As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread:

Anxiety and Self Confidence

Alt-imate Form!Alt-imate Form! Registered User new member
Sorry for the Alt account but I have friends that are on the forums.

So for several years, possibly most of my life, I've felt as though I have had issues with anxiety and self confidence. Recently I've thought about seeking help for this but I always talk myself out of it at the last minute. However I'm getting to the point in my life where I feel like I'm not making any headway because my fear and anxiety have pretty much became my life.

I'm 24 and I’ve never had any sort of romantic relationship, when I've been approached it's generally resulted in me running for the hills or a panic attack. No idea why but that just seems to be my natural reaction whenever anyone shows any interest in me.

If I receive any form of complement I'll just brush it off as the person just being nice and trying to spare my feelings and if someone befriends me I assume that I have someone inadvertently fooled them into thinking I'm someone I'm not and could be found out at any moment. It sounds ridiculous when I write it down or dwell on it for any amount of time, but it's a feeling that I can never seem to shake.

I had aspirations to be an illustrator but whenever I try and work on something I get so anxious about 'failing' that I'm completely paralyzed and can't bring myself to do any work, which just makes the process even harder when I get the stones to try drawing again.

Currently I've just been spending all my time at home, only leaving the house to get groceries when I run out of supplies, and just procrastinating all day like a silly goose.

I'll be honest I'm not sure what I hope to achieve here but the forum generally seems like a good avenue for advice when it comes to this sort of thing.


  • JarsJars Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    there are two forms of perfectionism and you might have the negative one: a fear of failure. putting things off until you end up never doing them is in essence another form of laziness, you will feel much better once you make that first step and start doing something whereas if you do not then it will constantly eat you up and make you feel worse. instead of seeing the failure in things take the positive approach and try to see things that you can improve next time.

    Jars on
  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    I don't have any advice, but maybe this video will help you:

    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I wouldn't say it's laziness. I have a similar kind of anxiety when it comes to writing. I thought for a long time it was recent, but not long ago I actually managed to trace it back to an awful kindergarten teacher, believe it or not. Just I think recently I managed to break it harder, I guess.

    For me, it's not just a fear of failure. I mean, that sounds really simple, right? You just start writing, and then edit things until you get it right. But it's more than that: you go to pick up that notebook, or open your word processor, or however you get started, and all of a sudden that possibility of whatever comes out not being good enough isn't just "what if this sucks".. it's every failure you've ever had in your life and every bad thing that's ever happened to you combined, only somehow much worse because this is right in front of you right now. It's pretty crippling. Even if I am being otherwise productive that day, sitting down to write something (mostly as applies to homework, in my case) can completely shut me down for hours to the point where I will just stare.

    If that's anything like you, therapy is probably going to be your best bet. There are all kinds of medication you can get prescribed, but for me at least, it didn't mean anything without therapy. Medication can take the edge off, and don't get me wrong, that can be a huge deal... but therapy can sometimes help you change the way you think when you sit down to do the thing that causes the anxiety and give you a way to work through it.

    If what I'm describing doesn't sound even a little familiar, feel free to ignore me. If it does, it's a cycle, and will only get worse the longer you let it go.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    I don't have any advice, but maybe this video will help you:

    I love that video.

    Also, dude. I got locked into the same thing/way of thinking you did for a while. You're going to need to push yourself out of your "comfort" zone and start putting yourself out there. The best bit of advice I can give you, is give yourself consent to suck. Start getting out there and talking to people, chat folks up in the grocery store. Just ask questions about groceries or recipes. Like, "Hey, I hate to bug you but I've never made BBQ ribs before, you got any pointers?" Basically anything that you can turn into a small conversation. Just start honing your confidence and social skills again, it sounds like they may have gotten rusty.

    As for girls, same thing. You're going to have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Sure you might be a little awkward at first, but you'll get over it. And don't psych yourself out, they're people like anyone else.

    The illustrator thing. It's practice man, again, give yourself consent to suck for a while and push through it. My brother is an illustrator and he spent years honing his art (literally). It just takes time and effort to get good.

  • FreiFrei A French Prometheus Unbound DeadwoodRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    If you have an emotional issue that keeps you from living your life how you want to, it is absolutely something you should seek therapy for. It can do a lot for you if you open up and let it. If your anxiety is extremely severe, the advice of "just do it, power through" is worthless. You need to learn and practice lifestyle changes and ways to cope and flourish, and a good mental health professional is key in that.

    To put it another way, everyone gets anxiety. The "normal" kind of anxiety people think of when they tell people to just "forget about it" and "power through, get over it." Severe anxiety is much different and much worse.

    Frei on
    Are you the magic man?
  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    What Frei said. Therapy is the way to go, not "just do it". The OP probably knows it can be as easy as "just talk to them, they are human" - doesn't change the fact that he is still not doing it, because the fear is too great.

  • bean23bean23 Registered User regular
    Hey Altimate-Form,

    You actually are in a pretty good place. You understand that you have issues with self-esteem and anxiety and by posting here, you are showing that you realize that you need help.

    These are things that take time and work to overcome. The quickest route to this is to see a therapist who can help you set small goals that build your confidence and your social skills so that you are no longer anxious in these situations. For example, it might be terrifying to ask someone on a date, but maybe you could work up to engaging a stranger who you want nothing from in a conversation. For example, you might talk to an older person about their day at the grocery store. This lowers the stakes to also lower your stress and anxiety, but gets you to the point where you might feel comfortable doing something slightly more ambitious. Small tasks that don't cause anxiety build confidence that let you take on progressively more difficult social interactions.

    Additionally, you may be referred to a doctor to get something that will help you deal with this too.

  • superhappypandasuperhappypanda Zug Island Sport Fishing SeattleRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I would definitely not hold back from talking to a therapist about this. I had to cut some of my message short last night, but I saw a shrink for a couple months to deal with some of my anxiety. As for the doctor prescribed drugs thing to counter it, I'm not saying don't do it, but I'm also not saying to use them. There can be side effects and that's something you'll need to decide for yourself, but you know your situation better than us so if it's necessary, they may help.

  • allen898allen898 Registered User new member
    Yup. talking to a therapist would help you deal with your anxieties. You have to know the real source of the problem.

    "Health is the vital principle of bliss, and exercise of health."--James Thomson
  • Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Therapy is the best way to go. I didn't have that option available to me in my late teens, so I improvised my own solution.

    What I did, in my head, was realize that it's a lot easier to improve something than create something. So I decided to make something that was terrible, not as a final product, but as a interim step which I could work on until it was good enough. This worked out pretty well for me (after a lot of practice).

    One real-world application of this idea was when I started dating - I couldn't do it and had nowhere to start learning how. And I certainly didn't want to fail horribly! But I did know how to meet people in a business setting. So that's what I did - treat first dates as if they were informal introductory business meetings; talk about myself a little and engage in whatever they wanted to talk about.

    Over time, of course, my date could realize something was subtly wrong... but that never became an issue because usually by the second date I was more comfortable with them as people and had already broken the ice. I'm not recommending that you do exactly this, but it worked for me.

    Great Scott on
    I'm unique. Just like everyone else.
  • cookiekrushcookiekrush Registered User regular
    I have been in your shoes about panic attack and anxiety, it's really been a part of my every day life and is a struggle. I do agree with many of the answers here of talking to a therapist, however I think it's important to determine what it is you want to do. Do you want to talk to someone and have them help you set up goals? Or do you just want someone to talk to you and understand what it is your feeling?

    For romantic sights, it's better for you to be comfortable with yourself because you go looking. Figure out yourself and be happy with yourself because you try the dating scene. Because if you can't be happy with yourself, how can someone be happy with you? Or, you find someone who has these same issues, and you both grow together. Trust me, growing together is one of the best things in the relationship because no one is perfect.

    In terms of your art, we are all our worse judge. You need to have a supporter or a "fan" rather. Someone who can see your art and tell you how it is, both the good and the bad so you can grow from it. Practice makes perfect really. Like I love watching my friend create his art for his projects and says how bad it is, but we always work through it together like picking color schemes or giving them silly back stories and such and he feels better because each piece of his art is something he grows from.

    Sorry for such a long post. I've struggled with this with my entire life and even though it may not be the same exact issues, but I just wanted to let you know, you're not alone. 8-)

    Pinny Pals - open to trading!
    Looking for Edith Finch Pin!
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    Have you considered doing basic military service?, sometimes a brutal experience can make you wake up.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    What works for me, is I have someone else help organize the important things I need to do, but I know I'll just put off doing it, or give up at the 1st hurdle.

    That way I'm committed to having to do it, since it's not just me.

    Probably not the most healthy way to go about life, but it might be enough to get you to start doing things on your own. :P

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
Sign In or Register to comment.