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Imperial Privilege

My Lack of Self-Confidence Is Really Cramping My Style

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It's no secret that I am Mr. Low Self-Esteem. There are reasons for that, but instead of going into that, I'll just bitch about how badly it's screwing up my life lately.

My low opinion of myself has, in the past month, cost me a promotion, a potential relationship and a role in a fantastic show I've been dying to be a part of for the last several months.

Admittedly, it's a part-time job and I'm still fairly new, but the other guy hasn't really wowed me. He's not a bad worker or a nasty guy by any stretch, but he just never stood out to me. I was surprised to hear was up for a promotion at all.

I was really clicking with someone lately, but I went to pieces at the eleventh hour because I'm incapable of being around a woman I really like without all of my neurotic, self-loathing bullshit coming to the surface all at once. It's a wonder I ever lost my virginity with how I fumble around women. I scared her off so badly she'll probably never speak to me again.

But at least, I thought, I'll get to be a part of the show, right?

Well, it turns out I was so paranoid about asking off at work (again, only part-time) that I gave the director the impression that I wouldn't be able to commit to the large role he had been eyeing me for. I spend most of my time as lovable goofs with a lot of slapstick because I'm a tall (6'4"), thin, noodly guy with a knack for over-the-top faces who looks funny flailing around on stage, but my most recent stage role gave me the chance to be a sinister, surly con man -- my first villainous role since I was 16. It felt amazing to break out of my comfort zone and stretch my legs.

The role I missed out on was a slick, sophisticated snake of a man with the kind of dark charisma the director likened to David Bowie's Goblin King. I thought there was no way I could pull it off, but -- lo and behold -- the director later e-mailed me to apologize for not casting me after I gave such a great read. I made him think that taking a role would get me into huge trouble at my day job, which I am desperately happy to have after a long stint unemployed, and he is a close, personal friend of mine.

So if I had just nutted up and stopped raining on my own parade, I could be making more money, dating a wonderful woman and playing a fascinating character I have never had the chance to experience before.



  1. GundamFSN's Avatar
    I can understand how it feels to have a low confidence, man. I'd deprecate myself from time to time. But I had heard, that, being self deprecating won't help me land a job or anywhere at all, obviously enough. Still trying to mend myself.

    You should be more open towards your friend, though.
  2. Bird of Hermes's Avatar
    Dang, I had this same problem with me for a while. And I have a solution that worked for me, as really stereotypical as it sounds.

    "Fake it till you make it".

    When I was in sixth form and in my first full time job, I had absolutely no self-confidence at all. I had a really low opinion of myself and so got all sense of self worth from what other people thought of me and it was kind of obvious. So I started pretending like I had some confidence. Although I had a few rough patches, I dwelled on the positives and when things went well I felt better about myself and because I felt better I worked better and got along with people better which in turn improved my confidence till it became genuine. Positive Feedback loop. Not that it always works and again it sounds cheesy.

    As for your friend, it's better to be honest and more direct.