The Best Way to Build Confidence

There was always someone I knew who had that confidence about them and their particular relationship, just confidently being in it. A beautiful confident woman is showing her confidence by dancing in a grass field in the rain.If it seems to you like everyone else has it all together, knowing just what to do to have a healthy relationship and making it look so easy in the process, while you're struggling along, feeling like there's something wrong with you, well, you're not alone. I used to feel that way, too. There always seemed to be someone who did relationships better than I did. While I was constantly trying to figure someone out, trying to be the perfect girlfriend, figuring out whether I should try to give him some more space or show him just how excited I was about him, there was always someone I knew who had that confidence about them and their particular relationship, just confidently being in it, seeing where it went and not putting all their focus and time and energy in it, just being normal about it. And oh how I would envy her. I wanted to be that nonchalant, too.

I didn't get it.

I didn't understand that the whole point was that I wasn't her. I wasn't anyone else. I was me. When I wasn't involved with anyone, I came across as confident, self-assured, self-confident and independent. But as soon as I was involved with someone who I really liked, I would change. It suddenly mattered so much whether he was interested in me for the long term, and I would become more concerned about what he thought of me and whether he would fall in love with me, then about what he was really like and whether he was really worth all the time and energy I was spending on him.

It took me a long time, and all too many heartbreaking relationships, before I finally came to accept that I was who I was. Yes, there were things I could change about myself, but the fundamental parts of me that made up my personality and made me uniquely me, were all mine. And instead of looking at these other women, wondering what they had that made their relationships all look so easy and left them unscathed whatever the outcome, I realized I wasn't them and wasn't meant to be like them.

I hated how sensitive I was, how emotional I was, how soft-hearted I was. I wanted to be hard. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be able to let everything roll of me and detach emotionally so easily instead of feeling so much, and taking everything so seriously. I wanted to be the confident, strong woman that these other women all seemed to be. I didn't want to always have to need someone to bounce things off of in order to feel ok. I wanted to be enough on my own.

I wanted to be like them, not like me.

These women seemed to do all this so effortlessly. And I came to loathe those parts of myself that made me so uniquely me, because they didn't seem to have any value in these relationships or the dating world I found myself in. I thought there was something so wrong with me. I had been made wrong. I had been born in the wrong time, in the wrong era. There wasn't anyone who wanted the qualities I had anymore. No one wanted someone as sensitive as I was. No one wanted someone like me.

Until one day, fresh from yet another relationship that hadn't worked out the way I wanted it to, I wrote everything down that I hated about myself and suddenly, something different came to me. There had been no mistake. If I was here, right now, the way I was at this particular time in space, in exactly the person who I was, it was because that's who I was meant to be. It was only because I was attracted to these guys who didn't appreciate or want the qualities that I possessed, the me that was the real me, because of my subconscious patterns and blind spots that I was attracting them in the first place and not because they were the perfect men that I made them out to be in my mind.

It was like an epiphany.

I just needed to find someone who was looking for someone exactly like me! Someone who would embrace these qualities I possessed and love me because of them! It was such a wake-up call as I clearly saw why none of these prior relationships had worked out the way I so wanted them to at the time. They were never meant to! We weren't a match at all because they didn't want someone like me, and I was spending all of my time and energy trying to be something different than I was. Of course they were attracted to me in the first place only to change their mind when they found out who I really was and what I was really looking for from them. In the long run there was just no hiding it: I was sensitive! I was emotional!

Finally I got it and decided to stop pretending to be something I wasn't, and start finding and embracing my true self. And shortly after that, the man who would become my husband came into my life. This time it was different because I wasn't doing any pretending and he was looking for someone exactly like me. He loved how deeply sensitive I am, how emotional I am, how passionate I am, how soft-hearted I am. All those things I had learned to hate about myself because they were never validated by anyone, he validated.

He was looking for someone just like me all along.

I finally understood that someone would never be able to find me, to see the real me and be attracted to me if that's what he was looking for, until I found myself, and stopped trying to be anything but the real me. If I hadn't stopped pretending to be someone else he never would have seen me or stopped long enough to see who I really was.

You see, that same sensitivity and emotionalism and passion is what makes me compassionate and empathetic and caring and loving on a level that I couldn't ever be without being just that way.

And it's the same for you.

So embrace those unique qualities you possess, all those things that make you uniquely you! When you can see these qualities in yourself with that kind of perspective, you can see how your essence - the you that makes you uniquely you – is what makes you a special gift to someone who is looking for exactly who you are. You just have to know who you are first and let your true self shine through in the beautiful light of you.

Know that there's nothing wrong with you.

You are everything you are meant to be. And there is someone out there who is looking for exactly who you are. He might just need you to help him find you by being your very best, true self!


  1. ann says

    It seemed as if you wrote this post only for me Jane....It spoke to my mind heart and emotions. I too am sensitive caring and empathetic but had started feeling that these qualities are in fact weaknesses and not the gifts that they actually are. Your post reminded me of this and gives me confidence. With gods grace i am financially sound but sometimes find myself longing to share it all with a " special person". I look out for your posts eagerly because they somehow ' speak to where i am at that moment". and i know then that i will make it because you did. Thank you for all you do to help me keep the faith.

  2. jay says

    I still adore your advice and your help me so so so so so so much! though i dont always comment, i read your emails and cant wait 2read them&really appreciate them :)

    I also wanted 2add that your always helping people with your advice ect so just wanted 2give some back, u may or may not be interested, im a muslim and want 2recommend reading the Quran if your interested in doing so it just may turn your world around.

    A fan.

  3. Elisia says

    Hi Jane :)
    I can't believe how much your article describes me! Im back again after another relationship that didn't work out..sigh :( I was dating a guy for 2 months, he just dumped me. He said I have qualities he's looking for but something(s) is/are missing so he didn't see us a bf/gf
    I was hurt/angry. I tried to ask why he thinks that. He said that I'm too quiet and look like I have nothing to say, cant talk about anything intellectual and didn't try to get to know his friends. In the beginning, I TOLD him I need time to warm up to people (im the shy type) . But Jane, I have stuff to say! I'm not stupid. Of course I tried to make up for my "faults" in other ways, such as cooking and even doing a 5km run,which I've never done before. (he's very athletic) getting him a cookie because he was sick and he likes the kind I got. . Basically, I noticed he started distancing himself, wasn't really affectionate and wouldn't bring up stuff to talk about. and I distanced myself too because I was too afraid to address the issue.

    I just think this is soo stupid to get dumped for! What do you think? He didn't want to make it work, but I'm the type who does so I was very angry. He's a jerk and I hope he gets screwed over (sorry this sounds so juvenile)
    I learned from this, I know good communication is essential. I won't be afraid to speak up next time and show a little more confidence. Like in your article: I would like to find someone who'll make it work with me and won't mind my shy but caring side, and will like and appreciate the little things I'd do for him. (well not bending backwards) someone who's looking for me. There's only so many places I can go to in my city so maybe when I don't expect to meet him he will show up..

    • Jane says

      My beautiful friend; you're not too quiet, or not intellectual enough or too anything else or not enough of any other particular quality that this guy thinks you should or shouldn't be like or should possess. These are his judgments and opinions that say more about him than about you. The bottom line is always that not everyone is compatible with another human being, and dating is simply to find this out before giving our hearts and souls away to another imperfect human being. His opinion doesn't matter, Elisia, so please don't take this personally. See it as a gift that you found out now, before you spend any more of your time and energy on someone who feels this way. This isn't about making anyone love us, it isn't about convincing someone that you really are all that, it's about finding out early on if you're compatible and on the same page. Don't ever feel like you have to make up for your "faults", Elisia, because when you are with the right person, these things you call your faults will endear you to him and you won't feel like you have to make up for anything. You are already more than enough for someone who is truly deserving of you, you just haven't crossed paths with that person yet. Obviously, these things he brought up were important enough to him to be dealbreakers, so it's not so much about whether they were reasons to let you go, it just means that to him, these were his must-haves and they mattered to him. That's all.

      Know that you can't make anything work if you are the only one who wants to make it work, no matter how much you want to, Elisia. I think you will have a much easier time letting go of him and the situation and can rid yourself of much of your anger and hurt feelings by realizing that you've actually been given a gift here, by finding all this out before any more time had passed. And when you meet someone who loves your shy but caring side, who loves every little thing you do for him, you will look back on this and it will seem so insignificant in the bigger picture. Do whatever you need to do to move on here, but know that you are now free to discover a whole new world around you that is so much more than him, and so much more about you and all that you have to offer someone who is truly deserving of you and sees you for the gift you truly are! Wherever he is, no matter where you happen to call home, know that love is bigger than any one place and when two people are meant to be together, they will always find each other.

      • Elisia says

        Thank you for taking the time answering my post! :)
        I guess with guys you never know what a deal breaker could be. Maybe it's your hair or god forbid, he saw you without make up on. So frustrating. I still believe his dealbreakers are silly. I think if he wanted to, he could have worked it out. He had more experience with relationships. He even told me he's complicated! It is a gift as you said, not wasting my time anymore. Oh whatever, I'll let go and start focusing on my life and work on myself a little.
        Your perspective and your posts really do help.
        I hope you have a nice day and a wonderful summer! :)

        • Jane says

          Thank you for your kind words, Elisia. Keep your beautiful sense of humor and your priority on you, my beautiful friend, and you will be just fine regardless of what any particular guy does or doesn't do. :-)

  4. Nat says

    Great article, I needed so much these wise words!
    I found your website today and I'm truly in love with your amazing advice, Jane. Thank you very much. :)

  5. Dib says

    I want to thank you so much for this article. I'm in college, and it has been hard for me to meet someone who "gets" me. For the past 3 years, I have constantly compared myself to other girls and beat myself up for not being "cool" enough or unemotional. But this article has made me realize that I cannot be anyone but who I am: silly and awesome. I feel like now I can attract guys who really appreciate me, and if they don't, then it's their loss. Thank you again

    • Jane says

      I'm so glad this resonated with you, Dib. "Silly and awesome" is exactly what someone will adore about you when he's the right one for you, and by being yourself - your true self! - he will be that much easier to recognize because he'll be the one who gets you like no one has!

  6. Angel says

    I am surprised I hadn't read this one! I'm a sucker for your posts, Jane.
    This one helped me realize that there is lots of self rejection in me. I don't even know where to begin to get rid of it. I have been rejecting myself for so long, it is a tough one to fix. I guess I will have a life time to start putting pieces back together.

    • Jane says

      You're sweet, Angel. :) You start by being accepting, loving and having compassion where you have such an automatic response to judge, to loathe to reject yourself. You focus on your humanness, on not expecting yourself to be "perfect" and by refusing to allow that old programming to be put on you any longer. You watch your words that you use to describe yourself. You only use the words that someone who loves you would use. You focus on how you want to be treated by you, not how you don't.

      I know it's so much easier said than done; how I know! But when we make these new ways of being with ourselves consistent habits, they become our new programming, and eventually, they become just the way we are, just like the old programming slowly became just the way we were. One day, one step - one moment sometimes! - at a time.

      • Angel says

        Thank you so much, Jane. I think that is the only way: one moment at a time.
        Breathing in and out, deeply and consciously.
        Big hug to you

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