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I've never had any confidence starting in early childhood (my parents were active druggies when I was born, they handed me off to a married couple of alcoholics who basically neglected me) and I've never earned more than $20K a year.

I had great grades in school but never got a good job and I feel like a complete failure. My childhood social deficits grew over the years in relative terms, as my peers became more experienced socially and professionally, while I stagnated indefinitely.

Trying to look at the big picture objectively - the best I can expect is an approximation - I personally find no rational basis for having confidence, yet I see many poor men who do have confidence.

What is the basis of their confidence, is it legitimate, and if so, how can I acquire the same?
 

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Let's just say I'm a middle baby boomer - I know, time to fuhgeddabout it and crawl under a rock.
Knowing your age is very important in figuring out how you can deal with getting your head in the right place. So you are about 58. I'm 64 so I'm one of the older baby boomers.



The second part of your response above show that you think of yourself. No on here thinks that. You do.


Have you had any counseling to deal with your low self esteem?


Generally self esteem comes from the things we accomplish as much or more from the amount of money we earn.

Are you willing to do things that would up your confidence and self esteem? They take time and energy.
 

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I've run into some confident homeless guys!

Living a life due to circumstance, and even when they were given a bad hand in life they know that they can find a meal and a warm place to sleep...but the end game is a side job to give them enough money to get a boost up.

Some times knowing that a boost up in life is just around the corner and thats all the confidence one needs. But the reality is...at the end of the day some folks just hope to get something something to make the pain of why they are homeless in the 1st place go away.

Now...back to being poor! I'm one poor SOB but I have made some choices and I should have turned left at the corner when I have turned right, but then again I can always make a u turn if the crap I'm facing isn't going to pan out. I mean I really have to be lost and I have been!

I have made some dicisions in my life and just like any wrong decision I have made I have the confidence to make that u turn and go back or I can have the confidence to see what I can make out of the hand that was dealt to me.

Hell maybe this isn't confidence at all but my completive nature to see if I can beat what ever is pucking with me.LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Knowing your age is very important in figuring out how you can deal with getting your head in the right place. So you are about 58. I'm 64 so I'm one of the older baby boomers.



The second part of your response above show that you think of yourself. No on here thinks that. You do.


Have you had any counseling to deal with your low self esteem?


Generally self esteem comes from the things we accomplish as much or more from the amount of money we earn.

Are you willing to do things that would up your confidence and self esteem? They take time and energy.

No. I haven't had any counseling and on my income, I can't really afford it.

Trying to be objective I simply don't have any achievements that seem worthy of self-esteem.

I could certainly try things that would up my confidence athough for as long as I can remeber I've always had a profound sense of lacking the social skills to make things happen. A deep-rooted sennse of inefficacy, if you will.
 

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No. I haven't had any counseling and on my income, I can't really afford it.

Trying to be objective I simply don't have any achievements that seem worthy of self-esteem.

I could certainly try things that would up my confidence athough for as long as I can remeber I've always had a profound sense of lacking the social skills to make things happen. A deep-rooted sennse of inefficacy, if you will.
Phuck that!!!!
Stop looking at what you don't have and look at what you do have!
Alot of swing penises don't have a pot to piss in and your typing on a computor,most likely sitting in a chair and not the ground with some cardboard under your @ss:mad:

Stop letting the negitve crap define you!
 

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I've never had any confidence starting in early childhood (my parents were active druggies when I was born, they handed me off to a married couple of alcoholics who basically neglected me) and I've never earned more than $20K a year.

I had great grades in school but never got a good job and I feel like a complete failure. My childhood social deficits grew over the years in relative terms, as my peers became more experienced socially and professionally, while I stagnated indefinitely.

Trying to look at the big picture objectively - the best I can expect is an approximation - I personally find no rational basis for having confidence, yet I see many poor men who do have confidence.

What is the basis of their confidence, is it legitimate, and if so, how can I acquire the same?
I like your question because it reminds me of a similar position I was in many years ago.
The basis of the poor men's confidence in your post is in the fact that they have hope.
Hope that things would change, or that they can change things for the better over time.
This gives them confidence , and they don't see their present circumstances as hindrances but stepping stones to future possibilities.
 

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No. I haven't had any counseling and on my income, I can't really afford it.

Trying to be objective I simply don't have any achievements that seem worthy of self-esteem.

I could certainly try things that would up my confidence athough for as long as I can remeber I've always had a profound sense of lacking the social skills to make things happen. A deep-rooted sennse of inefficacy, if you will.
I assume you live in the USA. On your income, counseling is free.

Have you ever looked into getting on Medicaid?

What kind of work do you do? What skills do you have?

If you were able to, what career would you have pursued?
 

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When you lack confidence you tend to isolate yourself in order to feel safe. Your isolation and defense mechanisms are effecting your career success and your social success. The only way to gain confidence is to to put yourself out there and take risks. Start small but step outside your comfort zone and no matter what the results are continue to do it and eventually increase the risk. You have to build yourself up and thE only way to do that is through action. Again.... Start small....
 

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Is there nothing you do that you feel you do well? Focus on that to build confidence.


I remember in an interview Muhammad Ali was asked about his claim to be the Greatest.

He was asked, "What if you had grown up to be a garbage collector instead of a professional boxer?"

He said, "Then I would have been the Greatest Garbage collector who ever lived."

I like that.
 

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Is there nothing you do that you feel you do well? Focus on that to build confidence.


I remember in an interview Muhammad Ali was asked about his claim to be the Greatest.

He was asked, "What if you had grown up to be a garbage collector instead of a professional boxer?"

He said, "Then I would have been the Greatest Garbage collector who ever lived."

I like that.
My father had this attitude.

He used to tell us all the time that it does not matter what we did in life. What mattered was that we strove to be the best at whatever it was we did do. I believe this.

Money does not make a person.
 

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According to society, particularly for a man it does focus on money as success and self worth. I don't necessarily equate the two. Lots of us were dealt a [email protected] hand and no matter how old you are it's never to late to turn things around. If you can't get therapy start reading, commit yourself to getting better and make yourself a priority. Money doesn't equal self worth, is not the condition for it. Just look at all the people with money whose lives implode, money doesn't make you happy...just lets you be miserable in style.....;) I for one choose substance over money... Real love, real friends, good character and a genuine nature....I want money too but If i had to choose i would rather have substance.
 

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It is tough when you feel like you didn't get that start on socialization when you should have -- as a kid. But humans are remarkably resilient creatures, and we have great capacity to learn and change. Social skills are like any other skill -- they can be learned, and they improve with practice and dedication.

I have been pushing myself beyond boundaries since my ex decided he wanted a divorce. I was very socially isolated as a kid, and that continued on even into my marriage. Then, suddenly, in my mid-40s, I found myself on my own, no family around, only 2 close friends from work. First of all, I learned about myself. What I liked to do, what made me happy. Then I started to pursue those things. The more I learned and got better, the more my confidence grew in other things.

Are you employed? Are you good at your job? Are there opportunities for you to grow within your job? If so, this is an avenue for upping your confidence. Do you have things you are interested in, where you could find an opportunity to volunteer? Like, for example, an interest in helping people could lead you to volunteer at a local food bank, or an interest in animals could lead you to volunteer at the humane society. If you're busy doing things, it takes a little pressure off of you to have a lot of interpersonal contact right off the bat. But as you keep going and keep getting to know people and they get to know you, you may find it easier to just say a few words to people, chat a little, etc. You have to start somewhere!

One thing that was important to me was the realization that I am an introvert. While I was lacking in socialization early on, I also am someone who values time alone. I had to realize that sometimes when I thought I was a failure due to being really uncomfortable around people, it was just that it was time for me to recharge on my own for a while.

You obviously have access to the internet, so do some looking for books or article with ideas on how to interact with people; things written for shy people or introverts. Often there are little exercises to try when you're out among people. Really simple stuff like looking people in the eye and smiling as you walk down the street. Every time you do something and push yourself, you'll have a little sense of pride grow inside you and the confidence will follow. It's like a reverse domino effect, lol.

The fact that you're asking is a good sign -- it means that you care and you haven't given up. So now take the next step and try some of the things people here have mentioned.
 

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I've never had any confidence starting in early childhood (my parents were active druggies when I was born, they handed me off to a married couple of alcoholics who basically neglected me) and I've never earned more than $20K a year.

I had great grades in school but never got a good job and I feel like a complete failure. My childhood social deficits grew over the years in relative terms, as my peers became more experienced socially and professionally, while I stagnated indefinitely.

Trying to look at the big picture objectively - the best I can expect is an approximation - I personally find no rational basis for having confidence, yet I see many poor men who do have confidence.

What is the basis of their confidence, is it legitimate, and if so, how can I acquire the same?
So, you are the child and foster child of drug users and alcoholics. Are you either one? If not, you have already done something countless children thereof fail to do - that is, you did not perpetuate the cycle. That's very tough. Doesn't sound like a loser to me.

Look, true confidence is not about money, or scoring with women, or anything of the sort. It's about what's inside you and how good you feel about what's rattling around between your ears.

It is sometimes over-recommended on this board, but in the book No More Mr. Nice Guy, author Robert Glover wrote out a list of maxims for a man to live by. One of those was, "No matter what happens, you will handle it."

Think back on your life. You probably had some difficult situations, which created a lot of stress. You probably faced adversity; hell, you said as much about your childhood. Guess what? You're still here. You're still standing. I bet you've got more strength than even know.

As Angel said above, push your boundaries. Try something - something where you have the potential to fail. Start with something minor, like seeing if you can cook a meal you've never tried to make. Maybe it looks daunting but when you try it, one of two things will happen. You'll either succeed and it will taste great and you will recognize that you are capable and your confidence will build ... or it won't, and will taste bad, but you will have tried something new and your life won't have ended - and your confidence will build. Type "simple tricks to improve your confidence" in your browser bar and you get dozens of ideas.

You can do this, brother. :) Best of luck to ya!
 

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I've never had any confidence starting in early childhood (my parents were active druggies when I was born, they handed me off to a married couple of alcoholics who basically neglected me) and I've never earned more than $20K a year.

I had great grades in school but never got a good job and I feel like a complete failure. My childhood social deficits grew over the years in relative terms, as my peers became more experienced socially and professionally, while I stagnated indefinitely.

Trying to look at the big picture objectively - the best I can expect is an approximation - I personally find no rational basis for having confidence, yet I see many poor men who do have confidence.

What is the basis of their confidence, is it legitimate, and if so, how can I acquire the same?
What should give you confidence in life is your SUCCESS. You were born to two active drug takers, palmed off to two alcoholics - yet managed to get good grades at school and go on to earn your own living. You should be proud of this, because this is a great achievement all on its own, IMO, because it shows great inner strength and resilience...

You sound articulate and intelligent, and it's never too late to diversify and find new and interesting ways of supplementing one's income.

(I'm in late middle-age and studying for a degree)
 

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Convection said: So, you are the child and foster child of drug users and alcoholics. Are you either one? If not, you have already done something countless children thereof fail to do - that is, you did not perpetuate the cycle. That's very tough. Doesn't sound like a loser to me.
I was thinking the same thing.

Every post I read on here is uplifting... I don't even know what to add !!...the rest of you said it all...

Me & my husband has never looked at what someone earned as a barometer to their worth...it's always been more about the heart....how do they treat other people... ya know.. everyone has PURPOSE...no matter how down they may feel or where they have been in life, some have had horrendous unfair beginnings due to no fault of their own....as it sounds you have.

To find and fulfill that purpose to what you have been given to work with.....is our most fulfilling challenge...to seek that out, find it, live it...

What is it that you excel at, ENJOY passing time doing.....what is your Passions? Start there, when you do these things, confidence comes as you bless others with your gift...

Just living your passion.. you can not keep this from yourself.. it will flow back to you.... even if you were just a Garbage Collector...(or Sanitation Engineer)....

 

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So, you are the child and foster child of drug users and alcoholics. Are you either one? If not, you have already done something countless children thereof fail to do - that is, you did not perpetuate the cycle. That's very tough. Doesn't sound like a loser to me...


Think back on your life. You probably had some difficult situations, which created a lot of stress. You probably faced adversity; hell, you said as much about your childhood. Guess what? You're still here. You're still standing. I bet you've got more strength than even know...


You can do this, brother. :) Best of luck to ya!
What should give you confidence in life is your SUCCESS. You were born to two active drug takers, palmed off to two alcoholics - yet managed to get good grades at school and go on to earn your own living. You should be proud of this, because this is a great achievement all on its own, IMO, because it shows great inner strength and resilience...

You sound articulate and intelligent, and it's never too late to diversify and find new and interesting ways of supplementing one's income.
I think Convection and Cosmos really hit upon something brilliant here. They bring up something that I'll bet is really more relevant to the way you feel about yourself than simply a lack of training in social skills -- being a child of chemically-dependent parents (and in your case, foster parents, too). Take a look at some materials written for ACOA's (Adult Children of Alcoholics). I'm not an ACOA, but my dad was, and my mom had a lot of untreated mental issues. After my divorce, during my therapy process, I discovered that a lot of what I felt about myself and a lot of the isolation and confidence/shame issues lined up really clearly with things found in ACOA's. In my case, my dad never dealt with his issues, and it went down another generation, even though he didn't drink.

You have shown a lot of resilience - especially in avoiding addictions yourself, but the feelings you have regarding your personal worth might also be related to being raised by addicted adults. You might have an ACOA support group in your area. Sometimes meeting with people who have similar issues goes a long way in helping to sort things out.
 

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In this world, people are taught that having more money and power is successful, but actually there are a lot of things money can't buy. People are misguided.

Money can't buy happiness. I know a lot of people, they have successful careers, they have big houses, and they have brand name cars, but they are not happy, actually money is the cause of their unhappiness. In order to accumulate more money, they neglect their health, they neglect their family, they don't have time for friends.

Money can't buy genuine security. You think the more money you have, the more secure your life is. But, for most of the people, the truth is not. When you have a lot of money, you start to worry about losing the money you have, you start to worry about being robbed and kidnapped. Look at all those rich people, why do they need so many body guards? Living as a common person doesn't need to worry about that.

Money can't buy personal contentment. People are interesting, the more they have, the more they want. They make $50,000 this year, they want to make $100,000 next year, whey they reach their goal of $100,000, they have a new goal of $200,000. If people don't learn to become content with what they have, they always want more, and this endless desire is making them unsatisfied and not content with their life. Constantly competing with your neighbors and friends won't give your mind any peace.

Money can't buy family unity. Look at people now, they are busy working, they are spending little time with their spouses and children. Gradually their family becomes distant and falls apart. People need to spend time together to feel close. Giving your child a toy will make him happy for ten minutes, but if you spend time playing with him, he feels close to you. The more time you play with him, the more fond memory he has for you in the future.

I am not envious of those people who have money but live a misguided life. I don't want to live my life like that. It has a fabulous appearance, but it's dark, gloomy, and lonely inside.

It doesn't mean that we should view money useless. No. We need to work hard and live a responsible life. We need to have a more balanced view.
 
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