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Need help with my confidence!

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  • #85070
    Sapnap3
    Participant

    Hello community,
    Its been a while since I have posted anything on this site. I picked up and left for Ireland more than a year ago to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I finished my MBA and joined an internship with an IT firm. Again, I am faced with my insecurities. I work for a very tough woman who I am very scared of. Last meeting we had, I was shaking and actually cried!! The issue is that I don’t believe in myself and everything she is giving me to do seems unreasonable and difficult to me even though, it shouldn’t be. I have been meditating everyday since my ex left 3+ years ago. The issue I believe is that I still don’t know what I want in my life. I go back forth between wanting to settle down with whomever comes my way to being picky about even going on a date. I am so confused. I am home in the states right now, leaving for Ireland on Sunday and I am sad. Very sad. I don’t want to go back to my mean mean boss but the self aware person in me wants me to give it a try with confidence. There is also an issue of getting a paycheck given that I will be broke in 2 months if I don’t get that paycheck.

    So what I wanted to hear from all of smart yogis was, how do I work on this confidence issue? I have achieved so much in my life but there is something about mean, ruthless women that I cannot bare. I need people to be kind but according to my friends, that is not going to happen in a high stress startup scene. Any tips on how to deal with her would be greatly appreciated. I just turned 33 so the desperation I feel to find a man is not helping me either.

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
    Love
    S

    #85077
    Inky
    Participant

    Oh Sapnap3!!!

    My heart goes out to you. I had a mean woman in a position of power be mean to me and it took me years to get over it!!

    OK, $$$: Put $$$ aside in investments. It will grow above the rate of inflation. And the trick is: Don’t dip into the principle!!

    If you haven’t, put another 1/3 into Savings.

    Now you will seem more broke than you are, but you will want/need that $$$ one day!!

    Find an under the table job once you’re in Ireland. Like, babysit a kid for one afternoon/evening a week.

    I hate to say it, but maybe find a nice Irish man when you’re there. Go on 12 dates. Then pick the most likely guy. Hate to be all scientific/play the numbers about it but you will want to up the romance department if you want kids!!

    Your confidence: Time, time, and more time. One day WE will be among the older people in any room. That helps. A lot.

    That Woman: What can I say. The women who get in positions of power often have had to be a little shark-y to GET in that position in the first place! Maybe be proactive: invite her out to coffee, ask if she NEEDS coffee, remember her birthday/anniversary, etc. BUT *don’t* be all kiss azz about it! Maybe once a week or once a month give her a kind gesture/word/favor. It can’t hurt and might help!

    Best,

    Inky

    #85078
    Mike
    Participant

    Here is my take on your situation. I myself am not always a very confident person, often a difficult situations I shy away from standing up for myself only to hate myself later. I have learned that if you act a certain way, that is just go through the motions of being confident then the mind will follow. Acting confident doesn’t take much to do, stand up straight and don’t back away from a person, look them in the eyes but don’t burn them with a scolding look. Keep your face soft and relaxed, allow your muscles to relax. When you talk keep it short and to the point, take deep enough breaths to sustain a clear voice do not rush your words. Don’t apologize or make excuses, if a question is asked that you don’t know the answer to simply say, “I’m sorry I don’t have the answer to that right now, I am going to go do some research on the subject, let me get back to you.” You say you meditate, so I take it that when you meditate you try to clear your head, that won’t help you. Instead try visualization, visualize your boss talking down to you and envision your self brushing it off and it does not phase you, then you display your confidence in what ever way you think fit. Don’t see work that seems too hard or too much get you down, you will get through it just attack it with out even thinking about its difficulty. Too often work we think is hard is made harder and takes longer because either aloud or in our heads we complain about it instead of just focusing and getting to work, once it is done then you can look back and think that wasn’t too bad good thing I didn’t listen to that voice in my head. Everyone has the voice of doubt at some point, but some people don’t listen its up to you whether you listen to it. Also try standing in front of the mirror when you are alone and having one of your “meetings” with your boss, but be confident obviously it is just you and your imagination their is no reason that you can’t feign confidence. Practice this and maybe it will transfer to your job. Also don’t feel desperate in finding a man, I don’t know how many times I searched for something desperately and caused myself suffering and anxiety never to find it in that it in that state, once I relax and stop looking low and behold it seems to find me.
    Hope my words can help you,
    Mike

    #85079
    Mike
    Participant

    Sorry I want to add a little more to finding a man. I said stop looking, but I should add don’t stop putting yourself out there. If you date, date with the idea of just meeting nice people to connect with, not with the idea that you need to find the one. Let love happen, don’t try to force it to happen. Try upping your involvements in social activities and hobbies, it is probably the best place to meet new people and make friends, because you already have something in common.

    #85082
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    “Every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.” Fear is the most powerful emotion I know. We can’t kick it out of our lives. If there was nothing else to fear, we will still have the knowing that we will die and that we do not know when, where and how. That is enough to scare anyone. And there is the fear that disease, debilitating and/or fatal happens to people of any age and any lifestyle, and whether I get what disease when is a matter of statistics. This is also scary enough. So fear is unavoidable.

    There there are the fears, other fears, facing that boss in Ireland. Fear of not getting married in the near future, fear of this or that.

    The “solution”- or The only way to deal with your own fear- is with self empathy, empathy for that child within you that is afraid. When you walk around at 33 with an MBA, you are still a scared little child walking around with a date of birth and a certification that do NOTHING to change the fact that you are still, a scared little child.

    Talk to yourself, talk to that scared child, make a plan with her and for her as you take her by the hand and sit or walk or do anything at all. Ask her: how does this feel? How are you feeling right now? Or notice the cold dread in your chest and tell her: you are scared right now, tell me about it. And listen to her and make a plan with her, one small step at a time, just as if you had a young daughter who is scared and needs your help.

    You cannot make that little girl NOT afraid but you can help her, walk with her hand in yours.

    anita

    #85083
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear Mike: I just read your comments on this thread thoroughly. I like:

    “stand up straight…look them in the eyes… Keep your face soft and relaxed, allow your muscles to relax.

    When you talk keep it short and to the point, take deep enough breaths to sustain a clear voice do not rush your words.

    Don’t apologize or make excuses…”

    Excellent, I want to keep these suggestions in my mind.

    But notice how old habits creep in. After you wrote to not apologized you apologized twice. Once here: ” “I’m sorry I don’t have the answer to that right now…” and the second time in your second comment: “Sorry I want to add a little more…”

    Like you, Mike, I am a fellow sufferer of this lack of self confidence and like you, I am working on it. So my motivation in pointing this out is to help you and me. Isn’t it amazing? It amazes me. You are kind enough to try to help S and yet you apologize for trying to help her or for taking more space in a second comment.

    Or the first apology, for not having an answer. Who has the all the answers? I am reminding myself right now to apologize only when I hurt someone, not otherwise. That in itself lets another know: You are greater than I am, sorry…

    Extreme patience and extreme kindness to self, myself, yourself ….
    anita

    #85102
    jock
    Participant

    re dealing with tough boss:
    excellent advice from mike on visualisation and anita on empathy for the inner child..
    this is a really good thread, possibly because your initial post is well-written.
    I too struggle with aggressive authority figures. It is so easy for me to lose confidence in a scenario with a very confident person, especially when they go on the attack. Once in counselling, I role-played with my therapist a future difficult scenario. This really helped. If you can afford a few sessions with a therapist you can trust, I’d highly recommend it.

    #85118
    Beah
    Participant

    I love everyone’s suggestions.

    I struggle with being assertive when dealing with people I disagree with. I find it stems from the idea that for me to come into conflict with someone about an issue I need to fully understand why a person is behaving in that way so that the actions I choose to take are constructive rather than jumping in without thinking about it or reacting destructively. I believe that people choose their actions for a reason and to be constructive I need to understand and be completely sure before I act. I think people see this as a great weakness because by the time I have decided on my course of action it has really gotten out of hand. So in terms of workplace politics I feel quite unconfident, especially with bosses who really are there to take advantage of you and push as hard as they can to get every ounce of value out of you.

    I also struggle dealing with people who are not open to the difficulties they have. I want to help them and support them but I have found out (the hard way) that if they are not ready to accept their negative behaviours, that they don’t listen or really take on what you have to say about it. Its really hard sitting back watching them being so destructive and not guide them to something better.

    So for example my boss is a really nice guy when not focussed on his work- there is a nice side to him. But at work he oozes stress and is nasty and condescending to his workers in his frustration to get them all to do more. He doesn’t realise they cant do more that what they are doing. He has a great team of workers. Its a good day at work when he has targeted the other workers to “focus his attentions on” rather than you. When I realised this I chose to leave the job but you can’t keep running away from people you find hard to get along with. I mean I just cringe when he gets stuck into our ‘special needs’ worker. Its horrible on so many levels. I started to try to quietly help this special-needs person with small directions and hints/tips that certain jobs were coming up so start preparing for them- to help them cope with the workload only to find myself in the firing line constantly. The worst thing was, it was no extra burden for me to help them. Its didn’t slow my work or affect my performance in a negative way.

    I feel for you Snapnap because I am also looking for a workplace where I can work hard and come home and feel I have done well without all the nastiness but I am starting to believe it really is not possible because efficiency in business comes down to money, and that is linked directly with greed. So that means greed and compassion are pitted against each other: do we behave compassionately in the workplace and look after our workers or efficiently and push them as hard as possible????? So like you I am trying to work out how to ‘go-with-the flow’ in these necessary situations (i.e. I have to work to earn money and live) and not come home feeling taken advantage of and exhausted all the time. My current theory is to work somewhere you don’t care about at all.

    I love the advice about finding love and its totally true- don’t look for it- instead be yourself and do things you enjoy and when you do this your happiness will shine and then the people who you are doing this will see and (unless you are doing stuff completely on your own in isolation) you will shine like a beacon and attract likeminded people to you. It always happens when you don’t expect it!

    I apologise. I feel like I have taken over the thread but I really empathise with you and if others out there have more suggestions please keep them coming because I am really interested in trying some of them out as well 😀

    #85136
    Sapnap3
    Participant

    Thank you so much everyone. This has helped so much. I don’t have a data ready phone for the States so I can only reply when there is WiFi.

    I do have to say that I haven’t given it my all. My monk always says, when doing a task, give it everything you got. I will give my job that and prepare myself before speaking to my boss. She is very good at what she does but I have put her on a pedestal which makes me very nervous when I speak to her. I have to put her down from that pedestal and tell myself that she is a human not God. She can be wrong. I do have to stand up for myself. I don’t mind walking out of this job but I want to do it with dignity. The child in me has gone through so much in life. I do have to be mind to it like Anita said.
    Let’s keep this thread going. I invite people to talk about what they go through. Together we can create a support system for each other. I’ll follow up with my updates soon.

    #85137
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sapnap3:

    I am all for keeping this thread going and thank you for the invitation. Placing people on pedestals is unrealistic and ineffective, therefore taking your boss off the pedestal is a wise attitude change. As I posted on this thread before, fear is a powerful force, to be dealt with an attitude of respect to how powerful it is in human functioning. I am facing my own fears these days. Have been afraid my whole life and feel fear daily, again and again. Some fear is existential, there to stay, but a good portion of it is leftover fear from childhood, fear that gets activated repeatedly through the day. Often I didn’t notice it as fear. Sometimes all I was aware of when afraid was feeling angry. At other times I just felt the temperature going up a lot in my body, feeling hot, physically. At other times I found myself engaged in counting calories, something i have been doing in the last few years only, but engaged in it as a distraction when i am afraid. I am noticing all the times in one day that I am afraid. I notice the times I ruminate, trying to analyze what it is that scares me, times I catastrophize: what is wrong with me, I am thinking, while all that is wrong is that I feel fear and that feels dangerous. Leftover fear is what i call it.

    anita

    #85149
    jock
    Participant

    I have a character in my head I’ll call Highly Strung Hyena. This is a default reactionary character who seems to want centre stage in stressful scenarios which require lots of confidence such as confronting a work colleague or negotiating with a boss. My idea is to create another character to deal with these situations and let HSH sit them out. ATA (Adam the Adult) needs to practice in the mirror (visualisation) and I have to believe that Adam can do the job required. Self belief in a newly created character. it’s still me though.. 🙂

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by jock.
    #85199
    Sapnap3
    Participant

    I love how everyone has talked about fear in this thread. It is fear that is making me so sad to go back to Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful country but because of circumtances and my confidence issues, I have not given it a fair shot. I am very lucky as in life I have been fortunate enough to get choices but I feel like I am free falling now. I am dreading seeing my boss in less than 24 hours and I am dreading going back to my cold, unfriendly house. When do I start knowing the difference between my problem and not my problem? Like when do I start acknowledging that some times people are ass&&les and I really can’t help it? when do I stop blaming myself for “not trying hard enough” “not givning my all” and “not letting go”…when?

    I thank the universe for my life everyday but I am sick of not having it easy. I know people who have always gotten everything they want in their lives. Now coming to states, I see people having beautiful babies, getting engaged, married, getting promotions. Why am i stagnant? I have an MBA, should I get one job with an understanding boss? 1 boss!!! Sorry guys. Just felt like venting. I don’t mean to sound like a brat but I am pissed that I can’t make heads or tails out of my situation right now.

    Thank you for listening. To sign off, I would like to recite the serenity prayer:

    God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.

    #85200
    jock
    Participant

    Reading your last post you seem to be suffering from envy and high life expectations . I certainly don’t like it when I am the one under the pump and everyone else seems to have it easy. So I understand your current position. Good luck.

    #85203
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sapnap3:

    When is it your problem and when is it that the other person is an as***&?

    You are looking for the “wisdom to know the difference” in the serenity prayer, then…

    I would like to start a new thread with this very question. I will wait for your response, or I will wait for a couple of days to hear from you. Maybe you would like to start one with this question?

    anita

    #85235
    Sapnap3
    Participant

    Thank you Jack. Anita I’ll start the thread now. Thank you

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