I’ve been told I have a good voice for ASMR. I’ve experimented with it a few times; I’ll make a video here, a video there, occasional vines through the years, but not much focus on it. I know there’s a whole art to it with crinkling and such, scratching, but I think I’ll just speak softly and go with that.
[Call To Adventure]
Self-confidence: why do we lose it? When we’re young, often we have loads of self-confidence. By the age of seven, many kids are just out there; they say what they think, they think what they say, very creative. And then, something happens. I imagine it’s tied up with school. It could also be tied up to natural things that happen in the brain; it’s really hard to know for sure.
[Refusal of the Call]
But however it comes about, we start losing our confidence or gaining it, depending on how we’re treated and how we respond to that treatment by other people. These other people, of course, include family, so those messages stay with you for a lifetime.
But the ones that come from peers in school, they’re strange because you don’t always remember who said something. Maybe somebody made fun of your voice or the way you looked. You don’t always remember who; it feels like it’s everybody. “Everybody says this about me,” but do they really? It might have just been one or two people, but the shock and pain of being framed in a certain way burns in your mind.
I believe someday they’ll find scar tissue of some sort when they get better at scanning brains. They’re pretty good at it now, but nothing at all like we’ll see in the future. I don’t know what that will be, but we’ve only just begun our research into the brain. The things we might know five hundred years from now, a thousand years from now, the possibilities are mind-boggling, really.
[Meeting the Mentor]
But at present, if you’re called something and it doesn’t feel good, what do you do? In my case, being called a nerd or a geek, I learned to embrace those words, to make them my own. “Yes, yes, I am.” Other things were tougher. If somebody makes fun of how you talk, you fight back somewhat, or you say, “No, I’m not going to talk. I don’t like the humiliation, and maybe they’re right.” The thing is, they’re probably not right, not as much as it seems.
Yet, let’s say you have a stutter. I had a stutter; it bothered me to be made fun of. So in third grade, I had it fixed. I learned to pause, not as dramatically as this, and it helped me conquer the stutter. By fourth grade, it was gone. But something remained, a little hole, a little gap inside of my mind, in between thoughts and output. I can bridge the gap without stuttering now, but when I do, I get these emotions that come up. I can’t control them, good or bad; it doesn’t matter what they are. But then, I can’t always control what I’m saying. I can, but it’s like the thoughts roll, the words come out, and yet even with that, I still don’t fully bridge the gap.
Because even when I’m in babble mode, which isn’t often, I’m sitting inside of that gap, watching myself say these things, and I just watch in horror sometimes when words come out that I realize, “Oh, they have an impact I didn’t intend.” So self-confidence: it takes a while to rebuild it. It can be broken young; you might not even have been born with it or as much of it, but either way, you have to put yourself out there.
[Crossing the Threshold]
One of the good ways to start is making little videos. I’ve made 11,000 or 12,000 vines, for example, 6 seconds each. Not all of them have me talking, but many do, certainly one half to three quarters. And the first few weeks were tricky because I had to hear my own voice in the way that other people hear it, rather than the way that I hear it inside of my head.
[Tests, Allies, and Enemies]
It took a few weeks, maybe 50, maybe a hundred 6.8 second periods of hearing myself, looking at myself, getting a positive response from people, and the occasional negative. But the occasional negative wasn’t even worth worrying about. It hurt for a moment; I was back in that third grade, second grade, first grade mindset. But then I realized it’s their game, the game they play, and I don’t play other people’s games like that. I have my own answers; I play my own games. And my game is: I will sometimes make a friend out of a hater, or I’ll look at other things to make their arguments get weaker.
They often have no subscribers, no followers; they’re hiding, and I feel pity for them because usually they don’t have that many friends. Sometimes they do, but more often than not, they don’t. So sometimes, I’ll play them at their game, in a way, but my way, and it will be saying, “Hey, your opinion will be valid when you make some vines. At present, you don’t; your opinion is just not valid.” And after a day, I delete their comments because they mess up my profile, they look ugly.
I’ve gained some confidence. Other people’s opinions can matter, but they don’t have to matter.
And with practice, by choosing a better path for yourself each time an opportunity comes up that might wreck your self-confidence, it grows, and it grows stronger and stronger. And then somebody pulls the rug out from under you, and you’re upset again, or mad, or want to give up.
But that is a test; you just have to find a way to fight.
And I like meeting them head-on, one on one, but not with “yo mama” jokes, not like that. But rather, letting them know that I know their game, and I hope they’re enjoying it, but if they expect an emotional response from me, they’re not going to get it. Not in those exact words; it depends on the situation. But that’s the general idea I shoot for.
[Approach to the Inmost Cave]
Then, when I get compliments from people, I cherish them. Many times, I save them. I take a screenshot, copy it, save it to my computer or my phone, whatever, so that when there are times that I feel not confident, I can look back at times that somebody thought I was pretty awesome or amazing. I’ve also learned to give compliments freely. Specific compliments are awesome; that always works.
[The Road Back]
And if you help other people build their self-confidence, you find your own self-confidence rising.
And the force you get from self-confidence is very powerful when you’ve used your ancient hurt to fuel fixing other people and yourself in the process.
[Return with the Elixir]
That’s about all I have to say about self-confidence at the moment. I’m surprised I talked for this long. I’ll be even more surprised if you’ve listened to it all.