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Self confidence and feeling my worth

Community Member
I am really struggling lately with self confidence. Heres the thing, I have been bulled from 9 years old up until I was about 17 and now I'm nearly 20. I have the worst self confidence and have no idea how to remotely fix it. I read things saying "tell yourself your pretty" and everything but I just am not going to believe that. I have been going out with friends a little bit more lately and can't help but get so much anxiety surrounding if I am actually wanted there. I believe I have always done this and always have a fear that people are inviting me as a joke or just to be nice or something. This really messes with my head as I want friends, I want to go out but I can't help but think no one actually likes me and its all just a joke. I don't know if I do this because my self confidence is low or just because I am silly.I am very lonely so I am trying not to just accept people in my life because I am lonely but feel like I am just accepting anyone and everyone because I like the company, even if it isn't the best company or im not getting treated the best. I feel like none of this makes any sense, my mind is just in overdrive lately sorry.
2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Emma, welcome

What you have can be deflating and upsetting. Many of us have been where you are now including myself. So let me please dispel the myths and reaffirm others.

  • "tell yourself your pretty". Well it does actually work but only over a long period of time. In 1996 my marriage fell apart after 11 years. My ex wife crushed my self esteem and I had been emotionally abused by a mind far stronger and harsher than mine. I ended up in a 10 foot caravan and went about restoring my worth. Every day I'd start by staring into the mirror and repeating these words for about 2 minutes. "you are a good guy, you are worthy as a father, you are caring and have empathy, you deserve love and to give it, you are a hard worker. She was wrong to try to destroy you. After about 3 months I started to pick up as grief lessened. After 2 years I was very confident. BTW two husbands after me my ex sent those guys to the same point of despair. That told me I was right.
  • Bullying over a long period of time especially childhood will stay with you a long long time. So to reboot this it often needs professional help. If you choose this then start with your GP and ask for a referral. Even a basic therapist can help. My therapist pointed out to me for example- that I was "running aound trying to save the world" and "there are 9 billion people in the world and they are all grey, yet you think in black and white...when are you going to be grey like the rest of us". Now that was 32 years ago yet I still recall it- such has been the impact on me from him to improve my life.
  • Friends- the golden rule is- if the evidence isnt there to prove that inviting you was for a joke then you were indeed invited as they like you. Ok, the best thing to do is expand your friendships. Join clubs, sporting clubs, hobby clubs etc. Some will be ok, others will be toxic. But try. Friendships are fluid, some come and go etc, accept this and go with the flow.

Read the first post of these-





I hope you get value from those and have an idea now how to tackle the problem.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Emma930,

I’m sorry you‘re feeling so low, and also the years of bullying which have taken a toll. I always had fairly good self esteem, but was in an abusive relationship for many years. When I eventually left I no longer even recognized myself. So I’ll try and pass on tips that helped me, in the hopes that some of them may be useful for you.

The biggest revelation for me was when I read the quote “your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth”. This was like a lightning bolt for me as it’s so true but I’d never appreciated it. YOU set your value, YOU define your worth, YOU determine what you will and won’t put up with. If people can’t see your value or don’t treat you right then they aren’t your people. And these people, that treat you badly or damage your self esteem, they are lesser people and try and pull others down to their level to make themselves feel better. When I came to that realization, rather than let it affect me, I just kind of pitied them.

The second thing was that I learned to enjoy my own company. If I don’t like being with myself or find myself interesting, then how is anyone else supposed to? So I spent time going to art galleries, reading, and doing things that I found interesting. By all means have friends, go out and meet new people, but if people treat you badly, you need to be ok with letting them go because you are comfortable with yourself and would rather wait for the right people rather than anything. Of course, if they are the best around at the time then you can keep them in your life, but keep looking for your people.

I also kind of disagree with the concept of “tell yourself you are pretty”. Why do you have to be pretty to be valued or to have something to say or contribute? It’s such a meaningless statement and an outdated notion that our worth is somehow tied up with our appearance, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I think you should focus on being a good person, volunteer if you want, be someone that you can be proud of. But I do agree with Tony, don’t underestimate the power of positive talk, the brain is a powerful thing and if you are constantly filling it with negative self talk, it will believe it over time. So be kind to yourself, build yourself up, and at first you may find that you are ‘faking it til you make it’ but over time it will make a huge difference.