How Others Crushed My Self-Confidence, and How I'm Rebuilding It

All of my life I've been the typical shy gamer dude. I'm currently 21 years old and I didn't get out a lot (even though I had / still have a great social circle). I've always been kind of a stay-at-home kinda guy.

Now, you'd think that these points aren't necessary bad news for someone, and they don't seem to be confidence-ruining. Well, maybe not. However, me being a guy and all means I'm interested in meeting women and getting in relationships. When I was young, I tried asking out girls around me quite often. Not just random girls but girls I was genuinely interested in. And every time, I'd get shot down. Slowly my brain started developing the thought that something must be wrong with me. Either i'm hideous or I'm highly uninteresting, or both. My brain got into a negative spiral from all the rejections and I even became depressed for a long time. I was telling myself I didn't deserve romantic love, that I'll always be single and I'd never achieve anything. Any good things that happened to me would be 'coincidence' and just stupid luck. I didn't do anything to deserve that victory.

I managed to battle out of that depression after a while. I was ready to meet women again but, me being me, I installed dating apps instead of meeting people in real life (I didn't get out often, remember?). And boy, that did not help. Not one bit. I never got a match on the apps and my 'rating' on some of the apps were terrible. I took all of this personal again and on came another wave of depression.

In the last years I've been getting better. I don't feel depressed as much anymore as I did at first; however, I still get bad evenings every now and then. My whole past with women has scarred me, though. My self confidence has taken a big hit and I still feel not worthy enough to ask a woman out in person. Whenever I have the intent to, my brain reminds me it'll come off as weird and unwanted. My life doesn't revolve around relationships and the like, but I just want to know what the fuzz is all about.

I've been in this state for about the last 2 years. I don't ask women out on dates at all, though I am very friendly to them. I guess I'm just friendzoning myself right off the bat. My main issue is just that my fear of rejection is always there. The fear is so big that I never dare to even flirt with a woman because I know it'll end up in a bad situation for me. Well, that's what my brain is telling me anyway.

Until now.

I've thrown my life around. I suddenly realized that your life is completely decided by you. I've been working at my flaws and I've been working on improving myself as a person. I realized that self confidence can be built by doing good things and telling yourself good things. The most important thing is to love yourself. I've always read people saying, "How can someone else love you when you don't even love yourself?" but I never figured it applied to me. Until now. I'm forcing myself outdoors more, even by myself. I'm forcing myself to interact with strangers more. And every evening, I'm writing down 3 good things that happened today. When I now look in the mirror, I tell myself 'hey good looking'.

It all felt weird at first. It felt too forced. However, once you do something often enough, your brain adapts to it. For example, if you tell yourself you look good, eventually your brain starts to follow that thought. Remember, you are your own worst critic and you need to be the one to change that. I always struggled with that myself, but by just telling yourself you look good you'll make a tremendous change to your state of mind. I can feel my confidence slowly growing every day and I'm sure that if I'll keep this up that I'll be able to talk to strangers comfortably and maybe ask a cute girl out one day too ;). But, no rush. I'm just taking life day-by-day right now and I keep reminding myself to compliment myself (modestly, you don't want to over-do this) and I remind myself to write in my journal.

I never realized how strong the human brain is and how much influence you have over your own thoughts. I always thought I would remain stuck in that negative mindset and I was okay with that. I had figured my brain had been hardwired to think negative thoughts; I thought that was just the way i am as a person. However, if you put your mind to thinking more positive, you can become more positive yourself (it's that simple!). Sure, I still have my bad evenings every now and then but I can shrug them off more now and I just continue with my good thinking the next day. It was sort of a switch I needed to flip: from self-pity to self-confident. My journey still isn't done yet, I'm still learning new things daily and my confidence still has a long way to go, but it's a work in progress. And I'm proud of myself for going through with it.

PS: Sorry about the sort of messy layout and sorry if my English isn't excellent (English is my second language). Thanks for reading! :)


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Cool my take. Your English is fine, English is not my first language either. What is your first language? Mine is Hmong

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Excellent.

    I preach the power of the self all the time and this is a perfect example of how everything - EVERYTHING - you will ever need is inside you. But you have to go get it; you have to take the initiative to improve and progress. If life doesn't work out, you'll have nobody to blame but yourself and when life DOES work out, guess who made it happen? ;)

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    • Exactly! People don't realize how strong they are, they tend to get stuck in a certain mindset with the idea that it's impossible to escape said mindset - Not true at all. It's just very difficult for people to find the switch and to flip it.

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    • Ah fair enough. What my problem was mostly is that I didn't really have any hobbies outside of gaming. I'm currently working on finding new hobbies that force me outdoors and away from the video games. I spend more time on building websites and doing other creative work, too.

    • Getting outside and doing things with the brain is critical. These days, I'd give up my games long before I gave up my books and the outdoors. ;)

Join the discussion

What Girls Said 4

  • Awesome take! Really glad to here that your turning your life around! :)

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  • good job

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  • Excellent 👍

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  • Me it's my family who always broke my confidence

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What Guys Said 7

  • well said and your English is very good.

    That is unfortunately nature with women. They are looking for a confident high value male. If you don't show up as one... they can't make you into one. They fed off of you and you just have to take their rejections and negativity and not let it impact you. When you do that, you will start to discover you will have some success. out of 20 asks you'll get 1 yes. that's just how it is. as you get more confident, maybe it is 10 / 1.

    These are things that have to be worked on all the time... approaching, dating, reslationships with people in general are skills... you have to build those skills if you don't have them and you are doing that! Positive thinking and giving off positive "energy" is essential.

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  • See, you lost your self-confidence by getting rejected by girls. As the old saying goes, if you don't try, you can't fail.

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    • But if you don't try, you can't win either. And winning is always better than losing! ;) Gotta learn to stop taking those rejections personally and just move on. Turns out it's a game of numbers after all.

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    • True, true. But we all gotta learn to take those losses less heavily and just move on. If we later on DO get a win, then it has all been worth it.

    • Meh too lazy.

  • 7d

    Yes. The mindset is such an important and so rarely discussed part of maintaining positive self esteem. I'm glad to see people sharing success stories of them changing their worldviews so well.

    Did the self complimenting and encouragement actually work though? It seems corny and fake to me. On the other hand, any given mindset is not completely "real" either...

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  • congrats!

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  • that's cool.

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  • Inspirational! The power of the human mind is vast, it can make you feel like shit if you don't know how to work with it. Unfortunately, no one in school really teaches you how to do this, and parents are working all the time so they don't do it either.

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    • Exactly. I wish I knew earlier that I had the power to change things myself. I now realized how much I wallowed in self-pity all the time and I now realize that that's all been a waste of time. I agree that more people should be taught this way of thinking. People need to know their inner strength more!

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    • Bullying is certainly a way for someone to develop negative thoughts. For me, it was a combination of bullying and rejection by women actually.

      I can also see how the lack of a support system at home makes people feel uncertain and not so self-confident too.

    • Sometimes the women who reject you are bullies. Like when they laugh at you, then run over to their little girlfriends and they all point and laugh, then they start rumors about you so no one wants to go near you...

  • You don't have to be interesting to have a girlfriend. You just have to be hot.

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    • Not true at all. Women love your personality often more than your looks. Sure, looks matter but everyone has a different taste and there's someone for everyone.

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    • @Unit1 You might attract women indeed, but I'm not sure if they're GF-material ;)

    • Heeeh *places fist on your upper arm* absolutely ;) These are not the kinds of women we want.
      I'm glad you worked out on your self confidence and are smart enough to overcome it.

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