British Lung Foundation
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Confidence cringe

Hi everyone, so sorry if I sound like I'm wasting your time but I'm getting concerned now because I've never had an confidence. It's getting really embarrassing because I'm 17 now and feel like whilst I'm growing up my confidence isn't. Luckily I have some great friends and amazing family but I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me because every little thing makes me nervous or shy and I'm getting to be a really awkward person :/. I also critize myself a lot and feel that I'm nowhere near as good as everyone else. Does anyone have any ideas?

9 Replies

hi i think maybe going to ur gp and having some sort of counselling/therapy may help it may help u work out why u feel this way, i knw it may be something u dnt wish to do but what is the alternative? u cant carry on feeling like this and it may just be the right thing for you

best of luck x


I cant offer advice because I cant recall being 17. I think you need to talk to someone and learn to believe in yourself. I think nowadays life must be challenging for a teenager. Set your own standards which might not be the same for others but stick to them. Good you have good friends and family, but a chat with a professional might be good. See your GP.

All the best and hope that you will enjoy being young. Time goes too quickly. Love from me!


I can just about remember being 17. I was quiet, studious, shy but had good friends. I don't think there's anything wrong with you I think it's quite normal. It didn't worry me but its obviously worrying you so it may be you would benefit having a chat with your GP.

I went to University when I was 18 and it changed my life. Having to go out and meet people, mix and socialize, fend for myself etc was life changing. My parents still talk about what a difference it made to me. I'm not advocating Uni - it's so expensive but have a look round and see if there are any clubs or volunteer to help somewhere. It's much easier to mix with folk who are like minded. Good luck.

Marie x


How well I remember being 17 Lizzie, the damp hands when being introduced to anyone, the cringing embarrassment at walking into a room full of people, how everyone else seemed to have much more confidence that me and not be at all shy or nervous. Some of them were confidence, but I'm sure the majority were just better actors. When my own daughter was 17, she was just the same, but I taught her how to appear poised & confident.

Here's what I told her - but please don't think I'm patronising you. The first & most important thing is to smile at people - a lot. Look happy. You immediately light up your face & the warmth you give out if you do that. Hold your head up and look people in the eye - don't walk round staring at the ground & trying to disappear into it. If you look confident you'll have a better chance of feeling it! Wear clothes which fit you well and make the most of your figure, and always take time to make your hair look nice. Again, if you feel attractive you'll feel confident too. Then, speak up, but don't rush your speech. Slowly but clearly, as if what you're going to say is of importance. Practice in a mirror (really!).

When talking to other people, ask them questions about themselves and pay real attention to the answer. Everyone loves a good listener! and young men in particular really like a young woman who hangs on their every word (sorry if this seems sexist, but it's true).

Practice all this til it becomes a habit.

Lastly - remember (and keep telling yourself, over & over) that you're as good as anyone else out there. You have just as much to offer, just as much potential, and what you have to say is just as worth listening to.

Keep doing this and I promise your confidence will grow & grow and even if you still feel a bit nervous, no-one will ever guess.

love, FF


what lovely advice fairy footsteps


well Lizzie,think Fairy told you well, just remember your as good as everyone else, and my late dad used tell us......there's no one above you, and no one below you,so head up girl your a lovely teen with wonderful life ahead you..xxxx


Imagine everyone else is feeling just like you do and focus on them and not on yourself.. Many people really do feel like you do, and just get used to it, develop coping strategies and then by acting as if you are more confident the brain starts to believe it and then you really are.

Also read a book called Taming Your Gremlin. Funny and fab.

A great exercise is to create a picture in your head of the thing that keeps criticising you and then do what you like to it - batter it, squash it, zap it, argue with it. One person I knew said her 'gremlin' looked remarkably like her mother ! she shrank her gremlin so that it could only whisper and she could no longer hear it ! :)

Another good newish book is The Tools. by Phil Stutz - has already helped so many people like yourself. xx


I used to lack confidence at 17 too but met my boyfriend (now hubby) and he was confident and chatty to people so some of it must have rubbed off on me I suppose. You have great friends and family which is a start so take the good advice you have had already and your confidence will grow over time. You sound like a lovely young woman so make the very most of life now as it does pass by so quickly. At nearly 60 I do think oh to be 17 again but no, I will settle for the age I am now. Good luck to you Lizzie and enjoy yourself! xxx


Thank you guys, people are so kind on this website and your opinions are always appreciated :)


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