Stop Dragging Your Confidence Through the Mud

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readMay 15, 2022

Choose a cleaner approach.

Photo by Eleanor Jane:

Sometimes, during the heat of life’s battles, I say nasty things. To myself. About myself.

If I send an email with an obvious typo, I may call myself a dumbass. Or worse.

Or if I blow an easy layup playing pickup basketball, I mutter vile things about my ability under my breath, despite having made a litany of contested shots.

And, at times, I put myself through hell for minor mistakes or forgetting appointments.

Perhaps you’re guilty of this self-sabotaging behavior, too.

But mistakes and questionable decisions occur in life. These things happen when you ditch the comfort zone or pursue lofty goals.

We all have flaws, areas where we need improvement, and aspects of our personalities or appearances that make us feel insecure and frustrated. But we can’t let those things drag our confidence through the mud. Seriously.

Choose to take a cleaner, more friendly approach. Our missteps do not define us — unless we allow them to.

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

When we screw up something, we feel like losers at the moment. But that instant doesn’t define our complete existence. We must resist the urge to paint the mural our entire life with broad brushstrokes of doubt.

The emotions of compromised confidence, even if rooted in some truth, do not dictate our lives.

We need to approach our journey from a vantage point of self-care rather than a place of self-loathing.

We cannot hate-talk ourselves into losing weight. We can’t flog ourselves into a promotion. We will never insult ourselves into becoming better parents, stronger writers, or smarter students.

Louise Hay said, “You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

What a brilliant concept.

Destructive mental chatter is not the answer. We cannot force-feed ourselves negativity and expect to digest it positively.

When we cut ourselves some slack, our errors can become a compass that points us towards success.

We can (and should) remain assured despite our imperfections. Confidence is a mindset that allows us to move past failures and flaws and even learn from them.

Adrian S. Potter — the antisocial extrovert — is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. He writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on various subjects, including creativity, leadership, and personal growth. Adrian is the winner of the 2022 Lumiere Review Prose Award the author of the poetry book Everything Wrong Feels Right (Portage Press). Visit him at



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·