Thursday, November 1, 2007

Confidence

This train of thought sort of follows from my previous post and from subsequent conversations I had with various people about the feelings I expressed before.

A friend mentioned to me that perhaps my perception of reality is not at all how things actually are. I perceive myself not to be helping anyone necessarily, while in reality others do feel that I to help them to some extent. I think that misunderstanding reality is something that we all struggle with to some degree or another, and that it manifests itself in different forms. For me, it's an occasional insecure or doubtful feeling.

I think that part of the reason this happens to me is because I tend to overanalyze and read into situations much more than what is actually happening. Because in my mind I jump ahead of what's actually happening in real life, my understanding of what's really going on gets skewed. If someone responds to me in a way that seems like they are irritated, I assume that they are annoyed with me, even if they're not, and I jumped to conclusions based on their tone. Remember being in high school and a teacher looked at you funny, and automatically you thought to yourself, "She/he hates me!"? Well, that was me. Heck, I sometimes still do that. If I'm standing by myself, and a group of girls near me starts whispering, I think that they're talking about me and making comments on the way I look. Is this a somewhat selfish trait? Well, yeah. Is it a sign of insecurity? Probably. Is this unusual and abnormal? I don't think so.

Part of the process of me getting comfortable with myself (and it's been a long road, and it isn't over yet) is coming to the understanding that feelings I have about myself and my role vis-a-vis others are often shared by other people. That it's okay to feel unsure about yourself sometimes. Everyone has moments of insecurity. The key is to (a) realize that you're not unusual in your struggles and (b) equip yourself with the tools to bring yourself to a correct mindset. I think (b) is something that needs to come from within more than without - having others around to be the ones to reassure you that you're not as bad as you think you are is great, but in the possible absence of having others to build you back up from those insecure moments, you need to be able to achieve it on your own.

Basically, you need to believe in yourself. You have to have a strong sense of yourself so that you can bounce back from those moments of insecurity. You need to have confidence.

So after I've said all this, how am I going to get to that place? How do I get to that point where reality won't be so skewed for me? Where I'll be less insecure, where I'll have clarity about how people see me and will truly believe that in my own way, I'm having an impact?

Working on relaxing my thoughts and not letting myself get too ahead of what's happening is one step. Truly believing others when they give me positive reinforcement and encouragement is another. Remembering that people have other thoughts in their minds besides for me (and that everyone has nisyonot) is a third step. Not getting bogged down in and discouraged by setbacks is a fourth. And perhaps not the last.

I think that if I can really put into practice everything that I've written, I am on my way to becoming even more of a better me, a stronger self, and a person who (hopefully) won't be so wrapped up in herself that she doesn't have the wherewithal to think about others.

(Wow. I can't believe I just posted this for everyone to read.)

17 comments:

Ezzie said...

:)

Erachet said...

I think that part of the reason this happens to me is because I tend to overanalyze and read into situations much more than what is actually happening. Because in my mind I jump ahead of what's actually happening in real life, my understanding of what's really going on gets skewed. If someone responds to me in a way that seems like they are irritated, I assume that they are annoyed with me, even if they're not, and I jumped to conclusions based on their tone. Remember being in high school and a teacher looked at you funny, and automatically you thought to yourself, "She/he hates me!"? Well, that was me. Heck, I sometimes still do that. If I'm standing by myself, and a group of girls near me starts whispering, I think that they're talking about me and making comments on the way I look. Is this a somewhat selfish trait? Well, yeah. Is it a sign of insecurity? Probably. Is this unusual and abnormal? I don't think so.

...WHY ARE WE THE SAME PERSON SOMETIMES.

Apple, literally everything you said in this post is exactly ME. Wow.

bad4shidduchim said...

Good for you! Knowing yourself is step one.

Some things, though, are part of personality. You may never get rid of the anxiety, but you can learn to trust yourself.
Good luck!

SJ said...

Amen, amen, and shkoyach for being brave enough to post this. I relate entirely. You are definitely not alone in your struggles.

the apple said...

Ezzie - thanks :).

Erachet - I KNOW! It's freaky sometimes, isn't it? But in a good way.

Bad4shidduchim - exactly! The key for me is to work within my personality and use my strengths/weaknesses as a baseline to improve.

SJ - thanks. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone :).

yingerman said...

Hey you sound like, uh you like a human.
Hummmm.

Madd Hatter said...

Wow. I'm exactly the same way - maybe it's a literary minded kind of thing:) I'm so used to analyzing and over-thinking that i can't shut it off in between the literature. plus, i'm paranoid. Just the other day, someone i know was waving at me while talking to someone else at the same time and i immediately assumed he was saying something negative about me to her. guess i'll steal some of your self-help tips :)

the apple said...

Yingerman - hehe. I realized that too after rereading the post.

Madd Hatter - I have *totally* done that too before! And feel free :).

Scraps said...

I can relate to a great deal of what you've written here, especially the mild paranoia over whether people actually like you or not. If you recall my "Scraps Inside-Out" post, that was basically the gist of #3...that I'm always a little worried that no one really likes me and that I'm too annoying and needy. However, I'm trying to step back and believe in my friends and in myself, because I know that b"H I have some fantastic friends who truly care about me and do not find me annoying in the least bit. And I know that there are people that truly value me and what I can bring to a friendship. That goes a long way towards allaying those fears.

You're a perceptive, intelligent, caring, kind person. I know you have it in you to be a confident, secure person! You're already a great friend to so many people...just start to believe it, and you'll be on your way up. :)

the apple said...

Scraps - aw, shucks :).

David_on_the_Lake said...

I just discovered your blog..and its so refreshing to read...
Isn't it amazing how the way we view ourselves colors our whole world?
Kol Haolom Nivra Beshvili...I think it's literally..We create our own world..
The world and reality around us..is ours alone..based on what we create in our minds..

Anonymous said...

Apple - all these insecurities you talked about are absolutely normal and just part of being human. Notice how everyone's writing in and saying "me too!", "me too!", "me too!". It has nothing to do with being literarily minded, it just has to do with being human. Coming to this realization on my own was the first step for me in overcoming my extreme shyness. It’s so much easier to talk with people when you realize, that in a lot of ways, we are all the same.

the apple said...

David - why, thank you. I do need to realize that my perception of reality is often skewed, though . . . and work to improve my understanding.

Anonymous - 100%. Thank you. It is rather comforting to know that other people experience the same feelings, no? :)

Diet Dr. Pepper said...

Apple,

Firstly, I want you to know that reading your blog made me so happy, mostly because I can relate to what you wrote, but also because I'm happy to see that you're happy.

Yitzy said...

I have the same problem, though it probably affects me even more profoundly. For example, my younger brother and I used to be extremely close. He got married (I was married before him as I am older) and after a year or so, he just stopped having anything to do with me. I used to take this extremely badly. EXTREMELY badly. Now I realize that family is absorbing and his having close to nothing to do with me is probably more attributed to that than his "snobbing me out" or something.

I happen to fault an extremely emotionally abusive mother for my insecurity. I used to think that I could overcome it by accomplishing more than anyone else--being the best learner, the wealthiest attorney, the biggest michadesh. Slowly, however, I began to see how unhealthy that was. With time I am healing within. But I am unsure whether I will ever fully heal. On the other hand, I did, at least, make something out of what I experienced and hurt no one along the way. In addition, thanks to a wonderful wife, my relationship with my and children are not affected by what I experienced. But recovery takes a long time. One must be vigilaint and strong.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I had read this when I was 13. It would have made my teenage years much easier.
I printed this out and gave it to my 14 year old daughter to read. I think it will help her.
Thank you!

the apple said...

Anonymous - great! I hope this can inspire your daughter. You're very welcome.