Self-confidence, where does it come from? My theory is it comes from within. I haven’t been able to find my own inner self-confidence in a long while now. I have had glimpses of it, here and there. Every now and then I will have a fleeting moment where I will not think that every one that is in a room is laughing at me, judging my every move. However, for the most part, I lack the self-confidence I desire in my life.
Part of that does have to do with my mental illness diagnosis and my mental health overall and the fact that paranoia and delusional thoughts about how others perceive me is going to be a part of my life forever. There is never going to be a point that I will be completely free of the nasty thoughts that plague my brain and make me think others are judging me and dislike who I am. It is however up to me to make sure I am mentally as strong and as healthy as I can be in order to find those true glimpses of self-confidence and find the self-worth I know I want and deserve to have.
What can I do to change my lack of self-confidence?
I often think there must be a way for me to overcome this lack of self-confidence that I carry around with me. Whether it’s in my personal life or my career, I walk around in a state of constant avoidance in life with even the simplest of things, because I am always so fearful of the rejection that seems inevitable. I fear rejection, and I think that ultimately that fear of rejection is what is keeping me from the abundance of self-confidence that I crave. So, what can I do to change that fear of rejection and my lack of self-confidence?
Stop Giving My Power to Others!
I need to stop giving my power to others. The reason I am always lacking self-confidence is that my mood is dependent on external factors in my life. I live on an emotional roller coaster ride that is determined by my emotions that will be decided by the way others react to me. If I am praised, I will be in a great mood. If I am given bad news, I will be in a terrible mood. My mood is determined completely by outside factors all dependent upon if I am rejected that day or not.
My happiness should not depend on whether my husband had a bad day at work or not. Yet my whole being is wrapped up in how I perceive someone is viewing me at a given moment. If he comes home in a bad mood and not in the mood to cuddle I take that as a personal rejection and I am hurt by it and I will lose my confidence in myself. My own self-worth is then devalued and I feel as if I am unwanted and I and my feelings don’t matter to him. When that isn’t true. He simply had a bad day and needs some space.
If I am volunteering somewhere in my community and I am given criticism in the way I am doing something my mood and whole demeanor will change, and I will instantly go into a state of depression because I will feel the rejection from the criticism that was stated even if it was given to me in a constructive manner. I will feel I wasn’t good enough to get it right the first time and that I let the organization I am working for down and I should have known better, even if it is something I had no way of knowing about. I have a hard time convincing myself that there was no way I could have known. When by them telling me, they just wanted to help me learn to better my skills not make me feel rejected at all but better my skills.
Stop Blaming Others for My Mistakes and Lack of Growth!
Living with bipolar disorder it is very easy for me to blame others for my mistakes and my lack of growth. I have quit many jobs and even dropped out of college and blamed my husband, my children or my illness for the reason for not returning to those things. The real truth for the reason I have not returned to any of those things though, is I am worried about failing yet again.
I have been told over and over again that history repeats it’s self, I have it in my mind that I will once again fail if I try to return to work or school. However, being in a standstill and never making an effort to improve who I am is killing my self-worth. I need to stop blaming my husband and kids for the reason I have not made changes to my life. I worry that the stress of working or going back to school may cause another episode. I worry if that happens it may cause my family more distress again, but not going is causing damage to my psyche that will be nonrepairable if I don’t act and do something to make myself value who I am once again.
Starting to take ownership of my own failures is a new step for me and not allowing myself to blame my family for holding me back. I chose to be a wife and mother first. I will never regret that choice. I do however wish I had made some better life choices along the way.
Recognize that Making Change Starts with Me!
I have to recognize that making change starts with me and unless I believe I can do something, it doesn’t matter if anyone else believes I can do it or not. I have to own my mistakes and take ownership of my failures and make the improvements now towards the future I want. I need to not fear failure as rejection and realize that I will never know “what all could go right” if I am in a state of constant fear of failure. Avoiding the things that trigger my illness doesn’t mean that I am in a state of recovery it means that I have learned how to avoid the things that cause my anxiety not learned how to cope with the anxieties in a healthy manner.
Overall I know I have some changes to make when it comes to myself acceptance. My journey to self-love is one I have been working on for a long time. I know it isn’t going to happen overnight and that is something I am okay with. I will always be plagued with the paranoia and delusional thoughts of mental illness and those will always be a fight I have to deal with. Staying mentally strong and healthy will be the best asset I have against those thoughts.
I have started to accept that I am who I am, and people love me for the unique person that I am. I don’t have to put on an act, pretend to be someone I am not, or try to be something I can’t be. I am a bit too loud, a little too much for some people, and my style is a little too over the top for most to handle, I’m a little too glamorous for some and I may get a little too excited sometimes for most people but I am who I am, and if people don’t like those things about me then they just aren’t my people. The people that do like me, they are my people, and I love those people that I can just be me around.