How can I build confidence?

Columnist John Matthews. Photo courtesy Matthews

Here is a joke: What do you call a 23-year-old man who still lives at home with his mother, does not know how to drive, and has no talent?

The answer: a freaking coward. A real knee slapper, right? Especially after I realized that that coward was me and I am too afraid to do anything about it.

Hi! My name is John Matthews, and this is my story.

Before I begin, I need you to get one thing straight: this is not a damn pity party. In fact, think of it as a barbershop conversation, and I am that one bald “old head” who reeks of aftershave and only pulls up to the shop to offer advice or at the very least vent about his many regrets in life.

The truth is, I am a pot head. I wake up every morning often reaching for the unfinished blunt that I started to smoke before typically passing out face first in a pile of paperwork that I was working on the night before. By any means is this an attempt to seem cool, glorify the use of drugs, or vilify it. This is simply the truth.

What I have noticed was that it was never really the weed itself that I gravitated toward. It was the “confidence” and “creativity” that I believed came with it. I am not too sure if it was the fact that I was too high or not, but I never realized until recently that I never became as confident and creative as I had once thought.

In fact, I became substantially worse in both categories. For instance, I would be in the middle of writing an article and I would have this grand idea to smoke some weed just to take the edge off. But in reality, after I would take those hits …what were we talking about, again? Do you see my point?

However, as a man I am responsible for the outcomes of my decisions. Although it is so much easier to just blame weed for all of my problems it also wouldn’t tell the full story either. Unfortunately, I must admit that the reason for my lack of academic, career and social success is directly correlated to my cowardice.

For far too long I have allowed fear to control my life. Whether it is finally moving out on my own, learning how to drive, or writing, I never feel good enough. But I am sick and tired of being below average and watching life pass me by.

I heard the first step toward recovery is admittance. So, where do I go from here? How do I finally build confidence and become the man that I want to be?