Personal Empowerment/Creating a different me
Hi Chris, my question is at what point does thinking differently and then trying to present yourself differently to other people in dating risk becoming dishonest?
I really am unable to get a hold on this question as my thinking patterns are often negative. I suffer with anxiety and low self esteem. Although I have made a lot of progress in the last few years it seems like women require a man to at least pretend he is confident even if he isn't.
Sure, I can try to think confident and fake confidence, but I don't really have it. I guess the fact I seem to need permission or a green light in order to try to be that person shows I definitely don't have it. However, society seems to require a certain pretence. In my mind this pretence is based on being dishonest. I see it as dishonest thinking.
The main thing that gets me is that faking confidence is as good as faking any other attitude / emotion in my mind. I guess part of my question is at what point can you reasonably present a quality to the other person when you are still working on it and are far from the point at which you can say you have it?
a pretty darn good question. My interpretation is when is emotional honesty an excuse to define yourself through your emotional wounds vs. when does it become necessary to attempt to project a new version of yourself in life? Actually, it's a little complex. However, I understand where you are coming from.
One of our problems societally is that we often have a tendency to define ourselves through our emotional wounds and accept the labels we grow up with. Further, many people who do not really wish to change will begin to reinforce this programming by sort of telling people who they meet that this is part of who they are. "I'm a Type A" is an excuse to be overbearing in a relationship. Or, "I'm just really shy" is an excuse to not have to take responsibility for making decisions.
The reality is that most of these things are based upon emotional patterning and/or emotional wounds from childhood. So they aren't really who we are, but we can either mistake them for being part of our personality or we can use them as a crutch to not have to work on changing.
In your case Mike I believe that you not only want to change, but you are actively seeking ways and means to do it. What I have found with men who have some confidence issues, whether big or small, is that some physical action steps often do way more for this issue than any mental/emotional exercises. In other words, as you begin to take certain sets of action steps in life then you begin to build and cultivate your inner sense of deserving and worthiness which naturally elevates your confidence level.
Of course, your own personal physical fitness/aesthetic appeal level can do wonders.
Myself, for instance. As a kid I was pretty pale and weak. I had ZERO confidence and was even scared of meeting women, petrified! However, after I started lifting weights and working out I began getting more attention. This in turn began to build my confidence. Sure, this is somewhat superficial and perhaps a bit on the shallow side of life. However, it got me going in the right direction.
Later I would do all kinds of things to build and develop my confidence, like joining Toast Masters. You wanna talk ultimate confrontation of fear! Wow!
What I would do if I were you....
1) Start exercising and getting in shape if you are not already.
2) Think about joining some form of social group which forces interaction. Toast Masters is one of the most awesome confidence builders in the world and virtually free!
3) Daily meditation for 15 minutes in the morning calms and balances the emotional body so that you will feel more centered in your daily interactions with people and especially women.
4) Force yourself to interact with women as well. Join a dating site and force yourself to go on dates, not to sleep with a zillion women, but to go through the exercise of forced confrontation.
Let me know how it goes Mike, but action steps for you are going to do wonders :)