CONFIDENCE in tablet form Self-assuredness booster, gumption Click here for digital leaflet.
IMAGINE YOURSELF ON A MOUNTAIN
You're courageously hiking up and up and up, but you feel weaker and weaker. Remember that it's the air that is getting weaker, not you. Perhaps it is this day & age that is making you feel unsure of your own power & influence.
Maybe educational systems trained us to have fixed mindsets of what success is, who we are in relation to it, and how failure is to be avoided at all costs. Maybe it's capitalism that benefits from people thinking there is something wrong with them. Maybe societal and cultural norms demand that everyone should at least try to be superhuman. Maybe we're steeped in messaging that gaslights us into believing that we're the originators of all the not-good-enough thinking, when really, we receive messages all the time through advertising, the news, and social interaction that we are wrong, expendable, and unlovable (especially those not born into privilege). Maybe rampant inequality shows us a 1% that doesn't exactly seem like a bunch of Einsteins, but they have the "success" and the rest of us don't, so it must mean there's something wrong with us...
Removing The Sticks & Stones From Your Bones: A Ritual
Instructions Part I: When you have 5 - 10 minutes of alone time where it's safe if you start feeling some feels:
Write down 3 - 5 instances where someone else literally said something negative to you that made you feel really ashamed of yourself. (e.g., Someone bluntly said that my drawing was bad at a critique in front of people I wanted to impress; [Person's name] rolled their eyes at the outfit I was wearing and called me a 'werido;' That one ex told me that I "sucked at writing" and should never try to be a writer...)
Part II: Take those statements, a graphite pencil, and go someplace in nature (the woods, a meadow, river, lake, a mountain):
Find 3-5 rocks (the same number as however many negative statements you wrote down).
Write the statements on the rocks in pencil.
Then hurl each rock into the woods/river/lake/field/mountain crevice, shouting, "THIS ISN'T MINE!"
When Silence/Inaction Serves As Rejection
Sometimes, we put ourselves out there and get absolutely nothing in return (cue the sound of crickets). Sometimes this feels worse than outright rejection, because we have zero data to work with and start inventing our own worst-case reasons.