(Closed) Dealing with insecurity – how to become more confident?

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
1583 posts
Bumble bee

@anonbee1234:  I think it takes looking at who you are physically, mentally, emotionally and accepting yourself as you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to alter something (hair, weight, etc. ) just that you accept that if you never can change that thing, it is ok. Stop comparing yourself or letting other compare you to anyone else. If your sister (or anyone) says something hurtful, point it out. Ask them why whatever they said even matters?

You have to get to a point where you don’t see things in terms of positive and negatives characteristics. You have to see things as your reality. I think once you stop trying to define how you should be and learn to accept how you are your self esteem will be higher.

Post # 4
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I faked it til I made it!  Life’s too short to care about those types of things. I was just TIRED of being overly concerned with things that don’t matter and having it get in my way of enjoying and living life.  Therapy helped, too!  

Post # 5
1357 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I don’t think it’s a journey with an end destination, perse. It’s something you have to work on constantly. Think of it as self maintenance rather than a one-time upgrade. I have days where I allow myself to wallow because, frankly, everyone needs those days from time to time, but then I force myself to pull myself together and act confident, even if I have to pretend. This usually works pretty well at making me feel confident overall.

From your post, it does sound like you’re having some negative influence from others that is draining your confidence. If she is making comments about herself being fashionable or hot and she’s not directly comparing herself to you out loud, then you need to train yourself not to hear these comments as judgement on you.

However, if your sister says something that sounds like a backhanded compliment, such as telling you that she’s glad you “made an effort”, you need to say something like “When you imply that I don’t always make an effort, it hurts my feelings.” 

She probably doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, and calling her out on it might make her think twice about what she says. I’m very nonconfrontational, so I find having a rehearsed response for an encounter I’m expecting is really useful for fortifying my backbone. If she gets defensive, stand your ground and come back to your original statement: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I want you to understand that what you said hurt my feelings, even if it was unintentional.”

Post # 6
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

Our attachment styles are formed in infancy and childhood. You sound like a textbook anxious attachment style. But you are aware, so that’s a good start. I would suggest finding a good cognitive psychotherapist to help you relearn your way of thinking and gain confidence. It’s not your fault though! It likely stems from feeling abandoned when you were young. 

Post # 8
6355 posts
Bee Keeper

The first thing is to get secure with being insecure. Because almost all of us women are. What you describe is not extreme compared to the women in my life. It’s our society. It makes us feel that we are not good enough in a million little niggling ways. Even when we rarionally know we should feel secure, the feeling doesn’t come right away.

After I became secure with being insecure, the next thing I did was get comfortable with the reaction feeling to social rejection. I’d “make a fool out of myself” for things I thought were worthwhile. Be uncool for a good cause. I’d take the risks that were likely to result in the burn of social rejection, knowing that I was doing it for something I consdiered worhwhile, and that those whose opinions of me I was risking by doing these things were not ones I would truly regret losing status in. I found that the burn went from almost unbearable to almost unnoticable. You have to push yourself to do the things that will make you feel uncomfortable. You will get more and more comfortable with it with practice.

At this point random people in my life were either telling me how confident I seemed these days, how happy I always look, or (a minority:) how I’m being a jerk and I need to go back to the way I was.

That last group of people? The ones that had always tried to subtly put me down, take advantage of me, what have you. They didn’t like this new me, that readily puts her foot down when someone gives her a backhanded compliment like “good job making an effort on your appearance today.” Fair warning: Your sister will likely not like your natural reactions to her once you develop more and more confidence in yourself. It’s not about being rude to her back, but just not tolerating it at all, not even a little bit. Calmly and politely calling her out on a subtle smarmy remark she just said, for example.

Some of that last group came around and realized they couldn’t treat me that way any longer and now treat me as I should be, and insist on, being treated. Others of them are now gone from my life. Either way, it’s an improvement versus the way it was before. And the people that have always been happy for me when things go well for me, well, we have plenty to be happy about together these days and are closer than ever ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Anyway, it’s still a work in progress. I’m still much more insecure than I intend to be someday. The whole deep, unrelenting self-acceptance thing goes in fits and starts. It’s overall consistently getting better but the speed of progress is uneven. Some days I have bad days where I’m really off my game. And sometimes it’s just the opposite. It also wasn’t easy getting to this point, but it was worth all the effort.

Hope this helps!

Post # 10
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

Oh sweetie, I don’t know if I have any advice really, but I can understand what’s going on for sure!  I think we all have times in our lives when we feel awkward, outcast and generally un-wonderful about ourselves, these times are difficult at any age, and depending on the people in your life to support you, it can either make it a living hell or an awakening of a new era in your life….

My “Ah-ha” moment came in my senior year of college, I was doing summer session at an acting conservatory in Mahattan, after hearing I was too tall, too bawdy, too brazen, too curvy… too..too….too ME from my other acting school, I just felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb, that everyone was staring at me, that I needed to sequester myself someplace where others were not before crowds started running…it was awful.

First day of classes, I walk in the door, armor firmly in place, ready for some comments about my height, my hair, you name it….the professor takes a look at me, looks me up and down, looks at my face again, literally drops to his knees in front of me and says, “Holy shit!  It’s Julie Newmar, she was the ONLY catwoman! You’re gorgeous! Where are you from?  Please tell me you are enrolled in this class!”  It felt amazing to have someone notice me in a good way for all the things that set me apart.

But 21 years of teasing had left me pretty pessimistic, so onto the next class I went, only to receive the same reception from the next professor, and the next, and the next…I even got pulled out of class to go audition for a shoe ad because my legs were so long, it was amazing!  I didn’t get the job, but they gave me the shoes because I looked so great in them!

And that’s when I realized that I had been in this little tiny bubble where I didn’t fit in and the people in THAT bubble were going to make sure I knew that EVERYDAY just to keep people from noticing what made them weird….and once I got out of there, I was just perfect the way that I was, exceptional for all the things I used to feel bad about and a phenominal woman for surviving it. 

It sounds a little silly, but those shoes were kind of like my golden feather, and whenever I put them on, I could fly, I’d strut down midtown in them with a pencil skirt on and watch all the business men look up from their papers…I had IT!  And I know it’s not the shoes, it was me….but sometimes you gotta work from the outside in…find your golden feather, that one thing that makes you confident and don’t let go!

Post # 13
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

@anonbee1234:  hi – here is some advice from an older bride to be…I am 52 years old and a granny so….my advice – always be grateful and thankful for all you have – love what you have and expect the best!!!  I know that sounds silly but a positive attitude goes far in life…i am so lucky for all i have and my life is sooo fantastic…here i am 52 – my first engagement ring ever, a new grandbaby and marrying my best friend…read the secret – louise hay and joel osteen to name a few…. best wishes…


Post # 14
8 posts
  • Wedding: November 2013

Turn 30. Seriously my father left when I was 7, other kids threw rocks at me in gym class and walked behind me mooing when I was in junior high. I had MAJOR self esteem issues. It took til just before I turned 30 to feel really confident in myself. Happiness has to a conscious decision, being positive is key and you’ll find the more positive you are the better you feel. The more positive you act the more positive people will react around you.

Ok it’s really kind of mean but when I do find myself feeling down I look at the people around me when driving and see that it’s not so bad being me lolololol. Sorry.

Post # 15
28 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

30s are good, In My Humble Opinion. In the 20’s, I was still too worried about what everyone else thought, not about what I thought.  Once I hit 30, I realized all the small stuff that only I can about doesn’t matter! Life is short, and savor all the great parts of it!  Be happy, and know that you deserve all the happiness in your life.

If YOU are concerned about your weight, then work on it. Don’t do it for someone else, and do it in a healthy fashion by eating correctly and excercising, just beginning with a little at a time. Use phone apps like my fitness pal to count calories and the amnt of excerise that you’ve done.  I’ve lost about 15 lbs over the last 2 years and I’ve kept it off. I realized everything else in my life was going well – good SO, good job, enjoyed my job,  and it was the only thing that was bothering me. Once you do it for yourself, then that’s when it will make a difference.

You can be the smart AND pretty one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 16
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@anonbee1234:  At first I would make the conscious decision to just let something go – you have to force yourself to do it, it’s not easy at the beginning to not dwell on things.  But, I would literally tell myself whatever it was was not a big deal and to just move on and stop thinking about it. Everytime you find yourself thikning about it and re-hashing it you need to catch yourself and stop yourself.  Eventually, over time it just became a habit.  I don’t conciously think about having to stop myself from dwelling on things now, it’s automatic.  It’s really hard to describe lol but feel free to PM me anytime if you want to talk!  

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