I have NO confidence in myself at all, how can I begin to change?(17 Posts)
I can't explain this very well but hope it makes some sort of sense.
I'm assertive in a lot of 'little' ways. Happy to talk to anyone really, ask for things I need in the shops/ at the doctors/ in a restaurant. I've always been like this. I grew up in a dysfunctional house where one parent loved me and fought my corner and the other parents ignored me and was pretty cruel on a regular basis.
I have this horrible belief that I'm a bit rubbish and not worth anything because I'm somehow a bit inferior to virtually everyone else. People seem to sniff this out all the time, and my strategies have changed - at school, I had low level bullying.
I used to let people treat me not very well when I was younger (boyfriends, etc) but had therapy and drummed it in to take good care of myself and set boundaries. So that doesn't happen anymore.
But I can't stop being vicious towards myself and it seems ok to do this because I honestly don't believe I am good enough, and I run out of patience towards.
Faking confidence for years has never resulted in me actually feeling confident. I do all the outward stuff to look after myself well, but I don't feel good enough.
What can I do? I have no money for therapy these days.
Ok, pick one thing about yourself that you like, or are proud of or is a bit special.
A talent, skill, feature etc.
Focus on that one thing. Be proud of that thing. Think about how that thing enhances your life and the lives of those around you. Use that thing as a place from which to grow.
Once you’ve embedded it, look for another thing and do the same.
Eventually you’ll discover that you are, in fact, pretty valuable, useful, needed and loved. And that anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.
(and don’t tell me you don’t have that one thing, even people I really, really dislike have something admirable about them!)
Remember, you might be just a little cog in the world but little cogs are absolutely critical. Without them everything grinds to a halt.
Watching, as I have low self esteem / no confidence.
I've been told to "fake it until you make it", but have been trying to fake it for years ....
I have this horrible belief that I'm a bit rubbish and not worth anything because I'm somehow a bit inferior to virtually everyone else
Thing is, if a child doesn't feel loved by a parent(s), the child grows up with an inbuilt not good enough feeling, because after all, if your own parent doesn't love you how unlovable must you be? I speak from bitter experience and I know exactly what you mean.
Be kind to yourself. I am in my early 60's now and still suffer in the same way you describe, so sadly I have no way of helping you other than to say you are not alone.
Thanks so much for all your comments. I'm so sorry to hear that others suffer with similar, sadly it makes sense though. When you factor in parents doing some deep damage, as mentioned by pp.
My loving parent died some years ago and I'm a lot worse since that happened. Separate from grief, which of course is there too.
I am lucky enough to have a very kind and decent partner, we love each other very much. I feel loved. But have this horrible feeling eating away at me that I'm not good enough as a person in some way. Or every way.
I do have things I know I'm actually very good at - but the crazy thing is I don't even do them anymore because I don't feel good enough! FFS! I can't win this.
For example, I don't feel it's worth bothering starting to do any art project because even if it's good - people don't like me so won't be interested. So I'll never be anything good as an artist.
I suppose all of this is about rejection, really? I feel rejected by the world and so embarrassed that nothing I do is good enough.
I think I need to find access to counselling somehow, I'm not managing to get rid of these feelings by myself and maybe a counseller could help with that.
I wish I could give you a hug! This is your inner child feeling unworthy due to a rubbish vile parent and isn’t your fault nor anything to do with you (although very hard to feel that I know).
In low periods I have found doing volunteering, or something to help others (so doesn’t have to be formal charity stuff) is wonderful for self esteem and feelings of worth.
Good luck xxx
Don’t do your art for other people.
Don’t do your art to some nebulous standard you think other people need.
Do your art because it makes you feel good.
If it turns out well, super, if it’s a bit disappointing who cares you felt good while you were doing it.
You only get better by doing, so do it.
The value of other people’s opinion is constantly overrated.
<shrug> Set aside what you think other people think about you. Do something for yourself.
To be able to create art, of any standard, is a wonderful gift. Don’t waste it.
I guess I keep thinking, maybe if I could prove I was really good at something then I'd feel worth something?
So I'm scared to try because so much is riding on everything I even think of doing. I get in trouble at work because I don't trust my work, I check everything repeatedly and repeatedly, even the simplist of emails. I have so little confidence that anything I can do is any good at all.
Everything feels stressful because of this. I wish I could not care about it.
I have tried studying and dropped out, because I can't read stuff without worrying I'm not understanding it correctly. I sound mad I know!
The big conundrum seems to be that to build confidence in ANYTHING you have to DO stuff. Accept that it possibly will be shit, but do it anyway.
I can't take my foot off the brake
I think a lot of damage can be done by repeated negative self-talk. My 11 year old daughter does this to herself and I ask her whether she’d speak to a friend like that. Of course she wouldn’t, so the next question is why is she hurting my friend in that way.
Please start a list of things you are good at, or things you do well and things that make you feel good. Add to it whenever you can. Read that list every day until you believe it.
Try not to focus on what you can’t do. There is plenty that you can do and those positives are what matters, not the rest.
Wow I could have written this myself. You wrote and explained yourself beautifully. I can identify with you regarding the confident on the outside..I too have my nails done and always look presentable and confident. I’m smiley and friendly, even to strangers. However as soon as I am behind closed doors, I fall to pieces!! The trouble is..ive started to tell people I hav confidence issues and they really don’t believe me!! I’ve put on such a good show for so many years!! If only they could see me shaking and crying and worrying, the anxiety almost too much to bear.
My counsellor told me to write down everything I’ve done that’s good in a day and everything that I should be proud of. Also, write down wverytime someone offers to meet up, or calls me etc. I hadn’t realised that people actually liked me..and they must because they ask me out to coffee etc.
I really hope these things help you. My heart goes out to you so much.
Take care and believe in yourself. A big hand hold from me x
This is me but I used to have confidence bags off it then it changed I now don't have any I can ask for things in shops and stuff but mines is more down to how I look dress etc I don't wear makeup never really have that's not a problem but I don't do anything with my hair it's always up I don't dress up nice don't really care what I wearing my eyebrows used to be done all the time now I can't go do it I also get my hair cut 1 a year as I can't go get it done I've just no confidence do go get things like this done as I have no confidence in doing it I also have confidence issues around my partner and in how I bring up kids
Not a quick fix, but you might be interested to read or watch some of Brene Brown. She’s on YouTube and her work ties in with things you’re feeling, even if it doesn’t immediately feel like it does. I’ve found her style pretty engaging as well.
OP, what you describe could respond really well to CBT. They would help you figure out what things from the past have brought you to this point and then help you to move forward, developing new strategies and ways of thinking.
Self-compassion (as PP said) and mindfulness really work for this.
Speak to your GP about getting a referral for therapy and in the mean time if you want to start reading about this, as well as the book mentioned above, have a look at these resources:
Improving Self-Esteem workbooks
Assert Yourself workbooks
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions
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