skipping would have made my anxiety and depression worse. Going will increase my self esteem. Thanks.
Thanks for your comment John, I'm glad the tips were helpful for you. It's great that you're going to the meeting and I wish you all the best with it :)