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Posted on May 2nd, 2003

So I’ve been talking to people over the past couple of days about me. Me at school, me at home, me as a person. Today I was called “confiphobic”, which turns out to not be word. In any case, the point that was supposed to have been made was that I lack confidence in myself and in others. Without hesitation, I agreed. How I would find a way out of this dilemma was also briefly discussed, and we concluded that there wasn’t anything either of us could suggest that would help. So it seems that I’m stuck with this not-so-optimistic, not-so-great mindset forever, right? Yes and no.

Why yes? Well, many conversations have taken place between myself and Kristin, some rather humourous, about stubbornness. My stubbornness (although we both share very similar mentalities in this regard, and seemingly every other one, too). There is good stubborn, and there is bad stubborn. Good stubborn comes through when one is unwilling to, for example, slack off at school. Clearly, there are no direct problems with this, save a certain deficit of sleep or lack of a social life from time to time. Bad stubborn is characterized when one refuses to return a stolen item (like keys… remember those days? Ohh boy…). I, like any other person, have both types of stubbornness. But the bad stubborn shines through in regards to this situation; I am fully aware of my self-confidence issues, but I find myself too stubborn to change. It’s unspeakably hard for me to do it. I actually made a promise to change the way I view myself, and I honestly don’t know if I can honour it. A vicious cycle exists here: I lack the confidence, and because of it, I don’t feel like I deserve to have a higher self-esteem, so I don’t work towards a remedy to this problem, as much as I would like for it to go away. But it was pointed out that I have some degree of confidence and self-esteem; after all, I am not suicidal, nor do I plan to ever be suicidal again (let’s not dwell on this topic). So obviously, there is at least something in my life that I find important enough for which to live. Indeed, there are many things that will always stop me from taking my life. But, all the same, I often find myself in the dumps.

Why no? It basically boils down to this: there are people in my life for whom I hold the highest regard and whose opinions I value very much. They insist, some more vocally than others, that there are a lot of really good traits in me and that I should have a lot of confidence in myself. I always feel somewhat bad inside when I disagree with them. Then they get fed up, annoyed, and.. yeah. Not good. But then I reason through the circumstances: some of those people are very close to me, so there must be something about me that they like… something that seperates me from the rest. So I suppose that there is a limited amount of faith in myself because of this. My hope with all of this is that I can expand this faith to encompass all of the other positive traits of mine and increase my self-esteem in that manner. I really wish that I can believe all of the things that they say about me… maybe, with time, I will.

All of this leads me to wonder where this whole problem started. I’ve given it considerable thought for a few hour tonight, and I cannot pinpoint one single event that triggered this. In fact, I can’t even determine any circumstance that I can say, with certitude, had a part in this unfortunate frame of mind. Perhaps it is a lack of faith in God so that I do not fully realize that I am one of His creations and, inherently, possess much goodness. Perhaps it is humility at abnormal levels so that I completely underemphasize my qualities. Or perhaps it is something so superficial like a rejection from a girl long in the past. Perhaps it’s simply the cumulation of these sorts of events that resulted in my being the way that I am. I don’t know.

So now my attention turns towards a solution. The road I want to travel will not be short, nor will it be without its complications. Undoubtedly, this and several other things will clutter my mind for many days ahead. The events of my life will certainly shape the way any progress will take, too. And to be perfectly honest, I’m scared of the future. Terrified, sometimes. But we shall see, I suppose. We shall see.

6 Responses to “Me”

  1. Justin Says:


    Thanks for the invite; unfortunately, I was at St. Paul’s this past weekend so I couldn’t come up. I did go to St. Jerome’s today with John and Amor, so that was good for me.

    Of all of the quotes, I like the one from Romans best. I always like Romans. Very similar to that idea is that, when it is dark, light shines the brightest. As for reading the Bible, I have to admit that I’ve been pretty bad about that lately… in fact, I don’t think I’ve read from there (other than at Mass) for over a month… maybe even two. Like I said, it’s been a struggle for me to find the motivation to do it, along with other things that I used to do. But I promise that I’ll work on it.

    And I’ll definitely let you know if I can come up one weekend to your church. Thanks for your concern and your prayers; they really are appreciated. Talk to you soon.


  2. Kat Says:

    hey justin!
    it’s been awhile since i ventured on here..well, i totally know what you mean about having a lack of self-confidence, and wanting to change, and struggling so much to get out of it. i’m a very insecure person….sometimes i think that maybe we all are. some just hide it better than others.
    anyways, something i have learned over the years since discovery of my ailment (maybe thats the wrong word? i dunno, it sounded smart!) yeah anyways, i have learned that i cannot change myself – not on my own strength, not on other people’s strenght. the only thing that ever truly hepls me to feel like i matter, is the Lord. obviously, we may gain those little bursts of confidence from friends who compliment us, a good test mark, a sunny day, maybe even a “special someone”, but these things only bring temporary hapiness, kinda like flattery. thus, the only lasting joy, which leads to confidence, is hope i find in the Lord. He is our strength, right? there’s so many times in the new T where paul talks about the confidence we can have in Christ Jesus.
    so, you may be thinking, “yeah, i know we can be confident in Christ, but what about self-confidence?” well, i find that the more i put my confidence in Christ, the more i realise He has confidence in me. God loves us soooo much, and we are sooo special to Him (he wouldnt have sent His son to die for us otherwise, right?). so i when i am feelin dumpy about myself, i have to remember that i am loved by the One who is Love. there is no greater joy than that, and knowing that He cares, i know i can put my trust in Him, and He will make me complete. i need not rely on myself for change, but allow God to come in and change me as He sees best.
    there is a difference between Christ-like humility and plain insecurity. pray for the first, and ask God to help you remove the other. don’t look for self-confidence so much as confidence in Christ. you will see change when you seek after God. surrender, let the Lord in, and let Him do the changing. you’ll be much more fulfilled in the end πŸ™‚

    anyways, i hope this is helpful. maybe you’ve heard it all before, maybe you already know, maybe you needed to hear it, or hear it again. i dont know. anyways i’m praying for ya. have a goodun!

  3. Justin Says:

    Heya Kat,

    I’m finding it really hard to make progress with my endeavour (woo big word) to solve this issue. You’re right: confidence comes in little spurts. I find that the lack of confidence also happens once in a while, and it’s not too often that they drag on and on. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up; I made a promise and I have every intention of honouring it.

    I, too, have noticed that the events in my life shape my morale and have a direct impact on my confidence. It’s not too surprising that this happens, and I’m sure that it is the same for almost everyone else. While it is true when I say that it takes a lot of phase me, there’s one thing that I have learned about myself: it is extremely difficult for me to have trust in someone, and it is very easy for me to lose hope in someone. Especially me. I don’t know why I have this type of attitude, but I do, and I have no idea how I’m going to change it. My levels of confidence are quite inconsistent; as you said, it takes only a good compliment, a good mark, nice weather, or maybe a “special someone” (hehe and I thought that I’d never hear this again) to cheer me up. Keep in mind, though, that it only takes a heavy insult, a bad mark, poor weather, or, yes, even a “special someone” to get me down. Perhaps my problem is that I over-think everything. I analyze everything and I usually prepare for, and expect, the worst. Why? Because of a distinct lack of confidence. So now I’m back to square one again.

    In terms of your suggestion, there is a bit of a problem with that. For one reason or another, I’ve been having trouble keeping up my faith. I just don’t find the motivation in me to pray often, read, or reflect. My mind has become so busy with other things that I have forgotten about God. It’s a good thing that I realized this, but it’s a terrible thing that I don’t know how to get out of it. I spoke briefly about this to Katie, and I just don’t think that there’s anything to inspire me around here. I hate where I live, I don’t know anyone around me, I don’t want to know anyone around me, my dad is annoying me, and, most important to me, the people that matter to me are far away. I feel very distant, and very alone. Whenever I think about those people, rather than remember all of the fun times, I get all caught up with how much I miss them. Whenver I do think about the wonderful memories and experiences, it makes me long for them again, and that also makes me miss them dearly. So just like I cannot shake my feelings of nostalgia, I cannot change how I feel, or don’t feel, about God, even though I would really like to do so. Keep in mind, though, that I haven’t lost my faith; I haven’t regressed into some ignorant, self-serving guy (like the majority of the male population). It’s just that I’ve lost my focus, and I can’t seem to find it again. I do know that any true happiness will involve a very rich faith, and maybe this is why this happiness and confidence eludes me; my faith is weakening. Somehow, I just think that God has been silent in my life for a while. I don’t know, Kat… I really don’t know. I just don’t see how there can be a good end to all of this.


    Thanks for your prayers. I hope both yours and mine, as infrequent as mine are, will be answered. Soon. Holding on is getting harder and harder.


  4. Kat Says:

    realise, that God’s silence is of no fault of his. you are in conrtol, to an extent, of your relationship with God. what i mean is that, when God feels far away, it’s not because he’s being distant, it’s because we are not making the effort to be close to him, or we’ve lost faith, or focus, or just have gotten too distracted to spend time with him. basically, you are the source of your own lack of focus. i dont mean this to be judgemental or rude, but to help you realise God doesn’t change. he’s there, he always was, he always will be. we change very easily. dont give up justin. you’ve come a long way. it’d be an awful and pitiful thing to see you slip away, or just as bad, to stay exactly where you’re at and never grow. seek after him with your all. don’t make excuses. they won’t work. πŸ™‚

  5. Justin Says:

    Hey Kat,

    I love my excuses πŸ˜›

    Well I think that’s it’s pretty apparent from my posts that I take a lot of the blame; I realize that it is my own shortcomings and my own problems that are isolating me from God. But, sometimes, I find that it’s really hard to keep up the faith because, when I do call out to Him, I often hear nothing in response. It’s really disheartening to really want something from Him, and then not get it. The whole notion of “ask and you shall receive” doesn’t always work. Oh course, we can’t take this literally and assume that everything for which we ask will be granted to us; that’d be awfully naive. I guess that I was hoping that the things that mean the most to me will get some sort of special attention from God. It’s just saddening how it doesn’t work out that way.

    I suppose that it is encouraging that I have made a lot of progress in my faith. Undoubtedly, people run into road blocks and situations that cause them to stumble; we aren’t all perfect. So I think that my whole situation is such an empasse. It’s always a challenge to remain steadfast in one’s faith, and there will be the things that will make us fail. The trick, though, is to ride it out and deal with it, coming out stronger in the end. I hope I can do that.

    To be completely honest with you, I think I’m running into the whole problem that I had a few months ago: I find myself focussing on all of the negatives in my life. There’s no clear reason as to why I’m doing this, but it just seems as though my life hasn’t been as happy-go-lucky as it has been. Work really, really sucks. I hate what I’m doing, and the people there really annoy me. My lack of faith is rather self-destructive. Being away from all of the people from Waterloo is saddening (although I’m at SPUC right now). I don’t like where I’m living, and I have no intentions of making friends in my neighbourhood. I’m pretty firm in my stance that I don’t have very much in common with them, so I won’t bother trying. Yes, it’s very immature and very stupid of me to be like this, but, what can I do? That opinion has been branded in my mind… it’s not going to change any time soon.

    Anyhow, I think I’m going to head to the chapel and play some piano and reflect a little bit. Obviously, there is a lot of things to consider, and there’s a heavy burden on my shoulders. Perhaps some nice, quality quiet time will help ease some of the stress that I’ve been experiencing.

    I hope things are going well with you. I hope to hear from you soon.


  6. Kat Says:

    “…he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” matthew 24:13

    read 2 corinthians 12:7-10 “…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (verse 10)

    romans 5:3-5 “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

    see 1 peter 1:3-9

    there are more. read your bible πŸ™‚ it’s actually really good when you get into it and dont read it when your just about to go to bed (i say that because i always fall asleep doing that, or my mind just wanders).

    i can see that you do realise some of the source of your problem, but i encourage you to seek more of it, and to really stop using your own disappointment from the past as a reason to not pursue God right now.

    there was no promise that walking in the footsteps of Christ would make our lives easier. actuially, He told us it would be hard. remember all those things Jesus says in the gospels, like about taking up our “crosses” and hating our lives…what this means is that the Christian life is not so much about us as it is about God. God did love US so much that he sent Jesus for our salvation, but once we have that salvation we’re to work it out in our lives.

    i read this today in “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers:
    “We must ‘work out’ our ‘own salvation’ which God has worked in us Philippeans 2:12)…Beware of the tendancy to ask the way when you already know it perfeclty well. Take the initiative – stop hesitating – take the first step…If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.”

    i think that relates. i suggest trying to find that book online, and ordering it. you could probably get it for $7.99 – just search The Treasure House, or Hull’s Family Bookstore. i saw it at both places for that price on sale. it might help you with your walk.

    something else i stringly recommend, is finding a good church with a solid group of people your age, who are serious in their faith. if you want, you can come to my church sometime. it’s pretty good teaching wise ast least, even if you don’t make friends πŸ™‚ i know it’s kinda far from where you’re at tho. just incase, i’ll be there tomorrow morning at 10 am (when the service starts)…take the 404 north, west on davis drive, south on lesly street, west on gorham. its the huge pink church (1000 gorham st.). anywas, let me know if you’re ever interested in comming. there’s an evening service at 6pm too, which is different from the morining, but same good teaching.

    gotta run,

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