Building Confidence After it’s Lost

“We spend our adult life fixing what we didn’t get right as children . . . “

I’ve suffered some pretty dark obstacles throughout my life from a very young age to now. I never really stopped to think or to heal. I kind of just left a bloodbath trail behind me and never looked back. It’s no surprise that sooner or later I’d collapse into a deep self-sabotaging state of mind. When did I lose control? There might not have been an exact day, but I now know after self-reflection and mediation, what the causes have been. Without going into too much detail about my personal life but enough to understand, it happened after these life changing events: a nasty break up, my parent’s brutal (and ongoing) divorce, a head injury, and a trigger that exposed childhood traumas. In that order. All within two years.

So, I broke down. I gave up. I WITHDREW. I lost friends. I lost myself. I was truly miserable and hid so no one would find out. It wasn’t until I started writing again that I began to heal. I went back to music and started to search for ways to be happy again. With my boyfriend’s support, I’ve been able to move forward and pursue a better lifestyle.

This leads me to confidence – or the lack of. It has been the hardest quality to regain. It took me about a year to fully recover from the concussion. Before that, I suffered from headaches, memory loss and fog. I couldn’t interpret or translate. I couldn’t develop any new skills. My treatment was literally “rest”. However, I couldn’t sleep because of everything else that was going on, so it doubled the amount of time it probably would have taken to recover.

Today, I’m much better and am working hard daily to have confidence in myself. It’s not an easy quality to get back. If you have it, great! You’re my hero! If not, here’s a few tips that have helped me balance and strengthen what once was completely gone:

• Allow your insecurities to pour out in a safe environment and be aware of why they exist. This helps create a buffer or safety net so that you don’t feel at a complete loss. When you understand where your emotions come from, you have a better chance of taking control! Awareness is half the battle.
• Surround yourself with people who have your best interest in mind – this means family, friends or a therapist you trust. Being able to talk it through with the right person can help you build back up.
• Help others! Believe it or not but helping other people can be a huge confidence builder. Not to mention it makes you feel better when you know you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life! Never fear to help and never fear to ask for help.
• Do small achievements. Depending on how much confidence you lack, sometimes starting with smaller tasks can help bring order in your brain. You can then continue to work on what you were initially trying to be confident in to begin with.

These tips are probably obvious to some people. I also know how hard they are to do when you’re feeling uncertain. I mention them because I try to do at least one each day. It works. It helps me get up when I can’t find a reason to get back up. It’s also a reminder that you are doing the right thing and you are where you need to be. I see these healthy habits like stepping stones and I know that practicing these ideas can flourish areas in your life that you might have thought were lost.

M.