I learned that you can’t get by acting with confidence alone. Puffing out your chest, scratching the ground with your foot like a rooster, and making aggressive noises with only get you so far when you are slowly rotting away inside from the decay of self-doubt.
I only ask that you risk driving yourself insane through a vicious cycle of failure and redemption. Try some of these tips to quietly reassure yourself and build self-confidence from the inside out.
It worked for me, I think.
- Instead of saying, “I am the worst,” try using, “I am the best.” This generally works for any debasing pejorative. Instead of, “I suck,” try, “I kickass,” even though I know you really wanted to say, “I blow.” Confidence is not built just saying the opposite of your instinct. That is partly what got us into this horrible mess of a personality disorder in the first place.
- If someone compliments you say, “Thank you.” Then, say nothing else. Shhh. There, there. I know. I know you want to make a self-deprecating comment, but don’t do it. Don’t. No.
- When you do something and you do it in a way where someone takes it upon themselves to suggest you might doing wrong, don’t take it personally, even if they are being total assholes. Stop. Listen. Consider their words. Accept or reject what they say and move on. Otherwise, you’ll never learn. As for their advice, always #2 their advice. I mean thank them. Whether you literally or figuratively shit on someone who gives you advice will immediately put you into a defensive posture that is poison to confidence.
- Surround yourself with confident people. If you surround yourself with people who lack confidence it turns into a support group for feeling bad about yourself. That would be like joining a support group for murderers. Of your soul.
- Try something new. Get good at trying. I think doing nothing is one of the worst feelings, more so than being a miserable failure. I did nothing for a long time. That’s a lot of feeling bad. I’m doing something now, and feeling good! Mostly.
- You either have to be high and drunk all of the time, or none of the time. The rollercoaster of highs and lows from a cycle of abuse will only zap your confidence. Be consistent. Commit. Or you can try moderation, but moderation is like the Yeti. Good luck.
- You are only as old as you say you are. I am forever 32. Be realistic. No one would believe I was 26.
- Get a pet. Pets love you unconditionally. Take care of the pet. You must also love them unconditionally. A valuable lesson in empathetic reciprocity is a real confidence builder. Talk to your pet. They’re good listeners because they don’t have language.
- Cook me a delicious three course dinner and don’t fuck it up.
- This one is becoming a personal mantra. Tell people you love that they are loved by
you. Do not do this to a person you are on a second date with when things are starting to go south. If you blurt out, “I LOVE YOU,” the rest of the evening will be more awkward and unbearable than it was before. I don’t need to tell you what that will do to your confidence.
You can also try psychiatry, but don’t try psychics. Do what you want within the limits of your health insurance. Now go tell yourself you love you and take yourself out for ice cream with confidence.