I have never felt confident.
I remember always feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. All those years growing up, I used to feel doubtful and insecure, having thoughts like “Do I look good enough?”, “I hope I don’t sound stupid”, “Will I be able to do this?”, all of which added up to my sheer lack of confidence.
I never understood why I felt this way. It amazed me how others were so sure and confident in themselves, but it made me feel terrible that I couldn’t be like them, and was always so unsure, afraid and insecure. It affected me adversely, both socially and emotionally. I remember how, at the age of sixteen, my then boyfriend, the guy of my dreams, who I could not believe was with me, told me how incredibly lucky I was to be with him in front of my friends with another narcissistic rant, and all I did was validate him, although my mind was conflicted with, “Oh yes! I am lucky to have him, but he too is equally lucky to be with me. ” But when you are low on confidence, it affects your self-esteem and people do take advantage of that. I could never stand up for myself. “What if I say something stupid?” lingered in the back of my mind. And due to this fear, I usually ended up embarrassing myself.
The small circle of my trusted people, which included my parents, siblings, and a couple of friends, always encouraged me to stop underestimating myself and rise to my potential. But it wasn’t like a switch that I could just flip. No matter how many times I tried to convince myself otherwise, I simply failed when it came to being confident in real life.
My entire school and college life went by feeling underconfident and I could not express myself or participate in any event. Once I started working with my father, I realized that my lack of confidence was also affecting my professional life. I couldn’t inform my juniors if they did something wrong or fire an incompetent employee. I would simply stay up late and do their tasks correctly. My staff soon lost respect for me, and they began to take me for granted. Being disrespected in such a manner led me to a complete burnout and a breakdown. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, go to work, or eat anything. I felt very helpless and pitiful.
My family saw this and tried to make me feel better, but when all else failed, my friend recommended therapy. The first thought I got after hearing that was, “Wasn’t therapy for people who were academically weak at school or downright insane.” I mean, I acknowledged I had a few issues related to my self-esteem, but I didn’t need therapy and what would the therapist even advise me that my family and friends hadn’t already? But at that moment, I was so helpless and desperate for some solace or guidance that I agreed.
Before I went into therapy, I went online and read some reviews from people who had taken therapy, and I was amazed. Many people had written about how counselling had benefited them with a variety of challenges, which gave me some hope. Being a little hopeful, I went for my first therapy session. I felt extremely comfortable expressing everything with the therapist since she listened carefully and was friendly and understanding of me. Throughout the sessions, the therapist attempted to uncover the reasons for my lack of confidence, and it provided me with numerous insights into myself. After understanding the reasons, we started working towards overcoming them.
It took time, but since then I have felt so much better. I have become better in so many ways. I became more confident of myself; I started talking to my colleagues and juniors without holding myself back. I’ve also started exploring my interests and working towards them, which I could not do in last so many years. People around me can easily tell the difference in me. I also gained knowledge regarding the process of therapy. It is truly surprising that something that can help so many people like me is suppressed due to some myths people have. Therapy made me feel comfortable with myself again. The strength and support I received from therapy helped me become the person that I am now, and I will always be grateful for this experience.