Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
01-01-2014, 11:40 AM
Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
Hi, everyone. Happy New Year!

I write to you asking for a little bit of help. All my life I've always suffered from lack of confidence and self-esteem. Mainly because I grew up gay in a fundamentalist household. From a young age I was taught to reject myself. I didn't break away from this until I became an atheist at the age of 18, thanks to the internet.

Now, I'm 24. I accept myself now fully as a gay individual and have mostly recovered from the damage religion did in my life, but I'm still having a VERY hard time figuring life out. My confidence and self-esteem have not improved very much. As a result, I have difficulty making new friends and finding a partner.

The thing is, I feel lost. I don't know how to find happiness. I don't know how to establish a sense of self-worth. I'm too dependent on what other people think of me and how others perceive me. I can't shut up that internal voice that's always pointing out the negatives and making me feel worthless.

If there's any book, blog, article, video, or whatever you know about that talks about these issues from an atheistic perspective, I'd love to hear about it. I'd also love to read your thoughts and stories if any of you have struggled with this as well.

Thanks, and happy new year! Shy
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-01-2014, 12:19 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
My self-worth sense improved a lot when I took up sport - running for preference. You gain a sense of achievement from every training session, races are a lot of fun and you make new friends, and a short time after you start you notice yourself improving.

Don't know if it'll work for you, but I'd say give it a try Wink

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
01-01-2014, 12:44 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
(01-01-2014 11:40 AM)IgniteThought Wrote:  Hi, everyone. Happy New Year!

I write to you asking for a little bit of help. All my life I've always suffered from lack of confidence and self-esteem. Mainly because I grew up gay in a fundamentalist household. From a young age I was taught to reject myself. I didn't break away from this until I became an atheist at the age of 18, thanks to the internet.

Now, I'm 24. I accept myself now fully as a gay individual and have mostly recovered from the damage religion did in my life, but I'm still having a VERY hard time figuring life out. My confidence and self-esteem have not improved very much. As a result, I have difficulty making new friends and finding a partner.

The thing is, I feel lost. I don't know how to find happiness. I don't know how to establish a sense of self-worth. I'm too dependent on what other people think of me and how others perceive me. I can't shut up that internal voice that's always pointing out the negatives and making me feel worthless.

If there's any book, blog, article, video, or whatever you know about that talks about these issues from an atheistic perspective, I'd love to hear about it. I'd also love to read your thoughts and stories if any of you have struggled with this as well.

Thanks, and happy new year! Shy

You only get one life, make it count. I also recommend finding your sport/physical hobby of choice. I lift weights, and it is a huge positive health wise, and a huge boost to self confidence. I was 6 foot 1 in high school weighin 110 lbs, I now weigh 210 lbs at 45 yo with a 30 inch waist and 18 inch arms, nothing boosts your confidence like feeling good about yourself physically. Read self help books, practice being more extroverted vice introverted. Take a pubic speaking class, it is EVERYONE's fear, and once you conquer it, you will benefit personally, emotionally and professionally.

remember when you feel low, realize someone is dealing with much worse. make every day count, look around at the beauty of the world, avoid negative influences. I dont watch the news because it is always tragedy. I briefly scan the news online to stay abreast and refuse to click stories like "family burns to death in their home on xmas eve" etc. Look at your friends, if they are depressive and negative, get new friends, dont have many? Join a local social club, there are walking clubs, debate clubs, atheist groups, team building clubs...get out and live.

I wish you the best.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes goodwithoutgod's post
01-01-2014, 01:58 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
I'm very sorry you feel that way.

As the other posts have suggested, exercise is a great option. It improves your metabolism (making you more active) and it also increases your dopamine levels. Dopamine in case you're unaware is a chemical that makes you feel good about yourself. It's a natural high of sorts.

I would also recommend this TED talk about posture and self image: http://youtu.be/Ks-_Mh1QhMc

I have a question for you. I have a gay friend who I think was devastated when I told him my views on homosexuality and gay marriage when I was a fundie. We used to work together and now he works far away and has a great boyfriend but I am no longer a theist and want to 'apologize' for how I might've made him feel. He is Italian and comes from a slightly catholic home although the dad is nowhere in the picture and I think his family have made peace with him being gay for a while. How should I teach out to him? What should I say and not say? Thanks

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes djkamilo's post
01-01-2014, 03:38 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
I don't think one can find self-esteem by reading about it or hoping for it or searching for it.

I think it's found when you are tested (the fitness freaks, above, are a good example) ...
Pass ... and you feel good
Fail ..... and you learn more about yourself

Ghandi said it best:
"Learn like you will live forever; Live like you will die tomorrow" (or words to that effect).

For me, it was about getting to know other people... and finding that most were as fucked up as I was.

Yes

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like DLJ's post
01-01-2014, 05:54 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
I recommend you try making art- sculpting or drawing etc. I find when making things the mind is allowed to wander without the judgment that everyone around you seems to encourage.

I've actually got a similiar situation to you- most of my self worth is based around being good at stuff. Sure I'm good at stuff as a result but when I fail or when someone gets upset at me it hurts.

Logically I suppose the solution is to find inspiration in others- themselves, rather than what they think of you. But like you I'm finding difficulty putting this in practice; the sad thing is over the years my habits have made me very self focused. In fact I am beginning to feel bad that I am talking about myself now- this is how bad my "mental chatter" has become.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-01-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
Thank you guys, it's been interesting reading your responses.

So, if there's something you all agree on is that I should exercise more. Well, I exercise regularly, but there are periods of time where I stop for whatever reason. I'm going to try and stick to it this time. I've been trying to improve my physical condition for a while now so that I'll feel better about myself.

Dj, thanks for the video, I watched it and it was very interesting. It definitely made me feel better. As for your question, I would advise that you simply apologize for rejecting him in the past, that your whole perspective has changed and that you are now happy to accept him just as he is and that you support the gay community in their fight for equality. I'm sure it'll mean the world to him, because it will serve as vindication and another sign that the path he's chosen was the correct one.

DLJ, thanks for your comment. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear when I asked for suggestions on videos and other literature. I don't have many social skills. I don't know how to approach a stranger and begin a conversation as if it was nothing. I find it that by reading about human social behavior and how the process works, it gives me confidence. I also would like to learn techniques on how to improve my self confidence and how to present myself in front of others. The TED talk recommended by DJ above is an example of what I'm looking for.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes IgniteThought's post
01-01-2014, 07:02 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
My main problem is the concept of self-worth. I guess it would be better if I asked you this question: How do you define your sense of worth?

Another question I would like to read your answers to is this: What if say, all your friends and family were to denounce you and abandon you tomorrow. What would keep you going? What would keep you from questioning your worth?

If any of you have read anything (book, article,etc..) that talks about happiness, finding one's identity, finding that which makes one happy, learning to love one-self, etc... I'd also like to hear about it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-01-2014, 07:50 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2014 07:55 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
(01-01-2014 11:40 AM)IgniteThought Wrote:  Hi, everyone. Happy New Year!

I write to you asking for a little bit of help. All my life I've always suffered from lack of confidence and self-esteem. Mainly because I grew up gay in a fundamentalist household. From a young age I was taught to reject myself. I didn't break away from this until I became an atheist at the age of 18, thanks to the internet.
Man, that sounds like a serious mindfuck. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

So you ask about self-worth? That's a difficult one. I always derived my self-worth from my usefulness to the world, for belonging to greater causes and ideas than me. I felt like shit, but on the wings of great ideas I could soar to heavens. A borrowed self-worth, that is. I recognized that wasn't fair.
Right now? I am a tired, outworn personality, but thanks to some years of meditation I feel this presence full of drive in my being that maketh everything anew, that wears me like a mask of human skin, and that presence is central to my existence. And I never was good at detecting what other people think. I'd love to care about them more, but I'm not good at guessing what's inside their heads. My mirror neurons probably don't work properly. Yours probably do. I suggest you become a badass and then enjoy the envy that you notice in other people Wink

(01-01-2014 11:40 AM)IgniteThought Wrote:  Now, I'm 24. I accept myself now fully as a gay individual and have mostly recovered from the damage religion did in my life, but I'm still having a VERY hard time figuring life out. My confidence and self-esteem have not improved very much. As a result, I have difficulty making new friends and finding a partner.
Dude, if that's any help, I accept you. I'm straight, yet you're more normal than me, in the sense of a more functional, balanced and rounded-out personality. So I can't really offer a superior advice to you. If you can reliably recognize faces and remember names, read people's looks, not space out every once a while, if you're not bored by small talk and have a whole 4 % of population that are like you, you've got a great reason for confidence in life, I'd say.

(01-01-2014 11:40 AM)IgniteThought Wrote:  The thing is, I feel lost. I don't know how to find happiness. I don't know how to establish a sense of self-worth. I'm too dependent on what other people think of me and how others perceive me. I can't shut up that internal voice that's always pointing out the negatives and making me feel worthless.

If there's any book, blog, article, video, or whatever you know about that talks about these issues from an atheistic perspective, I'd love to hear about it. I'd also love to read your thoughts and stories if any of you have struggled with this as well.

Thanks, and happy new year! Shy
I think the best atheistic resource you can get out there is Stefan Molyneux. This guy is an authority on relationships, love, self-esteem, parenting and so on - having endured hell and achieved success in these areas.
List the Relationships category please.
http://www.freedomainradio.com/Podcasts.aspx

I disagree with Molyneux on some areas, I don't think he's as good economist and philosopher as he thinks he is, but on the area of relationships, I bow down to him. I know I have to learn from him much, just as he has a lot to learn from me. (however he doesn't acknowledge that, his loss)
He just recommended the book by Nathaniel Branden, The Power of Self-esteem, he said it helped him a lot. I think he meant this book, IIRC. It was from a guy who knew Ayn Rand, so I think it's this one. I suggest you look it up.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-01-2014, 11:48 PM
RE: Difficulty Establishing Sense of Worth
There's a Harvard study with a conclusion being "Happiness is love. Full stop".

How about it ?

Want something? Then do something.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: