I'm lacking confidence

Dear Edahn, 

I am one of those people who lacks a healthy dosage of confidence. I am most comfortable in my own company. I have put up with way too much in the past from friends though I'm becoming more and more convinced that it has only been as a result of my upbringing. Although I have a sibling, we are the extreme opposite of each other. My sibling radiates confidence and enjoys the spotlight. I, on the other hand, just vanish into the background, as if I was born without a voice, that is even when i speak. Much of this, I believe, has to do with the fact that my sibling has received both praises and parental support throughout his life. I have pretty much had to motivate myself. Though I have grown stronger, at the same time I feel like somewhere along the way I've lost touch with people. Don't get me wrong, I love people and I love being in their company. However, it seems I have to work that much harder to make myself 'heard.' What is your take on this?

I think it's groovy, baby! 

You've identified an area of your life that could use improvement, done some reflection on the causes of it, and are taking corrective action to restore the situation to something fluid and healthy (rather than just wallowing in misery or anger). Sounds great!

As to what happened, I guess that are all sorts of factors and experiences that would cause someone to hesitate when interacting with others. The way our parents raised us is probably the biggest factor, though I'm sure teachers, genetics, and peers also contribute. I recently wrote this sentence in my journal: "Rewriting your scripts is the process of becoming your own parent." A script is how you see a situation unfolding. When I wrote that, I was specifically referring to how you see your life unfolding in the future, as in do you imagine yourself being content or frustrated? Calm or agitated? But there are microscripts too, like how you see interactions with others unfolding.

Right now, you personally have certain expectations for how the interaction will go, e.g., they'll say something, I'll get quiet, I'll try and say something, they'll ignore me, I'll have to do this and that, I'll feel afraid or confused or alone, I'll have to work on it, etc. Self-improvement is a process of examining, challenging, and rewriting these scripts (especially in the cognitive-behavioral approach). You find the ability, sometimes by surprise, to say "you know what, maybe this doesn't have to go the way it's always gone, and maybe I don't have to expect the worst. Maybe I can start expecting something better to happen or just forget it all and be open to a new, unexpected experience happening." In doing so, you're abjuring (good word, Edahn!) the old scripts and making room for new ones. It's like going into your past and acting as your own parent who guides their child and helps them form a positive and trusting relationship with the world and themselves which in turn builds healthy scripts.

It's great to see you already in that process. With a decent attitude and a little practice, I have no doubt that you'll succeed in shedding those tired scripts and kicking some serious ass.

(Just a reminder, if you want to show appreciation, you can Digg this blog, share it with a friend, become a Follower, whatever. Grazi!)