All posts tagged: self-confidence

Be confident even if you're shy or nervous or anxious

How to Gain More Confidence (and why it’s so damn hard to achieve)

Anxious people are, by nature, critical thinkers. As in, we are able to analyze a lot of details all at once. Back when I taught college composition I drilled the importance of critical thinking into my students like a pizza chef pounding fresh dough mercilessly. I basically would spend the entire semester shrieking “You only have one life and you better be a critical thinker in this world!!” (Reminder: the word “critical” isn’t used in the negative connotation here. It means you are objectively analyzing something to form an opinion). However, because anxiety generates a LOT of critical thinking skills it is often VERY difficult for people with anxiety to develop any kind of genuine self-confidence. Why? Because we are too damn smart. Haha no wait, sorry, I know that’s reductive and petty what I meant to say was we are really really skilled at seeing the grey areas of life and the positives and negatives of a situation and therefore understand nothing is perfect. But this includes ourselves. For example, say something stupid? Now you get to …

Why you need to listen to your intuition when anxious or nervous about dating someone new

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Gut When Dating Someone New

“He’s just a little insecure and doesn’t know how to confidently show he’s interested in me,” I explained to my roommate. I was twenty-one, hardcore crushing on a computer science major who also played the banjo, and justifying my ass off for why he wasn’t returning any of my text messages. I was also ignoring my gut. As I sat on our faded plaid armchair, the one that was in this dilapidated college-house when we moved in, I kept repeating that he was just shy. Nervous. Awkward. A computer genius. As a person with anxiety, I was well-equipped to over-analyze everything he’d ever said or done. While this may have all been true (he was sort of shy, awkward, and intelligent with computers) it was also true that he was not responding to my text messages. And no amount of hypothesizing (maybe he’s practicing his banjo and can’t hear his phone!!??) changed this fact. It is easy to try and see what we want to see. To weave elaborate backstories for why someone is treating us …

If anxious about taking new steps while dating

Why We Struggle to Take New Steps

Taking new steps in life, steps that may require boldness or courage, are not always easy. And while external factors may be part of what holds us back (finances, family, job constraints) it is often our very selves that prove to be a roadblock. Maybe you want to talk to that cute girl in the grocery store. Or apply for a job you really want. Or you want to write a book. Do you hear the negative voices in your head? Do you feel the knee-jerk reaction to follow your usual routine? Do you find comfort in familiarity? Oftentimes, we are our biggest hindrance to taking risks. For three years I kept saying I wanted to write a romance novel. In High School I went through a phase where I read a Nora Roberts book a day. Not kidding. I consumed NR like a vacuum cleaner moving across her section of the used bookstore. At the age of 15, I “wrote” my “first romance novel.” It was short, immature, and terrible. But it was also …

Table for Four: Ditching the judging, critical, killjoy

I have this analogy that every time you’re on a date with someone there are actually four people sitting at that table. No, I’m not Cybil, just hear me out. So naturally, all us blessed with higher than normal anxiety have a constantly running inner dialogue. Hopefully you’re getting better at limiting just how much that inner voice is criticizing you, but let’s be honest usually it’s pointing out ways you’re making a fool of yourself. So while we’re going about our own daily lives, waiting in line at Starbucks, rushing to NOT miss the bus, we’re living in a reality with dual selves. There’s the outward appearance we show to the world, one we painstakingly work to try and make appear as ‘cool’ and normal as possible and then the inner, mental, persona who is the one planning and working it’s butt off to keep ‘outward you’ from making a total fool of yourself. To give examples, appearance you is the one walking down the street, cool, calm, collected and totally confident. At the …