When I am feeling a bit out of sorts about life I need a sense of perspective. There is much to be thankful for in life but occasionally we all need a reminder about what truly matters and where we all fit into the greater scheme of things. My self worth has taken a few beatings of late and it is easy to lose confidence.
Confidence has never been a strong suit for me. This, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Saying this because at times in my life I have put up a facade that fooled many into believing that I had my shit together and that I was confident, if not cocky. People have been drawn to me at times and on the surface I seem to be fine. People like me.
Lies, all lies I tell you. Over the past year therapy uncorked the bottle that contained my true emotions and the stench that has bubbled out is a true testament to the lack of confidence that I have lived with.
The human mind plays terrible tricks at times. Fooling us into believing that we have no ability, when we are able. Or that we are unlovable when we are in fact loved.
Confidence falls prey to these cognitive slights of hand as well and if you were never given confidence from a young age it can be a hard belief to instill later on.
One method I am using to combat this tendency of mine to lack confidence is a process called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. This is the act of logging your negative thoughts and emotions using a process called a thought record.
After your negative thoughts are recorded, the process calls for going back and examining them. Providing facts to support and refute. You start to realize how much your thinking can become skewed and how far from truth that perceptions can stray.
Another method I use to combat my lack of confidence is to volunteer as well as to give to the less fortunate. This works for me because I get that crucial perspective about how much I have going for me.
Even when I feel inadequate I am not only worthy but able to effect positivity in others through my actions.
As an example, the other day I was getting some vegetables at the produce market down the block. As I was walking home with my bag full of food a homeless woman with a worn paper cup asked if I could spare some change. I knew I had some coins from the change from my purchases so I stopped and started digging them out.
During this time, she mentioned that she was begging in order that she could raise a few dollars for something that she needed. I stopped and listened to her and empathized with her. Telling her I understood that times are tough and then I gave her the money she needed which was not a big deal.
What happened next was, however. She looked at me with surprise at my gift to her and smiled wide. She said:
“I like you, you are good. Can I give you a hug?”
And hug we did. It was a lovely exchange and I got the feeling she got as much from the human touch and interaction with me as she did the money that I gave her.Her spirits were uplifted and so were mine. Immediately I felt better about myself and about my place in the world.
That homeless woman and her hug not only gave me confidence in myself, it let me know that I had confidence to spare.