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Self Confidence is the Key

amd1953
Community Member

The benefit of hindsight is a wondrous thing.   It allows you to evaluate your life based on the passage of time and the gaining of experience.   I will most probably regret writing what I am about to but I'm going to do it anyway.   I would guess that anyone who is raised in a caring and loving family atmosphere might reap the benefits of developing a strong and confident personality.   I was never lucky enough to be able to be in that position.   My parents divorced when I was 10 years old and just when I needed a strong father figure in my life, there was no one there.   My grandfather did the best he could, but he passed away in the mid-sixties so the void in my life was established.   I was left to learn a lot on my own without the strong guidance of a male figure.   I have always maintained that this is what has ruined me in terms of developing anything akin to self-confidence and self-worth.   Yes, I did the best I could, but the path could have been more brightly lit.   Everything I learned was achieved the hardest way possible.   One might think that this would have had some positive influence, but it was quite the reverse.   I always felt different from everyone else and not in a good way.   If I thought that it was something that would vanish when I reached adulthood, I was in for a shock.   As a matter of fact, it all got a lot worse.   I was like a ship without a rudder.   Being blown around by any wind that caught my sail.   I'm not even sure that there is a right way or a wrong way of growing up, but it is something that took me a lot longer than perhaps most people.   I have upset a lot of people along the way by not being or being less than what they wanted or expected from me.   If you think that you are always going to be doing the wrong thing all the time, then you get used to being a loser.   Well, it did for me.   A lot of life's mysteries remained that way until I was middle-aged.   However, I now find myself wishing that I had never experienced many of the things I was desperate to learn.   When I was a child, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.   Well, I couldn't tell them that I never wanted to grow up.   I was very happy just being a big kid.   In the long run, that is what sank my boat and I acknowledge now that it was my own fault for lagging behind the herd.   But what do you do when you don't want to be a herd member?   You have to carry on regardless.  You just have to do it.

amd1953

6 Replies 6

P12
Community Member

Hi amd1953,

 

I am interested by your thoughts. I guess from your username that you are a fair amount older than me. I often think that my life's difficulties will be shaped like a bell curve. When I was younger I found life easy. When I grow older I find life increasingly difficult. But halfway through my life I will reach the peak then it will become easier again. I am still on the accelerating upwards part of the curve. I think I lack self confidence because my upbringing was relatively sheltered (not that this is bad). Therefore I am interested in your statement.

amd1953
Community Member

Hello P12,

Thank you for your comments.   1953 was the year of my birth so I hit my seventieth year earlier this year.   The interesting thing, for me at least, is that I don't mentally feel that age.   This is something I have always been attacked for.   Constantly accused as being immature.   I never minded that because I would much rather be young in heart and mind than a miserable old grump.   I think having a sense of humour too has been invaluable because I like to see the funny side of life.   But I know how to be serious too.   Perhaps you could say that I am wanting the best of both worlds.   Consequently, I would rather create my own path through life than follow ones that have been made by others.   It's just the armchair rebel in me.   People think that by ignoring me and cutting me out of the loop they are hurting or punishing me.   They are not.   I have always been an outsider so what anyone does or says to me is like the proverbial water off a duck's back.   I don't bother hating anyone who wants to avoid me.   I simply stay well out of their way and follow my own orbit around the sun.    As a child I felt alienated but now I don't give it a second thought.   I agree with you when you say you think that your sense of self confidence is connected to your upbringing.   I was raised to be a loner and that is what I have turned out to be.   I don't dislike people.   I am just very wary of them when I have to deal with them in person.   This might explain why I have such beautiful friends on here.   We don't have to be anything different to what we are to be accepted.   Civility and respect for who we might be is all it takes.   Plus a good dose of politeness.

Regards

AMD 1953

P12
Community Member

Hi amd1953,

When I read your comments, I think you have a relatively high level of confidence. You say that you are an outsider and it doesn't bother you. I think that is quite a remarkable position to be in. I am an outsider and I don't like it because the exclusion I feel makes me sad and depairing. Your comments suggest the best way to obtain confidence is simply by practise. Is this what you mean?

 

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello AMD1953, P12 & everyone,

I'm 64 now, & during my childhood I think I was drained of any self-confidence I might have gained - truthfully, I don't recall evr feeling self-confident. It's only in recent years that I've been learning to not measure my worth by what others might think, but to ask myself how I am feeling about what I'm doing, to gauge for myself if/when I achieve any successes & to then, acknowledge them & give myself credit & praise for them. Doing this more & more is what is helping me to feel more self-confident than I ever have.

My self-confidence gets a boost when I see here on BB, that something I've said has helped someone, or gave someone a laugh or smile in an otherwise dismal day.

I've been learning to accept myself, to not judge myself by the standards of others, in particular. If I don't like something & if there is something I can do to change about myself, then, it's up to me to find out how & make the effort to make such changes. Sure, I can get help along the way, but the bulk of the work is my own. Learning to care for & about myself comes with responsibilities. I can get advice & info, but the decisions about me are mine to make. Making these decisions is another way to boost my self-confidence. I really can make decisions. I also really can make unwise decisions & not be torn asunder by them. That also boosts my self-confidence. 

 

Or am I talking about self-esteem? I still don't get the difference between the two.

 

As for growing up; I had thought that was inevitable, until I realised it is not so. Being older has no bearing on maturity or wisdom, & I still feel at least part of me is still quite childish & I like that, because it helps me to have fu. I don't ever feel too old to be silly.

Thanks AMD, for your topic. I enjoy thinking about this, reflecting on my own view & trying to put that into words, so please, have no regrets about posting here today.

Hugzies

mmMekitty 

amd1953
Community Member

Hello P12,

I think it is the anonymity of these forums that boosts my level of confidence.   I was interested to read that you thought my situation as an outsider was remarkable.   You and I must represent the extreme opposite ends of the spectrum.   You are not happy without social interaction, and I am not happy with it.   Writing on these forums is the edge of the known universe for me.   I love to write and communicate my thoughts and these forums allow me to do so.   I still think and write the wrong things, but the censor picks it up before it goes to air.   For that I am thankful.   I would never wish to offend anyone.   So, it is why I keep to the deserted country lanes rather than the bustling highway of humanity.   It works fine for me.   However, you are not happy, so it is an excellent idea to form a plan to do something positive for yourself.   Although I am no expert here, perhaps a social or sporting club would do the trick.   Then you would have to practice being the life and soul of the party!  

Regards

amd1953

Hi Kitty,

I know only too well that loss of self-confidence.   We are lucky if we ever get it back, but it can be done.   Life just has a way of compounding our misfortunes sometimes and it seems as though we have to conquer the summit of Mt. Everest to gain a foothold on reality.   But I think we have to draw on that inner strength to maintain our own sanity.   We owe it to ourselves to at least try.   Whenever anything bad happened to me, my world would usually grind to a halt, and I would feel sorry for myself.   I never had the strength to pull myself out of the doldrums.   For me, it is only time and effort that have induced a new outlook on handling these pitfalls.  Worrying about something never achieves anything because it saps our strength.   We can be concerned about something but that should empower us to take action wherever possible, instead of being overpowered.   Life throws these tests at us all the time and I am sure there is a reason for it.   We just have to find ways of beating the blues.   I think it was Oscar Wilde who once said that "With age comes wisdom; but sometimes age comes alone".   If we think of life as one big, long learning experience then we can learn from our mistakes and hopefully not repeat them in the future.   We'll probably make all new ones but that is where wisdom enters into the mix.   To draw on our knowledge and past experience.   To benefit from wisdom, we have to be mature enough to recognise it.   I think growing older does have a bearing on maturity and wisdom.  Society expects us to adapt to growing older by growing up, at least on the outside, so that it can be used as a measure of our character and our mental stature.   That is just my opinion.   There can still be plenty of time to be silly and playful whether people like it or not.   

Regards

amd1953