Keeping Confidence

I am at the stage in my mental illness where I’m able to do a lot more and start taking risks. I am beginning to venture out into the world again.

But as soon as I start to take on more responsibilities and try new things, my confidence falters. I start questioning everything I think and do. I doubt myself at every turn.

I know this is natural for anyone who is changing their life, especially when managing mental health problems, but it’s difficult to persevere when faced with a crisis of confidence. It’s hard to keep your confidence at a reasonable level — instead of worrying about how confident you feel, it’s vital to keep going and refuse to let your lack of confidence deter you from achieving your goals.

As Susan Jeffers says, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway. Ignore the voices in your head which constantly mutter that you are not good enough. Just do something, anything.

Fake it until you make it is more than a cliché: it works. When I feel out of my depth, I get stuck into whatever task is challenging me. I submit stories and applications even when I “know” there is no chance of success. I meet new people despite “knowing” they will think I’m a blathering fool. I keep setting goals I “know” I will never achieve. Yet some of these things work out well. I have small successes. My submissions get accepted. Time and time again, the universe proves that I’m wrong when I “know” I will fail.

Here is another cliché which contains a lot of truth: the only surefire way to fail is to never try. So that’s why I’m going to push my confidence issues to the side and try to meet challenges head on. I still worry a lot, but I hope that over time my anxiety will become more of an annoyance than a barrier ro my success and happiness. Call it an experiment in creating confidence!