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.
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! :)