For most of my life, I have had a severe lack of confidence. This has been both at school and in the community.
I’ve taken a lot of heat from adults over my lifetime because of my ADHD-influenced behavior.
Always getting in trouble wears you down.
For most of my life, I lived with chronic fear of having a bad social interaction or getting in trouble. This has resulted in a massive lack of confidence.
Things are becoming different now. Over the past two years, I’ve learned bit-by-bit how to be more confident. These days, my confidence is soaring and I feel happy with who I am. I’ll tell you what I think made the difference.
Why ADHD Kids Have Trouble with Confidence
For me, it started as early as I can remember.
By Grade 9, I was at an all-time confidence low due to severe pressure from teachers who had to be right, even when it hurt the kid. I still don’t understand why.
Living with constant stress and anxiety hurts your confidence. I would describe it as having your head in a vice and you can’t undo it and the building is on fire.
The stress of always being on-guard, knowing at any moment you are going to mess up is draining. Physically and emotionally.
I would try so hard not to get in trouble, but every day it would happen. Then BAM! I would have my happiness taken away. Like my gaming.
(I’ll write about gaming in another post, there is more to this story.)
Some days when I was younger, I was afraid to do anything, pushing my confidence even lower.
I feel like kids with ADHD have less confidence because we’ve been dumped on all our life for our behaviours. Like with everything we do, we have to work extra hard to get by.
Making More Friends and Gaining Confidence
Something is changing this year. For the first time in forever, I’m starting to feel more confident. It started slowly and like a warm blanket, I’m really liking the feeling.
I’m making friends and have started to step out of comfort zone to talk to people. I have more courage and trust in myself to just hang out and do stuff with my friends.
It Started with Me
Confidence comes with making friends and being accepted and fitting in. That started with me. I had to change the way I looked at others and let my guard down a bit.
After years of being rejected by almost every one of my peers, this was a big deal.
I stopped judging others, got to know them first. Hey, I think we
are all struggling with confidence.
I started courageously talking to people I didn’t know. Yup, it takes courage and you can do it too.
You can do it too.
I had to be more aware of others’ feelings and thoughts, be more observant.
It started with making one friend, who was a bit of an outcast like me. Now my social circle is way bigger than I even thought and with each new real friend, my confidence soars.
You know, most kids feel like an outcast. Nobody really has it all figured out.
And the ones that bully you? They are the weakest of all and probably need you as their friend.
I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself, that whenever I do something that’s really stupid, I just don’t do it again. Done, moving on. Growing up, one experience at a time.
Having friends is awesome, it gives you confidence. Sometimes you can be really on point and that gives you more confidence.
Say, hey wait, these people don’t mind me… more confidence.
Maybe they are just as isolated as I am?
Maybe it’s fine to be just the way I am?
Click here to tweet this out:
Some tips to help build confidence by making friends:
You can do this too. I know you can. It takes courage, but if you’re willing to give it a shot, it’s worth it.
Here’s a plan:
- Find people with similar interests
- Don’t be the bully or rude to others
- Fit yourself in, listen, observe everything you see. (You don’t have to get anyone’s attention, just see what they’re up to.)
- Be nice to people, it helps to fit in. (Seems like simple concepts but they are hard to do!)
- Build good rapport with your teachers. (Even when they are not as nice as you would like them to be.) Hand your work in, be nice, strike up a conversation with them. Your teachers are people too — let them get to know you as a person.
In the past I didn’t want to be nice to people because they were not nice to me. I thought of myself as weird and an outcast.
Things are becoming different now. I don’t care what people think, I am just me and we are all weird, outcasts and all very different. This gives me confidence.
Confidence lets me simply walk away when I am around people I don’t respect.
Best thing… I don’t get in much trouble any more. And when I do I deal with it respectfully and calmly.
I skipped an assembly and took my detention like a grown up. I followed the rules. Following the rules is giving me confidence.
I’m fine now. Something tells me it’s going to be ok.
NEWSFLASH! Share what I’ve learned with your teachers! Give them my deck of “Flashcards for Teachers” to help them help you in the classroom. There’s a limited number of decks available now. Click here to buy my flashcards to help educate teachers about ADHD.
Hang in There… It Gets Better
So, I’ve said this before and I want to keep reminding younger kids that it does get better. For most of the past 2 years, my confidence has soared.
The big one thing that has helped is that I started making friends.
I also stopped being so hard on teachers. Yup, I have changed my attitude and adults are responding positively.
You can do it too, even if it’s hard. The sooner you start the more confident you will be.
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