I Decided to Be More Confident, and It’s Working.
I don’t know what was in retrograde last week, but damn y’all. My week started with 48-hour crippling existential crisis when I couldn’t stop feeling like a total failure in my career nor claw myself myself out of a whirling cesspool of self-loathing. Then I got dumped twice in two days, and finally, I finished things off with a fabulous weekend in bed with a fever of 102.
Not my finest hour.
But it was, as they say, a blessing in disguise. All that wallowing forced me to confront just how deep my crisis of self-esteem had become. More importantly, though, it made me bored of it.
Feeling worthless isn’t fun. It isn’t helping me. It isn’t how I want to spend my time, so I’ve decided to be confident instead.
I mean that as simply and literally as I said it: I’ve just decided to. That’s it. I’ve decided to be confident now, and I think it’s working.
I write this essay not to invalidate or minimize anyone’s experience of self-loathing or low self-esteem. I know how easily it can compound the pain of already feeling trapped in a lack of self-confidence if someone says, “Just snap your fingers and get over it!” Of course it doesn’t work like that. Of course that would be invalidating. I would not ask for that kind of a change from myself, or from anyone who was suffering.
I write this instead to further explore the reality that beliefs are mental habits, and habits can be changed. When we become more conscious of what our beliefs are and why we believe them, we can assess our beliefs more critically to determine whether or not they’re actually beneficial to our lives. The more practiced we become in the art of changing our mental habits, the more we can align those habits with serving our actual well-being.
I’ve written before about my process for changing beliefs. There is no magic trick to it. A belief is a judgment you make so habitually that you’ve come to equate it with the truth, instead of seeing it correctly as an interpretation. I’ve found the only way to change my beliefs is to actively practice making different interpretations.