Confidence is not something that you either have or you don’t have. Confidence is something that you will have to keep working on. Because confidence will have to change according to how you grow and change. Confidence is part of you and is based on your beliefs and self-concept. Confidence is a result of your relationship with yourself. So, to build your confidence, you have to look inside you. So, let’s do it!

Lack of confidence

Before we try to change anything, first of all, we have to look back and check at what point we have lost that confidence. When did you lose that connection with yourself? When did you stop believing in yourself?

From my experience and what I am observing working with my patients- usually, it comes back to your childhood. Childhood- is when we lose ourselves. To be honest I don’t think anyone comes out of childhood as a whole person. We all are losing parts of our authentic selves during that time. (And this is a difficult statement to accept, especially when I am writing this not only as a psychotherapist, but I am also as someone who had their own childhood trauma to heal, and as a mother, the mother who is very much conscious of her mistakes in the past and accepts the possibilities of the future mistakes).


A childhood- a huge chapter of everyone’s life. This is a time that is so significant when all of our belief systems are being programmed deep in our subconscious minds. A time when we learn how to understand the world through our experiences and observations. A time where our emotions are our indicators of what is right and what is safe.

In our childhood, we often are faced with a decision between what we want and what is safe. What is right and what is safe? What is exciting and what is safe?

In childhood, we always have to choose between what we want and what is expected from us. What we desire and what others will see as acceptable. What we think and what others will think. We have to choose between ourselves and others. It doesn’t seem that we can be ever truly ourselves.

Our Needs vs Reality

This is exactly what happens to us- we lose ourselves based on expectations that are put on us, and the fear and shame we feel completely disconnect us from our true selves. We felt controlled yet, we normalised that, convincing ourselves that it was okay. People crossed your boundaries, they made you feel like you don’t belong, you have grown up believing that there is something wrong with you, that you are unworthy- yet you feel “okay” with it. Because you now completely believe that you need others‘ validation to feel good about yourself? People pleasing became part of your personality, or maybe you have chosen to put a mask of perfectionism- either way, you are disconnected from your needs, your heart and soul.

Because we all needed to be loved, seen, and feel worthy. We all wanted a sense of belonging through love and safety- if we didn’t have it- we simply normalised what we had. We didn’t ask uncomfortable questions. So, we made ourselves fit in. We developed coping mechanisms to survive, convincing ourselves that we were happy and that we had a happy childhood.

Even now, as I am writing this article, I feel the harshness of its reality in my heart. I feel it now, but now I am ready to accept it as truth. There was a time when I didn’t understand it. Because I didn’t understand my truth. I didn’t understand the seriousness of it all.

I believed that I was in control of myself, I thought I knew myself until I realised that part of my personality was nothing else than learnt coping mechanisms that were made to help me survive every single day.

The past

But what was underneath? S H A M E. Yes, I felt it, I kept it in my heart. It was so deep in me that it felt like my soul was shameful. When I found the courage to look into my eyes and look back at the past- I found lots of shame. Shame that belonged to me, a shame that I was carried for my parents, a shame that was in my family for generations… and I didn’t even understand it. But you can’t understand something you are not aware of!

My truth is that I hated my childhood. I hated everything about it. If I can remember a “happy” memory of my childhood- it was when I was on my own. On my own, I felt the happiest and the safest.

Looking back at my childhood- I see, feel, hear, smell and taste SHAME.


Shame is what keeps us disconnected from ourselves. Moreover, shame is how we are too afraid to look at ourselves and our needs. Also, shame is what keeps us believing that we need others to be worthy. Shame is why we feel unlovable. Shame is a killer to any uniqueness, creativity, openness, love, courage, and authenticity.

However, shame is not always obvious. It is hidden in our beliefs and our behaviours. So, how does hidden shame look through our beliefs and behaviours?

  1. I will never get a decent man, who will love me for me. Who would even want to be with a woman like me? Sure, I have nothing to offer!
  2. I hate my body! Gosh, I am so fat! And this stomach?! I will never lose weight so just as well I might eat that bag of crisps and 3 bars of chocolate- at least that is all the pleasure that is for me!
  3. I just signed myself for another course! So maybe after this 4th degree, I will feel competent enough to feel like I can finally apply for my dream job!
  4. I will have to get this Channel bag! Omg! My friends will die when they see it! It doesn’t matter that I already double-crossed a limit on my credit card.
  5. A random guy smiled at you at the pub. And that was enough for you to have intercourse with him. Sure, all women have their needs, and sex with no obligation is you practising self-care.
  6. Asking for help? Are you crazy!? Only a weak woman does that! I am a strong independent woman- I don’t need to ask for help! I prefer to do everything on my own!
  7. Believing that men are unworthy, not trustworthy and they are just useless. Yet you are married to a man that you don’t really respect, you keep complaining to your girlfriend about him, and all you feel is frustration.
  8. Everything is making you so angry. The smallest mistake is making you furious. You don’t allow yourself to make mistakes and you go crazy when you or even someone else is making a mistake.
  9. You feel very impatient. You don’t really trust no one. You feel like you don’t need people in your life, you don’t need friends. You keep telling yourself that you are too busy and that you like your own company.

This list goes on… but you get the picture. Could you recognise anything in yourself? The worst part is that we really believe that this is normal. If we feel that we are becoming too much- we will blame it on hormones, periods, pressure at work, stress, overwhelm with motherhood…


There is so much that we are carrying out on our shoulders, our heart and soul. We are forgetting about ourselves, (true self)! We don’t know how to come back. As a result, we feel lost. Don’t worry my dear, I once was there too. For the last 12 years I have been working very intensively on my own healing journey, so now I can help and support many women like me.

I will soon announce a date for a brand new webinar for women, about confidence and how to set yourself free from shame. So stay attuned. Below you can find links to my IG, FB, and YouTube channels.

With Love,

Sylwia Kuchenna

Here are the links:

To my YouTube channel: (96) Sylwia Kuchenna – YouTube

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Instagram: Sylwia Kuchenna |Psychotherapist|Author|Lecturer| (@psychotherapykuchenna) • Instagram photos and videos

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