So, remember when I wrote that I have little to no self-confidence? It’s still true; nothing’s happened to change that. But since that post, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my lack of self-confidence. Some of that thinking has involved trying to improve upon it. And some of that thinking has revolved around that fact that, over the years, not having any has actually cost me quite a bit of money.
I never realized how much my self-confidence affects my daily life. Every day, I’m faced with situations that are directly impacted by my level of self-confidence. Let’s examine a few:
- Customer service. I can’t count how many times I’ve received bad customer service. Whether it’s a restaurant or a bank or dealing with a corporation like my cable company, I am like a bad customer service magnet. I get treated poorly, get accused lying (this actually happened. The company that handles our dependent care account accused us of not using the daycare that we use), or are just plain ignored (this also happened. At several jewelry stores. While engagement ring shopping). Rather than asserting myself and demanding better service or a better deal, I just accept what I’m given. It’s as if I believe that I’m being treated the way I’m supposed to be.
- At work. Although I received—and believe I earned—a fairly substantial promotion 4 years ago, there were numerous times that I doubted I deserved it (well, this had a lot to do with the horrible woman I worked for). Even though I was hired due to a certain level of expertise, I didn’t believe that I had the authority to exhibit or use that expertise. Additionally, I don’t feel that I deserve a position higher than what I currently have. My supervisor is retiring, and I will not be applying for his position. One of the reasons is that I don’t believe I’ll be a very good supervisor. As a result, I’m losing out on what some would consider a significant pay raise.
- Freelancing. We’ve already covered that I’m terrified of self-employment and one of the reasons is finding clients. I have an extremely difficult time with self-promotion which, as my freelancing friends can attest to, is a huge part of being a successful freelancer. For some reason, I cannot find it within myself to say that not only am I awesome but I’m totally worth that money you’re willing to pay (and maybe more). I don’t know how many freelance assignments I’ve missed out on or how underpaid I’ve been for some of them because I just couldn’t ask for more.
- Relationships. Those of you who know me will contest this, but I am not very outgoing. I am not someone who is comfortable in new situations or around new people. I’m not a big conversation starter and new people make me really, really nervous. As a result, I don’t have a huge group of friends. I don’t get invited to those crazy purse parties (which actually is a really good thing) or to girls’ night out. I’m not part of a book club or have friends to go get mani/pedis with. While these do save me tons of money it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t have many friends because I don’t think I’m worthy of having friends. So I don’t put myself out there to make friends. It’s a pretty awful little cycle.
The only times I will break out of my shell and demand better is when it comes to my daughter and my animals. They cannot speak up for themselves so I must step in and do it for them (like The Lorax, only with children and animals instead of trees). I don’t care what people think of me when they’re involved. Because they deserve the best and I will stop at nothing to make sure that that happens. I will not allow myself to be cheated financially or service-wise when the health and well being of my child and my pets is at stake.
I’m sure there are plenty of other instances where I’ve lost money or spent money as a result of my self-confidence. It’s really a shame that I allow this to happen to myself but I’ve been this way for so long, I genuinely don’t know another way to be. I probably should work on fixing this. Soon.
Readers, have you ever spent or lost money due to low self-confidence? Have you ever made money as a result of being confident?