Building confidence with or without a therapist…

The title says most of what this is about.  You hear people tell you that you are great, good at certain things, and that all makes sense.  You believe them mostly.  What is difficult is when you look at your life, and take into consideration the things you are good at- yet, fail to see how you have successfully utilized those talents.  Therein lies the first clue to your confidence and self-esteem issue.  Although that is the first place we look and see there is a problem, it is usually rooted much deeper into our past.  

The solution to the problem lies in discovering the root of the problem, and then systematically extinguishing it with focused effort.  That sounds easy, but unfortunately the subconscious mind is a tangled system of webs.  When we start working on one issue- we may open a box with 10 other issues that have to be solved in order to solve the original issue.  So, sure you have a confidence issue that seems like it stemmed from being bullied.  BUT… once we start to look at being bullied, we may discover that you were bullied because you had a hygiene issue in the 1st or 2nd grade.  Which then we have to ask ourselves- why was a 7 year old responsible for being aware of their hygiene?  The tangled mess of our childhoods can be overwhelming, but once processed- holds the keys to success in our present moment.

What Can I Do About Low Confidence?

Well, there are the regular ideas behind faking it till you make it- affirmations, goal setting, behavior modification, etc.  These are excellent interventions to use once you have a good understanding of the enemy who sleeps with you nightly.  You have to first have a grasp and willingness to explore the conditions which led to the confidence issue.  Honestly.  Without judgment of yourself or the other people at play (although, some of that definitely happens).

This blog will hopefully start you on your road to understanding your confidence issue by exploring some significant self-exploratory questions that you can begin to work through on your own.

Can you answer the following questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is your unique purpose for being on this earth?
  3. What makes you tick? Or What makes you passionate about getting up in the morning?

If you have a difficult time answering these questions, it is time for some SERIOUS self-exploration.  Also, it could mean- THERAPY.  Now, a therapist can lead you to water- but with realizations and self-discovery comes life changes.  Behavioral changes.  Really really scary calls to action that you are going to feel totally unprepared to handle.  

But What if I’m Not Ready for Therapy or I Can’t Pay for It?

Well, I want to help you get started on this process on your own.  A lot of work while in therapy, is work that you do outside of the office.  It is done through deep thought, metacognition, and curiosity about your own behaviors and experiences.  If you are not high risk (i.e. you do not engage in self-harm, substance use, and haven’t had suicidal ideation or homicidal ideation), you can give journaling a try.

Step 1:

Who were you as a child?  What made you excited before the crap head kids at school stole your happiness?  Did you enjoy building, creating, exploring?  Were you a helper to the teacher?  Did you sit and love to talk and make people feel better?  How do you remember yourself? Or Can you remember yourself as a child?

Step 2

How was who you were celebrated?  Were you complimented?  Were you praised?  Or not?

Step 3:

Were you encouraged to grow in your strengths despite what others (even other adults) said to you or about you? What was encouraged?  Were you encouraged to improve your weaknesses? Were you overwhelmed by the negativity of adults either about you or about others?  Were the voices that you were good and worthy louder than the voices saying you weren’t good enough?  What was that experience like?

In Conclusion…

Oh, friends, we are only at the tip of a very large iceberg.  I have posed 3 sets of questions in a brief format that may take weeks to delve into.  These questions aim to understand the dynamics of the world around you when you were a child.  Pending those answers- your healing may be rooted in attachment, or trauma, or both.  Pending what arises, you may benefit (even though everyone would benefit) from a professional therapist to help sort through the thoughts, feelings, etc.  (If you want to read something on attachment, check out this article we wrote: www.paxtherapy.com/secureattachment/).  They can conceptualize what your experience has been, and apply the appropriate interventions for the changes you want.

I hate to leave you hanging with all of this uncovered emotional baggage- but at least you know it exists.  Awareness is the first step in healing.  Reach out for support on your journey.  Find a therapist who has experience, and has been down the path you have.

Looking for a therapist or counselor?

Feel free to reach out to us at 714-587-4543.  We are located at 13006 Philadelphia St., Suite 210, Whittier, CA 90601.  We have therapists that do in-person and video-based therapy for anyone in the state of CA.  We specialize in trauma, work-related stress, and personality disorders.  You can also visit our homepage to see more about what we do at www.paxtherapy.com