Boost your self esteem, increase your self confidence
By Stephen Hill
I have had many confidence issues in my life, all of which I
have either dealt with or overcome. I have written about some
of these issues below.
1. The Bald Patch
2. My height
3. My weight
4. The stutter
5. My lack of belief in myself
6. My career
THE BALD PATCH
Even though to some people it may seem trivial, I was born with
a bald patch the size of a ten pence piece. As I went through
childhood and especially the teenage years I became more and
more self-conscious and paranoid about it.
It was especially noticeable when it rained or when I went swimming
as my hair would become wet. People at school would ridicule
me and I was forever trying to hide and cover the bald patch
even though most people knew about it.
It hurt when people laughed at me and eventually I stopped going
Out of all of my close male family and friends, I am the shortest
at 5ft 4. This probably should not influence my confidence however
with people continually looking down on me it did. I have been
called many names, the nicest being Shorty.
I was always jealous of other people taller than I was. I hoped
that one day I might have a late spurt. This never came.
My height affected me with sport. I wanted to be a striker at
football however the coaches only wanted people over 6ft tall.
At snooker I am constantly have to use the rest which makes
it difficult to play up to the best standard and at tennis I
was constantly being lobbed.
It also meant that I only felt comfortable dating women 5ft
3 and under which reduces the available market considerably.
During senior school I was very thin. This may have been the
result of my parents turning vegetarian when I was twelve. At
the time there were very few replacement foods and it seemed
as though we went from having meat and two veg to just two veg.
As my parents cooked the food I had little option but to also
turn vegetarian. After a few weeks I approached them and told
them that I missed and wanted to eat meat. They were understanding
to a degree and said:
If you want it, you cook it
At this age I could only really be bothered to cook properly
a few days of the week and that gradually became less and less.
People at school would call me names like skin and bone and
my weight became another area of paranoia for me.
At the age of four I developed a stutter. This became gradually
worse as I became older even though my parents were told that
I would grow out of it.
For what fluent people would class as simple tasks like reading
from a book at school, answering questions, saying my name and
address, ordering items at the bar or in a restaurant, and speaking
on the telephone became a constant battle.
It was a very frustrating impediment, as I seemed to be able
to talk quite fluently to people I knew well and whom I felt
comfortable with, but at other times especially under any form
of pressure could not say a word.
At the age of twenty two after about eleven months of sheer
hard work and practice I managed to overcome the stutter and
I now help other people who stutter to achieve fluency as well
as helping people with confidence problems.
For more information about how I overcame the stutter please
refer to http://www.stammering-stuttering.co.uk or contact me
for an information pack.
MY LACK OF BELIEF
I always had a lack of belief in certain areas.
I would notice a female in a bar for example and would want
to go over and talk to her but would have the negative attitude
of Im not good enough, why would she be interested in
me? I stutter, I have a bald patch, I have a menial job and
I am very thin.
Even if I approach her and am successful, I would then be expected
to buy her a drink, possibly phone her, possibly meet her parents,
and maybe even get married! The thought of attempting these
things with a stutter and with a lack of social confidence was
far too daunting for me.
I left school at sixteen mainly due to a lack of confidence
and the stutter, but then had the problem of finding a job.
Again my lack of belief came shining through. Who would want
to employ somebody with a stutter, who has a lack of confidence
and who is shy around people?
After leaving school at the age of sixteen I now had to find
employment. Suffering with a stutter and a general lack of confidence
meant that work involving the phone or regular interaction with
other people were not really an option.
I decided that I could probably cope with filing duties in an
office and eventually gained a position at an insurance company.
I started at the lowest grade, a grade two and the work was
routine and mundane. The average time to stay at this level
before being promoted was six months. The grade three post involved
sharing a phone and this is something I found very difficult
To become upgraded you had to apply in writing to the personal
officer and then if you passed the interview were then promoted.
My attitude was that if I dont apply I would stay as a
grade two, which is what I wanted. I was probably the only person
in the country who did not want to be promoted.
My boss would ask me at regular intervals why I was not applying
and I would make up an excuse. To keep him happy I took the
After three years I had completed the first qualification which
was a set of five exams. To my horror my boss congratulated
me by stating that he was upgrading me to a grade three starting
Monday without the need of an interview.
This promotion should in effect have given me a confidence boost
however with my stutter out of control under the pressure and
some of my colleagues mocking me I became more and more withdrawn
I would be invited to social events and would make up excuses
of why I could not go as I had a lack of belief that I could
cope with the occasion and all the socialising involved.
If you are interested in a free link exchange program where
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About the Author
Stephen Hill is somebody who has overcome a stammer/stutter
and who now helps other people to achieve fluency. Stephen runs
one to one speech courses held in Birmingham, England. For people
who are unable to attend there is a seventy minute dvd available.
His main website is at http://www.stammering-stuttering.co.uk.