Reclaim Your Confidence

Exploring Issues of Insecurity and Self Esteem
by David R. Farnsworth, MA, LPC, NCC

Counseling and Therapy Pittsburgh PAWebster defines confidence as “full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.”  Why is there such a phenomenon in our society where we often so powerfully lack self-confidence? In order for us to feel an internal sense of self-confidence, we must give ourselves permission to have that belief in ourselves.  Why do we not trust ourselves? It is actually too simple of a question.

Whose rules or value systems are we using as the measurement tool by which we compare our abilities? Whose voice are we listening to when we evaluate whether or not we can trust ourselves? Have we collected messages through our lives that tell us that we are not good enough? Less than? Unreliable? Do we allow ourselves to evaluate these messages and challenge their validity?

Or perhaps we have track records of behavior that have eroded our self-confidence.  Can we never adapt or redeem ourselves from our own histories? How do we build a resilient lens and review our past in order to gain the lessons life was trying to teach us? Are our pasts too painful and not a resource of insight? If we were able to learn from the past and integrate this learning into our life, can we begin to trust in ourselves again?

Counseling and Therapy Pittsburgh PAOftentimes we punish ourselves over the past to the point where we cannot even redeem ourselves to OURSELVES! Is this lack of trusting ourselves a valid “punishment?” Because how is the roadblock to building confidence working out for us as we move forward living our lives? Or, are we benefitting on some level from having the deficit in confidence because it makes life safer? If we do not have confidence, then this removes many things in life that require confidence to pursue and overcome. Will an increase in confidence lead us into uncharted territory that truly scares us, so it is easier to tell ourselves we can’t go there?

Perhaps this is the time in life where we can challenge some of these thoughts and feelings in order to unlock some of the roadblocks that have been standing in the way of movement in our lives?

Be courageous,

If your are ready to begin exploring some of these issues, join me for a 12-week group designed to help individuals take a deeper look at how they treat themselves. Exploring how low self-esteem and poor self-image keep us from moving forward in life, this supportive group will discuss the concepts of living mindfully, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully, and developing integrity. The spirit behind this group is to create a nonjudgmental, empathic, and supportive environment that challenges the ways in which we see ourselves. If you are interested in making a positive life change today, please contact us to register for this one of a kind group! Most major insurances accepted. Group begins on September 17, 2014 but new participants are welcome at any time.

If you are interested in registering for this group, please call 412-367-0575 or email

Why Not Today?: Crafting Dreams and Goals into Action

By Don Laird, MS, NCC, LPC

What’s on your “bucket list?”

Write a novel?

Travel through Europe or Asia or both?

Learn how to paint or play piano or dance the Tango?

Goals and dreams give us hope, make life interesting, and can provide us with a source of everlasting motivation and meaning. Often they present a sense of balance in a seemingly unbalanced world. Naturally, realizing your goals and dreams requires action.

You know all the tired, self-generated excuses as to why your goals are “impractical” or “will have to wait until a better time.” You’ve justified these reasons enough that they have become the only response to your ever-patient, ever-waiting life dreams. Here are a few thoughts that might turn these excuses into accomplishments and help you realize the potential of your life’s goal:

  1. What do I really want? It seems like a simple question until you begin focusing on what is important. What gives me a sense of connection, purpose and meaning? What is my “calling?” Do I possess talents and abilities that I have told myself are not practical or unimportant? How many of my negative thoughts about my dreams and goals are self generated?
  2. How will I get there? What do you need to connect the dots between Point A and Point B. Map out each step you might take on your journey. If you don’t have some plan in mind, you will likely find yourself struggling with frustration and uncertainty.
  3. What if my dream were already happening? Successful performers, sports figures and entrepreneurs report they are able to visualize their achievements far in advance. The use of positive visualization does not make automatically your dreams or goals come true, but it does provide a healthy nutrient for the soil in which your achievements can take root.
  4. What can I control? Staying focused on your goals and dreams without allowing others to interfere can be difficult at times, but not impossible. Do NOT allow others to dictate or influence your goals and aspirations. Becoming caught in others opinions or good intentions often times is the proverbial pin to your goal balloon. Remain in the present, knowing that you can only control what is happening at this moment, and only what is happening with you.
  5. What if I fail? Every journey will have its share of stormy weather. Treat any rejection or misstep as a learning moment toward realizing your dream and goal. Most everyone can agree that they regret what they DIDN’T do in life versus what they did do.
  6. Is it even realistic? Perhaps not, but are you willing to try? Be persistent and flexible. Know that you will have to “roll with the punches” from time to time. Perhaps you will be surprised over what you discover about yourself on your journey.

Get going – NOW! Tend to your dreams and goals. Your journey can begin with a first, small step. Why not today?