A couple weeks ago, I went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, down in Colorado Springs. My friend Alex came with me. I’ve known him for seven years, more than, really. That day he told me, “This is the most confident I’ve ever seen you, certainly the most confident and put together out of all my friends.” That’s sat with me. In fact, another of my friends described my reaction as an ‘epiphany’.

My reaction was shock, awe, happiness, comfort, and the realization that the same friend who had described these emotions as an epiphany was right because he had told me just a week or two prior that I had a lot of things going for me and was not giving myself enough credit.

Let’s face it, we’re all hard on ourselves. We all nitpick and tear apart the what ifs until we ourselves are in pieces. And then we have to put ourselves back together with the glue we choose, our support system.

My therapist and I have been working on noticing achievements. I decided not to describe them as big or small (albeit, some are obviously more major than others) because I feel that devalues their importance.

Achievements, in this instance, are when you accomplish something you have not been able to achieve because of you standing in your own way, whatever the reason.

I had an achievement today, in fact. I used to work at my local pool and did leave under good terms. So good they have repeatedly asked me back, and I have repeatedly given false hope. Frankly, they don’t pay enough. Because of the false hope I have given them, I feel awkward and anxious about going back, whether it’s to use the facility for classes, swimming, or just the restroom, I just could not go back there. Today, while poke hunting, I used the restroom. I walked in, said hello to the front desk staff, used the restroom, told the clerks to have a good night, and walked out. That was my achievement.

I haven’t felt able to do that since I left more than two years ago, but I did it today.

Other recent achievements include, but are not limited to:

  • handing a cohort at group a tissue box while they were crying
  • working through my anxious laughter to state my goals
  • giving a guy my number at the zoo (never done that before!)

I highly recommend writing these down (in whatever fashion, on a napkin, through a text, etc) when they happen. These are important because they prove that we are able to work through whatever we feel is preventing us to accomplish not only our goals, but even acts of daily living, which can be a struggle on some of our harder days, or, for others, even everyday.

These achievements build confidence, which builds a healthier mind, a wiser mind as they can be a tool to combat the negative symptoms.

What tools do you use to increase your confidence?


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