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Confidence issues making me feel depressed sometimes


Ljj71400

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I have some confidence issues. For about over a year, I've been working on improving myself but I've come across some setbacks. I've done things such as improving my body language, socially engaging with others (to the best of my ability), deep breathing in negative situations, giving eye contact, and other things. I have other issues such as taking things personally, being sensitive, and uncomfortable in social situations. Even though I've done these things, I will admit that I've been inconsistent at doing them. I'm sick and tired of being shy, unassertive, and not confident. Plus, my issues with anxiety make it hard for me to be confident. My confidence issues cause me to feel depressed because I feel like it is hindering me. Sometimes I fear that I will always be this way, despite my BEST efforts.

Insight? Can anyone relate to my situation?

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Your situation is something I can definitely relate too.  I still have confidence issues but old age has lessened them quite a bit. 

One thing that helped me when I was younger was Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  But to be quite honest, I was helped more by the self-help books written by cognitive therapists than by face to face therapy. 

I realize that different things work or don't work for different people. I wouldn't want to say anything negative about the various medications and therapies that help people.

I sure you hope you find things that really help with your confidence issues.  Thank you for posting what you did.  I know many members here are struggling with this and your post helps us feel less isolated and less alone with our own struggles and issues.    

- epictetus

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54 minutes ago, Epictetus said:

Your situation is something I can definitely relate too.  I still have confidence issues but old age has lessened them quite a bit. 

One thing that helped me when I was younger was Cognitive Behavior Therapy.  But to be quite honest, I was helped more by the self-help books written by cognitive therapists than by face to face therapy. 

I realize that different things work or don't work for different people. I wouldn't want to say anything negative about the various medications and therapies that help people.

I sure you hope you find things that really help with your confidence issues.  Thank you for posting what you did.  I know many members here are struggling with this and your post helps us feel less isolated and less alone with our own struggles and issues.    

- epictetus

Thanks for your reply.

I'm glad you responded to this. I've been having a pretty bad day in regards to my confidence and needed some comforting words. I'm glad you can relate to my situation. I am 22, if that helps. I am glad that old age has lessened them for you.

But thanks again. If my words in this post can resonate with anyone here or help anyone to feel better, then I'm glad I've helped others feel (at least, slightly) better about having confidence issues.

I appreciate it, once again.

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Thank you for sharing your struggle with self-confidence and anxiety, your experiences are familiar to me and your feelings about those experiences resonate.

I understand the effort required to manage anxiety in social situations. If I've had any success in doing so, I attribute that to learning skills (as you have), not making the problem worse than it is and practicing self-compassion. 

Skills help. Nothing works all the time, I like to say something works most of the time. I can always learn more therefore I don't believe it always has to be this way. Of course I can use skills and still have a bad experience, this would frustrate me. Now I try to move on to not making the problem worse. 

What I mean by not making the problem worse is not beating myself up over it. If shaming/blaming/scolding/abusing/hating myself worked, it would have worked by now. The fact is sometimes I'm not the best version of me. Other times, I might use every skill I've learned and still not get the outcome I want - and there's no reason for it, no trouble-shooting or blame assigning necessary. It's just how things go sometimes. This would depress me but now I try to move on to radical acceptance and compassion. 

For me, compassion is balancing acceptance with change. When change isn't coming fast enough, I work on accepting rather than rejecting who I am. Because I'm acceptable as I am and I believe that learning more ways to love myself is a better problem to have than trying to live with hating myself.

Acceptance doesn't mean I have to like my situation rather just not reject my reality. I can always imagine a better version of me, have desire to improve while also work on accepting who I am right now, trying to love that person. 

Self-improvement, healing, recovery - they are not pursuits that advance in some linear way, in my experience it's all squiggly lines. Setbacks mean I'm trying and that makes them acceptable.

What aspects of your confidence would you like to improve? In what ways can you treat yourself with more kindness and love right now?

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Yes, I can relate to you. What has helped me is to realize I have a illness that I didn't cause and I can't control. So it is the illness and not me. I need to give myself a lot of grace as I deal with life and not have so high expectations of myself.

BW

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I also relate to what you are going through. I remember having confidence issues even as a first grader. And that was a LONG time ago. I wish I had good ideas for improving one's confidence but I've failed at it for decades.

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47 minutes ago, sober4life said:

Yeah I just made a fool of myself in front of someone I have a crush on today.  I was such a disaster I had to apologize to this person.  I wasn't bad to this person at all.  I just failed at being human like I have my whole life.  

We all do that at least once.  Forgive yourself for your mistake if you can.  Kicking yourself in the butt for a mistake is only going to give you a bruised butt.

@Ljj71400, it is good that you have realized that you have a problem and want to change it. 

I used to have confidence issues and still do.  I know when to stay silent, when to ask questions and when to speak on the things that I know. 

I study what I need to know because I am supposed to be the on site expert and sometimes need to call out guys with more training and experience than me. 

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Just now, Rattler6 said:

sometimes need to call out guys with more training and experience than me. 

Being site expert, especially a fairy new one, doesn't mean you know everything at once Ratler.  You always end up asking those with more experience until you get most of the answers down.  That's when you start to look smart.

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Just now, Bulgakov said:

Being site expert, especially a fairy new one, doesn't mean you know everything at once Ratler.  You always end up asking those with more experience until you get most of the answers down.  That's when you start to look smart.

I do ask questions as I am still pretty green.  I was trying to say that I am supposed to know a lot about the particular work that I am supposed to know at my job. 

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21 hours ago, Atra said:

Thank you for sharing your struggle with self-confidence and anxiety, your experiences are familiar to me and your feelings about those experiences resonate.

I understand the effort required to manage anxiety in social situations. If I've had any success in doing so, I attribute that to learning skills (as you have), not making the problem worse than it is and practicing self-compassion. 

Skills help. Nothing works all the time, I like to say something works most of the time. I can always learn more therefore I don't believe it always has to be this way. Of course I can use skills and still have a bad experience, this would frustrate me. Now I try to move on to not making the problem worse. 

What I mean by not making the problem worse is not beating myself up over it. If shaming/blaming/scolding/abusing/hating myself worked, it would have worked by now. The fact is sometimes I'm not the best version of me. Other times, I might use every skill I've learned and still not get the outcome I want - and there's no reason for it, no trouble-shooting or blame assigning necessary. It's just how things go sometimes. This would depress me but now I try to move on to radical acceptance and compassion. 

For me, compassion is balancing acceptance with change. When change isn't coming fast enough, I work on accepting rather than rejecting who I am. Because I'm acceptable as I am and I believe that learning more ways to love myself is a better problem to have than trying to live with hating myself.

Acceptance doesn't mean I have to like my situation rather just not reject my reality. I can always imagine a better version of me, have desire to improve while also work on accepting who I am right now, trying to love that person. 

Self-improvement, healing, recovery - they are not pursuits that advance in some linear way, in my experience it's all squiggly lines. Setbacks mean I'm trying and that makes them acceptable.

What aspects of your confidence would you like to improve? In what ways can you treat yourself with more kindness and love right now?

Thanks for your reply.

I'm glad this post has resonated with you.

I am still using the skills I learned but I need to be more consistent at doing them.

I definitely relate to the self-improvement and progress part. I have made efforts to improve my situation in terms of confidence and self-esteem but still feel like I haven't made progress.

I am going to use your advice of radical acceptance and compassion.

I am not always compassionate towards myself and I will find a way to break this habit.

Visualization sounds very helpful, so I will try to put that in my routine.

You are right about self-improvement. It is not a smooth road. It comes with bumps along the way.

Aspects of my confidence that I want to change are: social skills, assertiveness, and possibly approaching women.

Ways that I can treat myself with more love and compassion is to meditate, do deep breathing exercises, read self-help books, journaling, and working out (realistically).

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13 hours ago, BeyondWeary said:

Yes, I can relate to you. What has helped me is to realize I have a illness that I didn't cause and I can't control. So it is the illness and not me. I need to give myself a lot of grace as I deal with life and not have so high expectations of myself.

BW

Thanks for this. I'm glad you can relate. I try to give myself reminders when I experience any kind of negativity. I have to remind myself to stop being so hard on myself, which is one of my worst habits.

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10 hours ago, JD4010 said:

I also relate to what you are going through. I remember having confidence issues even as a first grader. And that was a LONG time ago. I wish I had good ideas for improving one's confidence but I've failed at it for decades.

I'm glad you replied. I'm glad you were able to relate to this post that I wrote.

I (somewhat) have the misconception that confidence issues are usually issues that young people deal with. But it can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. I try to stay positive about my confidence issues. Each day is a new day and an opportunity to work on yourself. The fact that you said you failed at gaining confidence shows that you put some effort into this. It's good that the effort is there.

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9 hours ago, sober4life said:

Yeah I just made a fool of myself in front of someone I have a crush on today.  I was such a disaster I had to apologize to this person.  I wasn't bad to this person at all.  I just failed at being human like I have my whole life.  

I can relate to what you wrote, in a different way.

I have made myself look like a fool in front of certain people. When they gave me a certain reaction, I ended up taking it personally and mentally reviewing it in my head for the remainder of the day. I have a pretty bad habit of beating myself up. Sometimes, I can be my own worst critic. What helps is reminding myself that I am a human being and I am INCAPABLE of being perfect. Humans are not designed to be perfect and will make mistakes throughout life. That usually helps me to be a lot easier on myself.

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8 hours ago, Rattler6 said:

We all do that at least once.  Forgive yourself for your mistake if you can.  Kicking yourself in the butt for a mistake is only going to give you a bruised butt.

@Ljj71400, it is good that you have realized that you have a problem and want to change it. 

I used to have confidence issues and still do.  I know when to stay silent, when to ask questions and when to speak on the things that I know. 

I study what I need to know because I am supposed to be the on site expert and sometimes need to call out guys with more training and experience than me. 

I'm glad you replied.

I appreciate the compliment of my effort. It really means a lot to me that someone recognizes my effort and is willing to assist when they can.

Speaking of what you wrote, I always use to think that once you gain confidence that all your mental challenges (seeking approval, feeling hurt by others' criticism, comparing yourself to others, feeling shy, etc.) will "vanish". But I realize that is just a misconception. Even the most confident person in the world can feel insecure from time to time.

But your insight was helpful.

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8 hours ago, Ljj71400 said:

I'm glad you replied.

I appreciate the compliment of my effort. It really means a lot to me that someone recognizes my effort and is willing to assist when they can.

Speaking of what you wrote, I always use to think that once you gain confidence that all your mental challenges (seeking approval, feeling hurt by others' criticism, comparing yourself to others, feeling shy, etc.) will "vanish". But I realize that is just a misconception. Even the most confident person in the world can feel insecure from time to time.

But your insight was helpful.

Thanks. 

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