Are You There Blog? It's Me CaraghSelf Confi-dunceCaragh Poh

I never had a lot of confidence. It took me 14 years before I realized that I could be funny and another 7 to realize that I was worth anything outside of a laugh.

As a teenager, I thought no one wanted to hang out with me. When I received an invitation to attend so-and-so’s party or to see what’s-his-face’s new blockbuster film, I would often lie and say I was grounded for not cleaning my room. I so deeply believed that I was unworthy of the company of anyone I respected that I honestly thought that the people who were calling me on the phone didn’t want to be with me. That is a perfect example of how depression can manifest itself into completely selfish and narcissistic thinking. It warps nearly every social situation into an unrecognizable mess of paranoia and doubt.

Hi, my name is Caragh and I’m a self confi-dunce. Much like alcoholism, once you are a self confi-dunce, you are always a self confi-dunce. There is no turning back, there’s only looking forward.

Over last few years, I have begun to try something different. I have become an active participant in my happiness and self esteem. I no longer wait for its arrival. Here are some things I’ve learned. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

1. Don’t just want happiness and confidence, work toward it.

It’s the simplest and most primary rule to follow. Once you get over the hurdle that is accepting that you do not have the ability to simply wish happiness to appear, the rest will begin to fall into place.

Take a survey of your life. Why are you down on yourself? Isolate it and fix the problem. What’s keeping you from reaching your goals? Single it out and demolish your reason for doubt.

There are ultimately two possible solutions to any problem in your life: you either deal with it or you move on. If you can fix your problem, fix it. If you can’t, move on. Just don’t whine about it.

2. Listen to hip hop on the radio, especially the Young Money crew.

I don’t know much about any genre of music and that holds especially true for rap and hip-hop. The one thing I do know is that most of the hip hop in the top 40 today is all about stroking the super ego. Roll down your windows, put on your sunglasses and take a cruise while listening to Li’l Wayne’s ‘Bill Gates’ and then come back and tell me you don’t feel like a billion dollar woman.

3. Smile in the mirror.

I know this sounds silly but I did tell you that I’m going to reiterate what works for me. I hate the mirror. Every time I stare into it I see someone completely disappointed with what she is viewing. I tend to have a very expressive face that hides nothing of what is going on in my head. To see those peering, wandering eyes so upset and critical just bums me out.

So now I smile when I look into the mirror. A genuine, wide-mouthed, toothy grin. I smile like I just won the lottery. I smile like I just got my dream job. I smile like Barack Obama just called me up and asked me to be his Lewinsky.

It sounds silly but it works for me. I like seeing myself happy, even if it’s momentarily forced.

4. Fake it ’til you make it.

Okay, okay. The truth is that I started to pretend I had confidence before I even possessed anything that looked remotely like self esteem. Maybe I’m just exceptionally good at lying to myself but faking it worked for me.

Lie to yourself. Lie to your family. Lie to your friends, your neighbors and your cat. You don’t have to walk around explicitly telling them how you are an exemplary human being who is perfect at absolutely everything, but it doesn’t hurt to walk into a room while thinking, “I’m awesome, I’m awesome, I’m awesome,” like some sort of discount self help tape from the dollar store.

The bottom line is that no one will ever respect you until you respect yourself. Take that advice to the bank and cash it, because that check will not bounce.

5. Create your own happiness, do not rely on others.

I once watched a movie called Good Dick. It featured a heavily depressed woman who meets a man who instantly loves her so much that he gives her a loving and much needed bath followed by some gentle and totally nonsexual, hair brushing.

What message is this suppose to send to me? That when I’m depressed and not brushing my hair (bi-monthly occurrence), an attractive, young gentlemen will force his way into my life and lovingly rub some Herbal Essences onto my scalp? No! No one will save you! That doesn’t happen! When that happens you lie in bed for hours upon hours and cry about the inevitable death of everyone you love and think about how you’re going to die alone on a pull-out couch one day, probably when you’re 60, probably from some sort of cancer, and then all of your pets will die because you have no one in your life who would think to check up on you. Until one day your neighbor comes home (I’m still living in an apartment because I never made any real income to buy a house) and says to her husband, “Joe? Joe? What’s that smell? Joe? I think the hoarder next door died, Joe. Should we call the cops?” and they’ll just wait until after dinner because they can’t even be bothered to care before they eat their meat loaf.

There is no magical savior. Stop waiting for him. Make your own happiness.

BONUS TIP: Throw out the twist ties on your bread bags and just fold mouth of the bag down and under the loaf itself. The weight of the bread keeps the opening underneath the loaf ensuring freshness, and you don’t have to bother with those archaic twisties.

You might be wondering how this will increase your self confidence. The answer is simple: by not being a slave to the twisties, you will effectively save literally seconds upon seconds every year.

I am only 35% joking about this last bit of advice.

 

(image via inloveandindanger)

comments

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  1. hells yeah! loved this :)

  2. With the exception of a couple of sentences in this article I agree and it’s exactly how I feel. Thank you for taking the time to open up and give the rest of us a chance to face the things we try so hard to avoid ;)

  3. Every time I read your blogs, I come away with a new catchphrase. “Take that to the bank and cash it because that check will not bounce.” is the only thing getting me through this morning.

  4. Thank you so much for writing this! I love love love it!

  5. Besides the fact that this article is excellent and true, which everyone will be posting about, I just want to says that I ALWAYS TALK ABOUT JOKING IN PERCENTAGES.

  6. I have struggled so much with self-confidence and feeling worthy, so I will definitely try these. Thank you.

  7. Fake it ’til you make it. Advice from you AND Miss Tyra Banks! How could anyone not follow?

  8. Thank you. I have been trying to pull myself out of my funk for … well a long time. i actually have a pile of library books waiting to be checked out that are to help me move forward(hopefully). I am going to try that smiling in the mirror thing. and the faking it. EWWWW on the crush on obama tho. anyway thanks. good to know that i am not the only one feeling this way. and confi-dunce seems like a fun way to descibe it.

  9. You are wonderful, keep doing what you do Caragh!

  10. I love this!!! I can really relate. I’m totes saving this somewhere so I can come back to it again & again.

  11. sometimes depression cannot be shaken

  12. I sooo agree with the twistee thing. They are totally unnecessary!

  13. Hi, my name is Lauren and I’m also a self confi-dunce. (I’ll pause now and imagine you all saying, “Hi Lauren.”)
    But seriously, this is a good article! I’ve figured out how to create my own happiness, but I still need some work in the confidence area!

    I think I might have to try that twist tie thing because somehow I always break the colored bread tags and end up using a rubber band!

  14. I thought that I was the only person in the world who saw Good Dick. I loved it. I don’t care.
    And I agree on all your points, but most specifically the one about Young Money.

  15. oh sweet monkeys, you just said everything i do. lol including the throwing of the twist ties away. just fold the bag over and put it back in the pantry, sweet simple and easy. :) I still have a long way to go with the confidence, but im trying. And yes, i do not recommend crying in your bed in the middle of the night thinking to yourself about how you will die alone with your 9 cats. Your loud wailing wakes the entire house and the embarrassing convorsation that insues with your dad/sister/ ect. is not pleasant. (tht happened to me recently.) And Your SOOOO right!! if you dont like something about yourself then change it dont complain like a pansy! (thants taken me a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG time to figure out)

  16. i love that you mention listening to the young money crew to help make you feel better. i do everyday! it’s impossible to listen to “fancy” by drake while getting ready and not feel good.

  17. As an old fogey, I can second everything in this post… except maybe for the hip-hop and the twist ties. I still confront a lack of confidence every single day. Many times I can push through it; sometimes I can’t. The hardest part for me — knowing what would make me happy, but being unable to bring it to fruition. The well of depression can run deep.

  18. PS, I am not having a love affair with the emoticons…. I make a : with a o with a ) and that’s cool with me, but on here I get a :o) Suppose I’ll have to practice :)

  19. This is a “feel good” article… looking past the obvious brilliance writing-wise, I ADORE the positive message…. This is one of the zillion reasons why “HelloGiggles” is aces on my list!! :o) Keep helping ladies invariably, entertained, enlightened, and enriched…. simultaneously!! Endearing :o) xo

  20. Brilliant!