Self esteem issues that have had affected my life, but please do
I have had many confidence issues in my life, all of which I
have either dealt with or overcome. I have written about some of
these issues below.
1. The Bald Patch
2. My height
3. My weight
4. The stutter
5. My lack of belief in myself
6. My career
THE BALD PATCH
Even though to some people it may seem trivial, I was born with
a bald patch the size of a ten pence piece. As I went through
childhood and especially the teenage years I became more and
more self-conscious and paranoid about it.
It was especially noticeable when it rained or when I went
swimming as my hair would become wet. People at school would
ridicule me and I was forever trying to hide and cover the bald
patch even though most people knew about it.
It hurt when people laughed at me and eventually I stopped going
Out of all of my close male family and friends, I am the
shortest at 5ft 4. This probably should not influence my
confidence however with people continually looking down on me it
did. I have been called many names, the nicest being "Shorty".
I was always jealous of other people taller than I was. I hoped
that one day I might have a late spurt. This never came.
My height affected me with sport. I wanted to be a striker at
football however the coaches only wanted people over 6ft tall.
At snooker I am constantly have to use the rest which makes it
difficult to play up to the best standard and at tennis I was
constantly being lobbed. It also meant that I only felt
comfortable dating women 5ft 3 and under which reduces the
available market considerably.
During senior school I was very thin. This may have been the
result of my parents turning vegetarian when I was twelve. At
the time there were very few replacement foods and it seemed as
though we went from having meat and two veg to just two veg.
As my parents cooked the food I had little option but to also
turn vegetarian. After a few weeks I approached them and told
them that I missed and wanted to eat meat. They were
understanding to a degree and said:
"If you want it, you cook it"
At this age I could only really be bothered to cook properly a
few days of the week and that gradually became less and less.
People at school would call me names like skin and bone and my
weight became another area of paranoia for me.
At the age of four I developed a stutter. This became gradually
worse as I became older even though my parents were told that I
would grow out of it.
For what fluent people would class as simple tasks like reading
from a book at school, answering questions, saying my name and
address, ordering items at the bar or in a restaurant, and
speaking on the telephone became a constant battle.
It was a very frustrating impediment, as I seemed to be able to
talk quite fluently to people I knew well and whom I felt
comfortable with, but at other times especially under any form
of pressure could not say a word.
At the age of twenty two after about eleven months of sheer hard
work and practice I managed to overcome the stutter and I now
help other people who stutter to achieve fluency as well as
helping people with confidence problems.
MY LACK OF BELIEF
I always had a lack of belief in certain areas.
I would notice a female in a bar for example and would want to
go over and talk to her but would have the negative attitude of
I'm not good enough, why would she be interested in me? I
stutter, I have a bald patch, I have a menial job and I am very
Even if I approach her and am successful, I would then be
expected to buy her a drink, possibly phone her, possibly meet
her parents, and maybe even get married! The thought of
attempting these things with a stutter and with a lack of social
confidence was far too daunting for me.
I left school at sixteen mainly due to a lack of confidence and
the stutter, but then had the problem of finding a job. Again my
lack of belief came shining through. Who would want to employ
somebody with a stutter, who has a lack of confidence and who is
shy around people?
After leaving school at the age of sixteen I now had to find
employment. Suffering with a stutter and a general lack of
confidence meant that work involving the phone or regular
interaction with other people were not really an option.
I decided that I could probably cope with filing duties in an
office and eventually gained a position at an insurance company.
I started at the lowest grade, a grade two and the work was
routine and mundane. The average time to stay at this level
before being promoted was six months. The grade three post
involved sharing a phone and this is something I found very
difficult to use.
To become upgraded you had to apply in writing to the personal
officer and then if you passed the interview were then promoted.
My attitude was that if I don't apply I would stay as a grade
two, which is what I wanted. I was probably the only person in
the country who did not want to be promoted.
My boss would ask me at regular intervals why I was not applying
and I would make up an excuse. To keep him happy I took the
insurance exams. After three years I had completed the first
qualification which was a set of five exams. To my horror my
boss congratulated me by stating that he was upgrading me to a
grade three starting Monday without the need of an interview.
This promotion should in effect have given me a confidence boost
however with my stutter out of control under the pressure and
some of my colleagues mocking me I became more and more
withdrawn and depressed.
I would be invited to social events and would make up excuses of
why I could not go as I had a lack of belief that I could cope
with the occasion and all the socialising involved.