How would you rate your confidence level?

WordPress Prompt

Hello Dazzle! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about my self confidence, because it doesn’t work the way that most people think that it does. I’m great at bravado. I can jump into action and make it seem like I am really confident in what I am doing when I am feeling something altogether different inside. This has made it rather difficult to talk about some of the insecurities that I feel because most people who have met me don’t believe that I have them.

When I was a kid, I received the message that I was unwanted and not good enough loud and clear from the adults in my life. Not that this was the message that they were trying to send me, but it’s the one that I heard. Every time they told me to stop talking, I heard that things I had to say were not important. Whenever I was compared to the other children who could sit still and be quiet, I heard that I was a defective child who couldn’t. When my high energy overwhelmed others and resulted in them exasperatedly yelling “Go play!” I heard that they didn’t want me to be around them.

The end result of all the subtle and cumulative messages that I received in my childhood is that I began to doubt everything about myself. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD) is very real and is a nasty imp that never stops whispering in your ear. It also means, that you never feel confident in yourself. You always doubt everything that you are doing and all of your talents. You struggle to imagine a scenario where people would actually accept and praise you for anything you did. The result is that your self confidence is almost nothing.

I learned that the RSD imp is a liar and have done a lot of work to learn how to push it aside, but that doesn’t make it go away and it doesn’t make my confidence magically return. Instead, it means that I embrace the strange world of bravado where I pretend to have the confidence in myself that I am lacking. I move forward with projects with the façade that I believe I will be successful and praised for my work. This is a tricky bit of mental foot work. But it goes something like this: I don’t believe that I am going to be successful, but I know that I can never be successful if I never try doing it, so trying gives me a small chance that I would not otherwise have, so despite not feeling confident in success I will do the thing and hope that the failure isn’t too awful.

I have been a nurse for almost 20 years. I am considered an expert in the field of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing as well as Medical Surgical Nursing as evidenced by being certified in both. Yet, I feel as though I am an imposter and am sure (on an emotional level) that someone will be revoking those certifications from me at anytime. This is because I still don’t feel confident in being a nurse. I don’t feel that it is possible that anyone would want me to be their nurse or their teacher. This is the lie that RSD tells me every day.

The truth is that I am a great nurse. Intellectually, I know this. I know that I have saved people’s lives. I connect with people through compassion and humor. I know that I am capable of accepting people just as they are. I believe what my patients tell me and accept their experience as a central aspect to their care. These are all things that make me a great nurse. None of that stops the RSD imp from telling me that none of that is enough because I still talk too much, laugh too loud, make strange faces, make weird noises and will just never be accepted let alone wanted by other people. The RSD imp never hesitates to parrot back all the things I was told as a child and many times as an adult.

How would I rate my confidence level? About 1 on a scale of 0 to 10. I have just enough confidence to summon up bravado. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Nothing else. I have never walked into a room with certainty or confidence. I have never held my head high, knowing that I would be seen positively. I have never been able to see anything in my life without it being tainted by the colored lenses of the RSD. They are glasses that I will never be able to remove. It is an imp that will always ride on my shoulder and spew lies into my ear.

The worse part, is knowing that there are so many other people out there that carry the RSD imp without even knowing that it exists. They tote it around, believing the vile garbage that it tells them because they think that its their own truth rather then a small demon working a subtle torment.

Well, that’s about it for my rambling today. Thanks for coming and spending some time with me. If you like what you read, click on that like button. It really does help! Until we talk again, you take care of yourselves!

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