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#1 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Where does it come from? How come some people are so confident in themselves? Why do some people seem born with it? Take my DP for instance. He exudes confidence. He has never "felt bad" about himself, or not "liked" himself. I, on the other hand, have struggled for YEARS with this stuff. I'm talking, even since before puberty I can remember constantly comparing myself to others, wondering what other thought of me, feeling like I hated myself, always thinking "what is wrong with me?", wavering in my conviction, not sure what I really feel/believe/want to do. Part of it is possibly the ADD that very sure I have, my brain is always going in a million directions, so maybe I don't have the time to become confident.

What do you think? How does one become confident? Is it possible for one like me to some day be confident and never look back, or will I always struggle? Personally, I am sick of living this way. Of feeling poorly. Sometimes it gets better, but then I usually slip back down into self-doubt and hatred. greensad.gif

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#2 of 16 Old 03-21-2011, 09:43 AM
 
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i don't know if it's so much that some are "born with it" and some are not . . . i think this is more on the "nurture" side of things than the "nature" side (although it's probably a combination of both).  i don't have any great advice from personal experience, because i lack confidence, but i have this page bookmarked, and it might be helpful for you!

http://zenhabits.net/25-killer-actions-to-boost-your-self-confidence/

 

for me, it boils down to doing something.  taking action, despite my utter lack of confidence in my ability to accomplish whatever it is, really helps me - even if i don't end up feeling like i did a great job.  as long as i did it, no matter how nervous i was or how much help i needed or how hard it was or how much it went off track, if i did it (or tried), i feel better about myself and more like i could do it again next time, or tackle the next thing.

 

a crazy example of this is that i was painting my dining room and kitchen with a friend yesterday.  as we worked our way around the room(s), cutting in, we started approaching the fridge.  i was like, "um, what happens here?  do we have to paint behind the fridge?"  my friend was like, "what do you want to do?  i think normally you would pull it out and paint behind it, and the stove too, if you want."  i felt pretty paralyzed, like there was no way we could do that.  not only that it would be physically difficult to pull the fridge out, but like emotionally, i was freaked out by the thought of dealing with the dirt and random stuff behind my fridge as i had never pulled it out in the three years i've lived there.  i just felt like i couldn't, because i've never done it before.  even clearing the junk off the top of the fridge was intimidating to me, because i didn't know where to put it (um, hello, on the counter is fine!).  i decided to postpone it while we finished the rest of the cutting in, but when we came back to it, my friend was like, "let's just get it done," so we did, and yeah, obviously, not a big deal. 

 

hmm, so maybe until you "get there" (until you gain the confidence you need), asking for a little encouragement and support is a good idea too. 

 

how about this self-hate, though?  that may fall under another category.  are you doing any therapy or have you in the past?  that might help.

 

it kind of sounds like (and i'm just guessing) your lack of confidence is an obstacle in social situations (wondering what others think of you, feelings of uncertainty and looking back).  is that right?  if you can put your finger on where your lack of confidence is hurting you, then it might help you to tackle that specific area.  it sounds like you're worried that others will find you not good enough or unacceptable.  are there things about yourself that you deem unacceptable?  this is maybe a self-worth thing more than confidence (although they are definitely tied up together, and self-worth is something i also struggle with, very much so!).

 

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#3 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for replying. And thanks for the link, that was good. Maybe I should print it out and post somewhere! Although I'd probably never look at it. eyesroll.gif I have been to therapy in the past, but it did not end well (therapist turned out to be kinda nasty to me) so I haven't gone since. But I think I want to go again. The only thing is I'd have to pay out of pocket for a good one (crappy insurance). But at this point, I think I'm willing to spend the money. It is interesting because DP is totally not in touch with his emotions (one reason why we were in couples therapy) but he does not lack confidence. I think I"m overly in touch with my emotions lol.gif and I just think TOO much. I guess I do have some confidence (like your painting example, I would have just done it too, like your friend!) I think most of my lack of confidence does come socially. That's weird, I've always been a very social person, but I feel like I have a hard time with friendships since I became an adult. Maybe I just need a lot of reassurance that I am a good and ok person. I want that to come from myself though! Sometimes I just wonder why anyone would want to be friends with me, I don't feel like a very good friend.

Sorry about the rambling. I do appreciate the thoughts, thanks.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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about never looking at that long-ass list of stuff to do, that i linked to - i know!  it's overwhelming.  i look at it a few times a week, but i try to just look at one thing on the list at a time.

 

i have a couple of thoughts for you.  i liked what you said about confidence and assurance that you are a good person coming from inside of yourself.  i think you are right on with that.  so that made me think affirmations could be really good, and a sort of gratitude journal but for self-gratitude, where you write down something(s) each day that you enjoyed or appreciated about yourself.  i got a free planner/calendar book thing at work (among the piles of free crap from vendors at xmas time) and i started using it as a weight-loss journal, but it quickly became a gratitude journal, and it's remarkably encouraging and fun.  it makes me really happy.  i think if you write down something you like about yourself every day, which could be anything from having a good hair day to standing up to a jerk on the bus to bravely pulling out the fridge, that will accumulate and it will become easier and easier to like and love yourself!

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#5 of 16 Old 03-24-2011, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again! I just started reading the book "Feeling Good" by David somebody, it was recommended by someone on this board, but I can't remember who. IT IS AWESOME. I realize that so much of my lack of confidence comes from putting myself down constantly. I can't wait to read the rest of this book!

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#6 of 16 Old 04-03-2011, 01:20 PM
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It also has to do with birth order.  OP, I'm guessing that your dh is a first-born and you are not.

 

Personally, I'm the 5th child out of 6, so there really is no "role" for me--I'm not the baby, but not exactly a "middle child" either.  So figuring out who I am (and what I'm worth) has been a lifelong process. 

 


"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#7 of 16 Old 04-03-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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I'm glad that book is helping you . . . I never am confident eyesroll.gif that my recommendations are helping anyone, so thanks for mentioning it!

 

I find the two things that help me the most are TRYING to do things, even if I think I can't, and seeing trying as being SUCCESS.  The first one is pretty obvious, I just try to bull my way through any mental objections and do things anyway - like yesterday I made dripsills for windows that we just installed in our new chicken coop.  It was scary, I had to use a skilsaw, I had to make three different kinds of cut, I had to figure out how to attach them to the wall . . . I really wanted to just say "Ah!  Too hard!  Don't know how!" and walk away, but instead I picked up a scrap piece of wood and tested out some ideas on it.  The second part of increasing my self-confidence is to see that, just that, as success.  It doesn't matter that I found a way to do it and the windows now have dripsills (although it's certainly a bonus!), what matters is that I tried.  I overcame that inertia and tried something, which means I did great.

 

I don't know how much that little thing might help you, but it helps me a lot.  My husband (younger of two children, just like myself) is pretty good at that, most of the time, and it's something he taught me - that the only way to fail, truly fail, is to refuse to even try or be paralyzed by fear of failure.  And most of the time, if I try something I'm sure I can't do, it turns out that I can do it, or at least get closer to doing it, with a bit of practice.


On a farm with our kiddo (nearly 2), two dogs, two cats, ten goats, two donkeys, nine sheep, a bunch of chickens, and a husband (in the winters). We have another on the way!
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#8 of 16 Old 04-05-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hykue View Post

I'm glad that book is helping you . . . I never am confident eyesroll.gif that my recommendations are helping anyone, so thanks for mentioning it!

 

I find the two things that help me the most are TRYING to do things, even if I think I can't, and seeing trying as being SUCCESS.  The first one is pretty obvious, I just try to bull my way through any mental objections and do things anyway - like yesterday I made dripsills for windows that we just installed in our new chicken coop.  It was scary, I had to use a skilsaw, I had to make three different kinds of cut, I had to figure out how to attach them to the wall . . . I really wanted to just say "Ah!  Too hard!  Don't know how!" and walk away, but instead I picked up a scrap piece of wood and tested out some ideas on it.  The second part of increasing my self-confidence is to see that, just that, as success.  It doesn't matter that I found a way to do it and the windows now have dripsills (although it's certainly a bonus!), what matters is that I tried.  I overcame that inertia and tried something, which means I did great.

 

I don't know how much that little thing might help you, but it helps me a lot.  My husband (younger of two children, just like myself) is pretty good at that, most of the time, and it's something he taught me - that the only way to fail, truly fail, is to refuse to even try or be paralyzed by fear of failure.  And most of the time, if I try something I'm sure I can't do, it turns out that I can do it, or at least get closer to doing it, with a bit of practice.

I just got a book called "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," by Carol Dweck, that addresses the exact issues brought up in this post.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Success-Carol-Dweck/dp/1400062756

 

I've read the first section so far and have read some of the middle parts. I think it helps explain a lot what goes on in people who are not confident - and how we can change that. I could relate to a lot of things in it, thought I originally purchased it to help out my daughter who avoids anything difficult for fear of failure.


 

 


I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#9 of 16 Old 04-06-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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Low self-esteem is a very common trait of people with ADHD.  I think it takes a toll on a person's confidence if it always takes more effort to do something, anything, than it seems to for other people. 

 

DoubleDutch, I like that list!


Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#10 of 16 Old 04-06-2011, 07:07 PM
 
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OP--I wrote a post on this forum tonight about jealousy and low self-esteem and then saw yours.  Sounds like we have a lot in common.  I plan to check back on the responses you get.  I totally understand how you feel when you said you are tired of living like this.  Interesting, too--my DH is also quite confident (he is an Aries, which he thinks has something to do with it) and it kind of boggles my mind sometimes that he has no jealousy issues and physical self-doubt is not on his radar.  While he and I are alike in many ways, this sure isn't one of them.  Well, gotta get to sleep or I never will, but I plan on keeping an eye on both our posts.  We deserve better than what we have in our heads, yeah?  shy.gif


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

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#11 of 16 Old 04-11-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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I personally think the birth order theory is too simplistic to explain something as complex as confidence. It certainly doesn't explain what I see in my life every day. I'm a first-born with a not-so-high confidence level, although my ADHD (and my control thereof) definitely influences my feelings of confidence. Same goes for my oldest child. My DH is a confidence-lacking, non-ADHD oldest child. Actually, being the oldest child can cause one to be LESS confident because parents frequently expect the oldest kid to behave a certain way and often have elevated expectations for them, making it hard for the child to deviate from what's expected of him/her. And to anectdotally counter the comonnly held youngest-as-least-confident theory, my DH's youngest brother exudes confidence, and my youngest child is a grab-the-bull-by-the-horns, damn the torpedos type who commands (positive) attention wherever she goes. IMO, there are many factors which influence a person's confidence that one's birth order becomes more or less irrelevant.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by A&A View Post

It also has to do with birth order.  OP, I'm guessing that your dh is a first-born and you are not.

 

Personally, I'm the 5th child out of 6, so there really is no "role" for me--I'm not the baby, but not exactly a "middle child" either.  So figuring out who I am (and what I'm worth) has been a lifelong process. 

 

 

 

 


Interesting. My very outgoing and confident BIL (the youngest sibling) is an Aries, and my uber-social and confident youngest child is a Leo. Fire signs!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

OP--I wrote a post on this forum tonight about jealousy and low self-esteem and then saw yours.  Sounds like we have a lot in common.  I plan to check back on the responses you get.  I totally understand how you feel when you said you are tired of living like this.  Interesting, too--my DH is also quite confident (he is an Aries, which he thinks has something to do with it) and it kind of boggles my mind sometimes that he has no jealousy issues and physical self-doubt is not on his radar.  While he and I are alike in many ways, this sure isn't one of them.  Well, gotta get to sleep or I never will, but I plan on keeping an eye on both our posts.  We deserve better than what we have in our heads, yeah?  shy.gif


 


About me: I  caffix.giftreehugger.gifcold.gifknit.gifphotosmile2.gif, and read.gif. Oh, and I'm dizzy.gif with love.gif for DH and DCx3!
 
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#12 of 16 Old 04-12-2011, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, my DP and I are both youngest children. I guess I do have confidence, I mean, I try new things and try to step out of my comfort zone. It's really hard for me though. Like to reach out to a new friend, or make a phone call, or I don't know...it just takes a lot out of me, it takes a ton of energy to do those things. Maybe the word I'm looking for is self-worth. I'm working on that, but it's like a roller coaster. Some days I'm feeling pretty good, then out of nowhere I find that I'm feeling crappy again and then I start to "work" on it till I'm better. Like stopping the negative self-talk. It just takes a lot for me to REMEMBER to cut it out. *sigh*. Guess I better open that book again...

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#13 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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subbing cuase i have no confidence


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#14 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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In my own life experience I have found that I feel more confident when I have at least one person who supports me and encourages me and reflects me in a good way.  I think some people are raised by parents who instill his in them. or have sdomeone else in their life who makes them feel this way.

 

I think other people get confidence by having a hting in their life that they are passionate abour or connected to- such as a job or something they do, that creates a feeling of confidence in them.  But for me I can see that times in my life when I was as full of both grace and faults as another time, but I had someone supporting me and loving me as I am through it, I felt more confident.

 

ETA  I also think some people just have a more confident type of personality inherently-  it doesn't always mean they always feel good asbout themselves but they may be confident socially while another may be more socially uncomfortable. And some people probably just also haver a personality where they mostly feel good about themselves but I would suspect that they had some influence in their childhood that affirmed them.

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#15 of 16 Old 09-06-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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fake it till you make it.

confidence is, as confidence does.

do the things that scare you the most.

do the things that you think you simply cannot. 

when you push yourself through in those ways, you will *know* that you can do anything. and that will give you confidence galore.


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#16 of 16 Old 09-07-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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When I am feeling low, I often ask myself, "Who is worth more than me?" The answer is no one. And I am worth no more than anyone else. I deserve the best and so do you.


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