The past 12 months i’ve realised a real difference in my confidence levels. I’ve never been super confident, i have always been very shy and had low self esteem. Worried what people think about me, being a people pleaser and just thinking very low about myself. Thinking my friends were just friends because they pitied me, not wanting to join events because i thought my friends only invited me because they felt sorry for me but didn’t actually want me around. I didn’t like myself and didn’t understand how others could like me either. I’ve kept trying to work on my self esteem and confidence levels however when i went through a depression 2015-2016 the little confidence and self esteem i had disappeared completely. I thought so little of myself and thought i had no worth, my lack in confidence and self esteem was definitely a contributing factor (amongst many others, such as moving to a new city!) that caused my previous relationship to end.
Having such low confidence and such negative thoughts about myself, where i couldn’t accept a compliment instead would give the person 10 reasons why they are wrong and why i am an awful person, it is very tiring to think that way.
Then in autumn 2016 i moved to a new city, where i am currently living and studying. I ended my relationship, i began with herbal medication for my depression, i got a change in scenery and i began to build myself up again. The first 6 months, in a new city and in a new school, it was tough but i decided to *fake it till you make it*. I made friends, i began doing things on my own, i began to build myself stronger and think more positive thoughts about myself. It wasn’t always easy, i’ve had times i’ve felt so worthless and insecure and times my self esteem has been at rock bottom, but each time i have picked myself back up again.
And in the past 6 months or so, i have felt more confident than ever. I would contribute this to my summer job where i was forced into new situations all the time, forced to talk to new people and adapt to new situations. Forced to be confident in my position. But also daring to talk to new people, be the first one to send a message, be the person to talk to someone new, doing things on my own. Knowing what i want and knowing my own worth as well.
It is hard to explain how i feel and the changes i feel and have made. But i feel more confident in myself. I think it is also a sign that i am growing older and am more mature. Caring less if i mess up or trip or walk into something, instead just laughing it off. Not feeling like everyone hates me or that i am bothering people by being around them. Doing things on my own and not having to have company. Accepting compliments and believing them.
Building up your self esteem and confidence takes time, but it is so worth it when you don’t feel like a failure and that everyone hates you.
The thoughts you have when you don’t feel confident are often very irrational and the best thing is to use the “why 5 times” method. Such as:
My ‘friends’ only invited me because they pity me, they don’t actually like me.
Why? Because i am annoying and not fun to be around.
Why? Because i’m more shy and not as outgoing and am just annoying as a person.
Why? i dont know why…..
i.e ask yourself ‘why?’ to those irrational thoughts until you realise they are irrational…
Also, challenge yourself to do new things and the things that scare you. There is no way of overcoming the fear if you don’t face it. Do things alone, talk to new people, step outside of your comfort zone. For example, you really want to go to a concert that nobody else wants to go to….? Go alone, who knows maybe you will make friends there or just have a really good time on your own. You want to go see a movie at the cinnema and no one else does? Go alone… nobody can see in the dark anyway and going to the cinema alone is alot more common than you think!
You want to talk to that guy/girl in your class/online/at the gym? Talk to them or send them a message… worst case scenario you don’t get a reply or they aren’t interested, who cares? If you do ask them on a date and they say no, they will be flattered nonetheless and you have nothing to lose…. however if you don’t ask you will never know!
Boosting your self esteem and growing your confidence is about believing in yourself and your worth. It is so much easier to be happy and happy in who you are and what you are doing when you believe in yourself and don’t think you are a failure or trash or unwanted.
Everyday say nice things about yourself. Believe the compliments you receive. Compliment others. Push yourself to do new things and things that scare you!
Confidence is key and i am so much more happy now when i feel more confident.