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Where does self confidence come from?

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  • Where does self confidence come from?

    Because I could seriously do with some.

    I was feeling all pleased with myself, I'd taken Tom (son) to a sucessful speech therapy session, took a deep breath and spoke to his teacher about his progress.

    Then I went in to the Post Office and a lady walked up to me and said "Do you do alteration?" and I went to pieces!! I stuttered and stammered and made a complete **** of myself. THEN to make things worse, I said " But I'm only an average sort of dressmaker" ! I can't believe I said that!!
    I've been dressmaking for 20 years! I've been doing other people's alterations for ages now - and everyone's happy with my work!

    Going by the look on her face, I'm not going to alter her skirt.

    Seriously, bearing in mind I am 40, can I improve my self confidence? Or am I stuffed?

    Debbie (still smarting)
    Debbie
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  • #2
    I am exactly the same.Im 33 and still get nervous even talking to my friends(who are all very mature and confident, I feel like a 12 year old around them)!!

    Sounds ridiculous but you know that Baz Luhrman song, something about suncream in the title, I like a few of the things that is said in it and it helps.
    It says things like 'do something every day that scares you' well I get up and go to work,thats scary enough.
    The other one is some thing like (actually i googled this to get it right)'your choices are half chance, so are everybody elses'.
    Its worth reading.

    Can you pinpoint it to something that happened in your life that makes you self conscious?
    I always feel really aware of how stupid Im going to appear if I say the wrong thing and I feel like it all gets exaggerated even if I make a tiny mistake.

    Learn from what happened and move on, no point in feeling bad about it.Its her loss if you dont alter her skirt.

    I forgot to say I met up with friends at the weekend and one of them was talking about some exams she passed and got a degree so it should help further her career!! I said to her I stuck a picture to a piece of wood...that should further my career...again I felt like a 12 year old.
    Last edited by Seahorse; 10-02-2009, 06:00 PM.
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    • #3
      I know what you mean, I would say I have a lot of self confidence in certain circumstances.

      I am fine at a craft fair as an organiser because I am in control and know what I am doing, same thing with legal problems, I can deal with them and authority figures such as the police, court officals, landlords etc because that was my job for years.

      However, when it comes to promoting my own craft I have no confidence in my work, because I see the flaws.

      I did lose all my self-confidence though (ex-husband-long story) and it has taken me almost 7 years to get my "self-worth feeling" back.

      I found a course at the local community centre helped me, it was all about believing in yourself and coming out of your comfort zone, facing your fears etc

      Perhaps you could ask at your local adult college or community centre if they do such a course, the one I was on was free.
      Diane
      Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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      • #4
        As quite a few people know, I've been going through quite a lot recently when it comes to self confidence so I can understand where you're coming from! What I've come to realise is that I wasn't really aware of my lack of confidence before and didn't pick up when I was selling myself short etc. Now I can really catch myself out doing it and I've been learning techniques re: how to deal with these situations.

        At the moment I'm reading a book called 'The Dummies Guide to building self confidence', which was recommeneded to me. If you feel like you need to build on your self confidence it might be worth perhaps either buying a book like this or borrowing one from your library?

        Another thing to do it talk to friends about the situations you're coming up against (as you have done with this post reallly). Run through the conversation with them (write it down after it's happened so you remember what was said). Find out how they would have dealt with it and try out their techniques. Practice with someone that you feel comfortable with perhaps, as this may make it easier for when it comes to dealing with customers or people that you may feel a little bit threatend by?

        These things aren't easy as it's about making changes to your character and the way you are, but at the end of the day our behaviour is learnt so with practice and awareness you can make changes.

        Hope this helps
        Katian Mosaics

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        • #5
          I am the same too, it even took courage to post on here!

          Mine came from an abusive husband.

          I was given the advice to write a list each day of 5 things you achieved or compliments you received etc. even if its something simple so you start acknowledging positive aspects and give you more confidence in yourself. ( probably didn't explain that very well!)
          But it does come with time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Moonbeam Angel View Post
            I know what you mean, I would say I have a lot of self confidence in certain circumstances.

            I am fine at a craft fair as an organiser because I am in control and know what I am doing, same thing with legal problems, I can deal with them and authority figures such as the police, court officals, landlords etc because that was my job for years.

            However, when it comes to promoting my own craft I have no confidence in my work, because I see the flaws.

            I did lose all my self-confidence though (ex-husband-long story) and it has taken me almost 7 years to get my "self-worth feeling" back.

            I found a course at the local community centre helped me, it was all about believing in yourself and coming out of your comfort zone, facing your fears etc

            Perhaps you could ask at your local adult college or community centre if they do such a course, the one I was on was free.

            Looking at what Seahorse has just said, I would say the same thing, the course I did made us look at our childhood. Sounds silly I know but I hated fish, not just the taste but the smell, look everything made me physically sick, as part of the course I had to go to a fish stall and stand there and smell it (yuk) when we delved into it, it turns out I was a sickly child and the only thing I could keep down was poached plaice and chicken (another thing I hated) after confronting the fear and knowing why I felt like that, I can now face it all.

            The course wasnt a cure all, but it does make me think about things differently and makes me feel less stressed. (I know the feeling like a child bit too!!!)
            Diane
            Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars




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            • #7
              I think another to do is to take the experience and not worry about it but treat it as something to learn from. Don't dwell on it and treat it as something negative, look upon as a positive in that there are things you can take away from it!
              Katian Mosaics

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              • #8
                I know it sounds really stupid but the experts reckon it works - look into the mirror chant a mantra to yourself every morning when you're alone in the bathroom. Something like "I can do . . . . . "

                Seriously, if you don't believe in yourself how can you expect others to (meaning strangers) and when all is said and done, you KNOW you can do the job!

                Most community colleges run courses for women and confidence boosting is quite a common one. Check out what is available locally and enroll in one. I had a friend that would cry if anyone looked at her and she did one and eventually went on to do a degree course in her chosen subject and ended up working for the DSS on the Complaints Counter!
                Auntynet

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                • #9
                  One thing Ive learnt over the years is that if I spent as much time being positive, as much as I do about being negative, id get alot of things done and feel miles better about myself.
                  Ive wasted years on negative things and its really only in the last couple of years Ive physically started to change things.
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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=auntynet;181031]. I had a friend that would cry if anyone looked at her QUOTE]


                    I can barely look people in the eye, its not rudeness I just feel so self conscious, I either force myself to look at people or I have been known to conduct a complete converstaion without actually looking at the person thats speaking to me.
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                    • #11
                      Hi

                      I think we all have times when do we do not feel confident.

                      Being able to appear confident is often being able to act, as in the song,

                      "the result of my deception is very strange to tell, for when I fool the people I fear I fool myself as well"

                      Often when asked a question, take time to answer with another question.

                      If asked "do you do alterations" - reply with "what type of alterations were you thinking of?"

                      This gives you more time to think about your answers and to pitch them correctly.

                      I am sure you are confident in areas which would leave some of us running for the exit. Build on those situations. And don't worry about it - i am sure the lady didn't even notice how you felt inside.

                      hth

                      Jane

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                      • #12
                        Im another un-self-confident person! Although mine has been aggravated by depression, but I have always been quite shy.

                        I have read nearly all the self-help books, havnt got enough confidence to do a course (!) and I have even tried NLP (but it didnt work because I was too self-conscious to really get involved in the etchniques).

                        The best thing I have found, which really, truly does help, is the Paul Mckenna self confidence cd. I have the old one, but I think there might be a newer one now. The hypnotherapy part of it is really relaxing and does help me feel a bit more confident if I listen to it regularly, but there is also another track on the disc which doesnt hypnotise you but talks you through different confidence techniques.

                        The best one is for when you are going over and over a situation in your mind where you felt inadequate / said something wrong etc. You just cant stop thinking about it, and the more you think about it the worse you feel and your confidence just drains away. What you have to do is picture this situation playing on a tv screen in your head, then very slowly turn down the sound on it, and fade out the colour, and then shrink the tv screen down until it is so tiny you cant see it any more. It is amazing how well this works! It just makes you let go somehow!

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                        • #13
                          It's a tricky one - I had very bad acne when I was younger and was badly bullied for it so I used to have no confidence in my looks whatsoever. Through my hubby (Mr Swirl on here) telling me that I am gorgeous since we got together when I was 16, I have regained enough confidence to wear what I want, when I want and to be proud of me. It took a long time though and I still have wobbly days. I suffered with post natal depression after both girls but really badly with Anya and I vowed that I would never sink that low again. To avoid that I just let things pass me by - if someone at the school gates thinks I odd for wearing orange tights then that's their problem not mine Ditto if someone doesn't like my work then tough - I didn't want you to have it anyway! Also I'm seen as aloof most of the time as I'm one of those people who likes to sit back and appraise what's going on before I jump into conversations etc

                          Gosh a small comment turned into a big tirade
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                          • #14
                            Repeating mantras/affirmation is a good thing to try but you do need to be careful when using these - if when you use them you don't feel comfortable saying whatever you choose to say, stop saying it because no matter how many times you say it, you'll just make yourself feel worse.

                            If you decide to use them, it's about saying something that feels right for you. For example, instead of saying ' I am confident', try 'the idea of feeling completely confident in myself and my abilities make me feel........(you decide what), Just doing this alone will help you to focus on something positive rather than the fact that you lack confidence.

                            Try reading some personal development books and put in to action what feels right for you. Just concentrate on doing something everyday no matter how small. Just doing this alone will make a world of difference over time. You may not necessarily notices changes straight away but as long as you stick with it you will eventually see improvements.

                            Paul Mckenna's Self confidence in 7 days is a great recommendation - I have it myself although unfortunately I didn't get the CD with the book.

                            The most important thing is be willing to help yourself - only YOU can do it if you really want to. It can feel scary when you're trying to make changes but you'll be so proud of yourself when you start to notice the difference!

                            Denise
                            Last edited by Dennym; 10-02-2009, 08:34 PM.

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                            • #15
                              This is something that I wish I had heard when I was a teenager!
                              "We compare our inner self with the outer self of others"
                              So when we see a person who looks confident and self assured we make the mistake of believing they feel that way inside too. We measure ourselves against that and then feel insecure cos we don't feel that way ... and you know how the spiral goes.

                              When I am feeling a lack of confidence in a new situation I look around for the tiny giveaway signals of nerves. It's not about looking for weakness but getting reassurance that they can put on a good act but they are just as human and nervous as me. HTH
                              Terry xxx
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