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How to build confidence?

Posts: 52
Joined: Aug 2013

I'm having a good couple of days at the moment: I'm sleeping OK (except last night), my anxiety has been improved for a while (except I'm worried about my dog and my mother, both of whom are extremely elderly) and my low mood/depression is better than it's been for a long while (although I'm afraid of it nose-diving again any day soon). However, I have lost a lot of confidence about going places I used to go to and things I used to do, because I'm worried that I might get there and have an anxiety attack.


Does anyone have any good 'build-up' ideas that might help me put in little steps to increase my confidence?


Posts: 210
Joined: Jul 2013

Here are some things that I do or tell myself (as odd as they might seem; they work for me):

  • Smile a lot
  • Spend time every day thinking of the positive things in your life (try this before going to a place you used to go)
  • And when all else fails...fake it.


beccajeanne791's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2013


I know this is easier said than done but just try to keep a positive attitude.  After I shaved my head I was very worried to go out to the same old places I would go to on a regular basis.  When I would first wear my wig I would get incredibly anxious in public because I felt like people wer staring at me because they knew my hair was fake (of course that wasn't the case, I was just being paranoid).  However, I quickly realized that I shouldn't care what strangers think of me.  The only thing that matters is that I am happy with myself and this experience is going to make me a stronger person in the long run.  
I also agree with Karl.  If you smile alot, stay positive, and fake it when all else fails, it will help boost your confidence.  I also have found it beneficial to give myself pep-talks every now and then.  That may sound a little goofy but I swear it helped me!  

Hope that helped! :)


Posts: 289
Joined: Jun 2012




I had open heart surgery in 2008, which caused me anxiety big time.  Then Lymphoma came along in 2012.  I am still trying to build my confidence back about going places, etc.  I know how you feel because I am afraid of getting an anxiety attack.   Breathing in a paper bag will stop the attack.  And also some kind of breathing exercise, like the one I posted before to you.  When you do that, you slow your breathing down.  The panic attack comes from hyperventilating.   I hear Meditation is great.  Also, you can learn self-hypnosis.  I hear about Transcendental Meditation.  At bottom, I think some of these breathing exercises are similar.

Sounds like you are making some progress.



jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Ailidh.  I'm glad you have seen some improvement.  Maybe to build your confidence about going to places and doing what you used to do, you could start with what you consider to be the simplest and bring along a good friend and give yourself a short time limit to test the waters?  If you have a dog, maybe you could take some walks.  I think Nancy's ideas about the breathing would probably help too.

Honestly I have become a little more reclusive since the cancer ordeal.  I mean, I go out and do things but if I'm away from my home more than a night or two, I start feeling "itchy" to get back.  That is different from before (for me).

Let us know how you are doing and share things that work - we can all use that!

Hugs - Jim

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