Building Confidence from Nothing

 

Things have been a little tough recently. It seems like the worst time to be battling my confidence, but in reality, the toughness is probably why this battle is occurring, and finally.

I feel like I’ve gone through life, consciously, possibly annoyingly, emanating an aura of confidence. (Reflecting on this now, it seems more likely that it came off as an aura of arrogance. This would explain another problem I’ve had, but that’s something to leave for another day.) However, as I’ve been battling my normal instincts recently, I’ve realized that it’s all been a façade. A façade that deters many problems from having a chance to develop, but in the chance a problem occurs, there is no confidence there to handle it as it needs to be. The faux-confidence also allowed me to easily reach single-tier promotions and minor achievements, but unable to believe I had the ability to achieve any real dreams. Can anyone else relate to this? Going through life believing you’re one thing, only to realize there was a fog clouding your perception?

I touch on it in this post here, in my inability to set boundaries. That inability comes from my lack of confidence. When other people have needs, and have no problem with asking for help, I give them what they need. It feels good to be needed. However, I let their needs overtake my own. I suffer as my own needs lay neglected while they take and take and take. And I allow this because I feel that somehow, I am in the wrong. I lack confidence in my own thoughts. Even with something as small as just telling someone I can’t be helping them for free multiple times a week anymore, that I feel like a doormat. Clearly, I have a right to feel this way, it feels so obvious now, but for the last couple months I felt I was in the wrong.

She just needs help with small things, I should just do it.
She’s a nice woman, I should just do it.
She’s just trying to live her best life, I should just do it.
She has no one else to help her with this, I should just do it.
She lives right across the street, I should just do it.

Those thoughts, I let rule my life every time she reached out, and I drowned out the thoughts that were telling me I needed to take care of myself more.

I need a day off to decompress, that doesn’t mean to do what she wants when she wants it.
Last time I helped her for over an hour, and rather than pulling out her purse she offered me a sandwich paste.
She keeps saying she’s going to give my business card to her own clients to help me, but that’s the thing, she always just saying it.
Why is she getting short with me when I’m trying to text her instructions instead?
(Let’s not forget…) *the feeling of anxiety every times she texts me*

Now that I’m learning to understand this trait, or my lack of it, I am beginning to recognize it in other aspects of my life. Starting this blog for instance. Seems pretty simple, right? At this point I just need to write posts consistently. But it’s not easy. I. Have. So. Much. Doubt. I feel I don’t have the ability to create something of any value out of something I love. That to practice writing is a waste of my time. That no one who comes across this will gain anything from it, not even a few entertaining minutes. The doubt takes up head space more consistently than I write posts. It’s debilitating and quite literally freezes my desire to begin writing.

If I hadn’t been talking to a counselor for months, I never would’ve started my on-site tech support business. And it has taken these recent battles in recognizing my lack of confidence, to use everything I’ve got to turn it into a belief that just maybe, I’m worthy of my dreams. I have been dreaming of starting a blog for at least 8 years, maybe more. And for at least 8 years I have believed I’m not worthy of my dreams.

What I think is odd, is I don’t understand why I didn’t recognize it before. (I guess I’ve been coping okay with my faux-confidence and didn’t need to address it.) Because when I ask myself why I’m like this, it takes no effort to answer it. And while I have no desire to get into, my mentally ill dad is why. Anytime I spoke up, I was wrong. When I wrote poetry, there was something wrong with me. I wasn’t allowed individuality, and eventually I shut down and no longer spoke up. That carried into adulthood, and relationships. Anytime I got into a confrontation, I would apologize even if I wasn’t in the wrong. I wouldn’t speak up when I had a conflicting thought, and even scarier, I just assumed I was wrong. I assumed I was wrong because I was different. This I only recognized 2-3 years ago. I try to live my life without regrets, but this truly makes me sad.

What I lack in confidence, I possess in passion. I am consistently reflecting, and in turn, thinking about things I want to write about. If I didn’t have this passion, I wouldn’t have started the blog, nor would I have completed the posts that I have already. I also never would’ve learned everything else that I have committed to my lifetime. Those passions have helped me become a well-rounded individual skill-wise. If I had real-confidence for all these years, I may have become an expert in only one thing instead. I wouldn’t have given up before a hobby became serious, but after I became proficient. Now I get to take this life experience with me as I gain confidence, and nurture this life I feel fortunate to be living.