I think the word "confidence" can lead us astray. People who walk around with a bad tape that plays "I'm a loser" decide to replace that with a tape that plays "I'm a winner". I think they should replace it with one that plays "I don't care" and then ditch the tape altogether.
It's a kind of web pc-thing to say you're attracted to "confidence" in a mate. It sounds better than saying your attracted to a nice ass or broad shoulders. But, you know, I'm not "confident" all the time and don't want to be with a person like that. I have fears, doubts and worries -- I'm a human. And the older I get the more I realize that people who try to bury their fears/doubts/worries under a mountain of strutty "confidence" are the most insecure.
All of these anecdotes and personal experiences of the road to individuality and self-appreciation are really helping me. I understand that everyone is coming from a different path in life, but we all want to end up in relatively the same place -- a balanced life filled with happiness, confidence, and love.
As someone who is trying to identify myself after recovering from an eating disorder, I can be the first to admit that I'm really finding this difficult. For years, my eating disorder defined me. Everything I used to do revolved around my disease, and now that I've gotten better (and am still working toward it) I'm honestly having a hard time identifying myself in other ways. This is especially true since the most severe bout of my disorder was last year, and I was still in the relationship that I'm in currently. I think that this makes things even more difficult since I am working toward personal growth within a relationship. I think that it's putting strain on my relationship because it intimidates my SO. He doesn't really understand the predicament that I'm in right now, and I'm not even sure how I can explain it to him. It's not his fault that he doesn't comprehend my personal identity crisis, but it is really tricky to maintain a healthy relationship and change within myself without making him feel as if I am unhappy with our life together.
'ignorance more often begets confidence than does knowledge'
ala the Dunning-kuger effect often those with the highest confidence are the less capable. Having valid, grounded and true perceptions of yourself, abillities, strengths and weaknesses (even if they are not 'confident') I would argue isn't such a bad thing. Instead it would seem that altering your focus on what defines your confidence might be in order... you might have a few lbs to lose, but basing your self worth on your BMI, instead of your awesome cooking abilities, great children, happiness in other aspects of your life sells yourself short.
an alternative answer would of course be to just attack your weaknesses and insecurites with fervent tenacity until they are no longer weaknesses
ad astra per aspera
Yes. If you replace "I'm ugly" with "I'm pretty", you're still left with a self-worth based on looks.
Originally Posted by TheFastCat
Reminds me of the bit from Body Heat:
Matty: You aren't too smart, are you? I like that in a man.
Ned: What else do you like? Lazy? Ugly? Horny? I got 'em all.
Now THAT'S confidence.
So, you're saying that true confidence, happiness, and self-appreciation stems from 100% acceptance of yourself? I guess that would make sense. It would mean that you've found a balance in your life, to not focus on your positive or negative attributes, but to just take them as they are with no judgment toward yourself. But, I don't know, in this culture, there is so much outwardly blatant judgment going on, it can be difficult to learn acceptance rather than criticism, even if only (or especially?) for yourself.
I don't have any advice but just wanted to say I feel the same. The reality is that people do treat you differently based on your appearance. I used to wear baggy khakis to work until one day I randomly started wearing tight fitting khakis. All of a sudden people were much nicer to me. It made me feel so shallow but I kept on wearing the tighter pants... and started paying more attention in general to how I dressed.
Originally Posted by CiKi90
I'm sorry if this doesn't help. Just wanted to say I struggle with the same problem. The only thing that works is not caring what others think. Easier said than done. It's easier if you have someone important to you who loves you 100% no matter what, then you really do stop caring what other, less important people, think.
Last edited by ulnauy; 07-31-2013 at 10:16 PM.
I was bullied from age 3 to sixteen about a lot of stuff, and kids being kids my appearance was a big part of it, so I had both the internal and external confidence of a slug that's had salt poured on it, plus a very bitter attitude towards humanity, and uncontrollable anger at times.
Originally Posted by CiKi90
Just saying that for background, I know it's a common enough experience or people reach adulthood with bad self-image without having anything like that happen, and suffer just as much.
Anyway, I found that making sure my appearance met MY standards as far as possible helped, but ultimately I addressed the whole of my self-image as a person not just externals, and fed my mind with a load of stuff like Napoleon Hill's books on a positive mental attitude, stuff like the life-coaching books that started to come out in the late 90's (I really like Fiona Harrold, a british author, I can highly recommend her first book Be Your Own Life Coach above all others) and basically anything I could get my hands on that addressed self-esteem, self-respect, and self-perception.
I do always diligently do all the exercises in books like that, which is why I have a library of books that mark epic stepping stoneas in my own growth, whereas a lot of people say "self-help doesn't work" yet never actually tried doing the work. But that's another topic! lol
I realised along the way that the better I'd feel about myself, the less judgemental I was of other people, and the more tolerant of their flaws and foibles, which is nice to live with for my own sake but also made me take judgemental people less seriously, because I figure a lot of them are throwing their spite out there because really, they can't handle how much of it they feel towards themselves. JMO.
That aside, most people are worrying more about themselves than about you, anyway.
It worked, I'm confident now and my world doesn't go to pieces if someone's a dick to me, I know as a woman I'm moderately attractive but that some people just won't like my look, coloured hair and I go for a lot of eyeliner, and I'm cool with that, and while I would like to be a little thinner I don't give much of a rat's *ss any more what other people think on that topic if I'm having a bad day with PMT bloating or whatever.
For me, confidence was found in caring more what I think about me, in a positive, self-supporting and NON-nit-picky way, than caring about anyone else, because we all goof and have days when facing people is harder or easier.
If I'd cared too much about making sure I felt good about my appearance alone without the foundations, it would really just have been a hollow shell of trying to appease external standards, which won't help anyone, I mean look at "hot or not" - that website where people rip into perfectly gorgeous movie & TV stars, you just can't be everyone's "type" if you know what I mean.
Tips that helps me were make sure my posture was good, ie, shoulders back and head up, because that seems to send like feedback to my mind that I'm not a mouse any more, and walking slowly whenever I was in a new situation or meeting people for the first time, so I don't feel rushed, and when possible for anything like an interview or any massive big deal, to visit the location in advance ("time spent in reconnaisance is seldom wasted"!) so I feel familiar and comfortable there.
Planning journeys and allowing more time than needed also had a direct impact on my confidence because I'm never the late sweaty one who everyone looks up as they bumble through the door!
I make sure my look (clothes, hair, makeuop, nails etc) feels good to me, and is approriate to the situation, but without compromising myself, dress is a set of visual signals that tell people how to treat you so it never hurts to "dress for the job you want" or maybe the role or self you want to project, because people will treat you accordingly and so, again, it feeds back to what you believe about yourself in a positive way when people react well.
I also took what tips I could from cool actors, men as well as women, to see what they did and how they did it, especially when playing a goofy role then a cool one, for example Juliet Landau's transformation in Buffy from the goofy girl who first meets Angelus, to the really cool "don't give a f***" vampire, which was helpful because it illustrates how one person with the exact same face and body projects two completely different images just through posture, manner, and minor changes to appearance.
So, it was tactics, as well as mindset, that helped, and because I have less dorky experiences it feeds my image of myself as a less-dorky person. And it's a work in progress, I love personal development stuff, and have never found a single book was a waste of money!!
Soz if I rambled a bit there but I have done excellent work on myself and you can do it, and really become much stronger and better and kinder in the process.