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Self confidence issues - how can I deal with them?

By March 28, 2018 - 10:38am
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I've always had self confidence issues, but I was able to mostly get over them a few years ago in my late teens. However I think my university experiences made them come up again. I studied in Brazil (I'm from the Caribbean but I got a scholarship to study there) and frankly the city where I lived was dirty and dangerous. I got robbed at gunpoint twice and never felt safe there - I was always looking over my shoulder. I lived near the university, and students were always targeted for assaults and muggings. My social life also took a dip there as because of some cultural differences, I didn't make many friends. The university was poorly disorganized and I ended up having to teach myself mostly. The only reason I stuck it out was because I wanted to still get the degree at the end of the course, to show that I survived and that my hardships were rewarded.

However I think I lost some of the self confidence I had built up before going there. I speak Portuguese fluently but I found most locals always spoke over me and never let me talk because I was a foreigner and therefore 'didn't know anything'. I eventually just stopped talking and became a bit more introverted.

I also lost weight and my hair became very damaged from the polluted water there, so my confidence in my looks took a hit. I don't even like to take selfies anymore.

Basically I feel like a mess, and I think that is visible to others. While I was able to get my degree and graduate, I think it's had a mental impact on me. I'm now back home and on the job hunt. However I haven't found much in the four months that I've been home. I get odd jobs as a waitress or working in product promotions, but it doesn't pay very well, and they're always part-time.

I just feel negative all the time and easily irritated and upset. I also just want to sleep all the time and I procrastinate a lot more than I used to.

How can I help myself feel better?

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HERWriter Guide

Hello cb93

Thank you writing.

Sounds like college was difficult for you - do you have a friend or relative at home that you can talk to? If so, confide in them and if not, consider joining a support group either online or in person - your doctor can help with referrals.
It's hard to get work after college; keep working any job, even part-time and eventually something will come up - it's important to keep working; employed people get hired faster. Focus on the positives - you have your degree and you're home!
Talking to a therapist will also help. Being mugged and abused can have long lasting psychological effects so address this as soon as possible. Be kind to yourself - give yourself time to heal and begin your new life. You can so much to look forward to when you seek help and are future-focused.

March 28, 2018 - 12:36pm
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