A Constant Battle - A Poem About Self Confidence

How Will I Find Love? It Is Inside.

I constantly battle with myself. It’s almost like I have a split personality – but I really don’t. Anyways, my self-esteem and confidence are really lacking. I try to boost myself up and have faith in myself as a mature woman, a capable mother, and a loyal friend. But for some reason this annoying little voice always creeps into my head and brings me back down. The first part of this poem is the interaction between me and the voice that belittles me. The stupid voice is constantly cutting me off in the middle of a sentence. At first I question and the voice taunts me trying to get a reaction. Then I get very upset and this irritates the voice and further feeds its nastiness. Finally, at the end I realize the voice is just that – a voice with no real being or basis and I find my own way of thinking.

Of course I don’t really hear voices and I don’t think like this all the time. So please don’t make me an appointment with the local shrink just yet. This is an over exaggeration of how we all feel when faced with self-doubt.

Is it, can it, does it, will it -

Finish the sentence already!

I was just wondering if I –

If I - If I – If I – If I – If I –

Why do you do that and bring –

Bring what, a bouquet of flowers?

I’m trying to think and talk here if only –

Trying? Most people can think naturally.

But I can’t or can I, I’m stuttering -

What’s the matter with you?


Too hard my breathing caught -

Don’t be such an idiot

I don’t think -

That’s the problem, you DON’T think

Was I right, can it be what I thought -

Of course you’re not right, are you ever?

I don’t understand how and when -

That’s no surprise, really.

I can make it over this and come through on –

Shut up and give up already, you’re worthless

How can you just stand there and act –

Are you really crying again?!

I’m not crying, alright maybe just a –

You truly are a pathetic soul.

It just hurts so bad when the talk –

Blah, blah, blah here she goes again.

My heart breaks and my confidence fades when –

This is so typical of you – it’s always about YOU

Listen! This is ridiculous, who do you –

Poor baby is trying to find a backbone now.


I don’t need to listen to you –

But you will you loser.

I can get help, I can get rid of –

You think someone will help you?

They might, I really am a good per –

I really am a good person, I really really am”.

Stop making fun of me all the –

This sucks, you suck, just shut up already.

NO! -

No? What are you going to do about it?


Lord, give me strength...
Lord, give me strength... | Source

I can stop you – I know I can.

You’ll only fail like with everything else.

Look! I finally made it; I think I’ll be –

Made IT, what the hell is ‘it’ anyways?

Stop, just stop this isn’t right or fair

You made me who I am now pay for it.


I won’t. I won’t pay for it, you will. This is the end and this IS all about me. You leave and don’t come back. This is over. I don’t know where you came from or when. But take notice - you are hereby sent away!

Do you hear me?

… … …

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Comments 50 comments

The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas

Voted up! Everyone has bouts of doubt occassionally. Unfortunately some foks are plagued with it. I have a friend who was abused by her Dad and she is constantly dealing with low self-esteem issues. I wrote this for her but I think it's in keeping with what you are saying in this straight-forward to the point piece you wrote which provides comfort for those who think they are alone.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 5 years ago

Hi Ardie,

You are not alone in this Battle. I've seen so many friends struggling with self steem and confidence and I think is part due to the times we are living. Voting this up too... nice pics!


Poetic Fool 5 years ago

Hi Ardie! This is a really honest and interesting piece. I've seen this played out in a close family member for years. I can almost see her talking to herself at times, as in your piece.

I think lord de cross is partly right about some of it being to due the times in which we live. In my youth, things were much less competitive, less hectic and more peaceful. Self-doubt wasn't as rampant as it is today.

Our society has made it much less do with who one really is. Rather we are judged by whether we are cute enough, thin enough, stylish enough, cool enough, rich enough or whatever. I'm afraid this kind of self-doubt will reach epidemic proportions, if things don't change. Remember what you said of yourself, you are a mature woman, a capable mother, and a loyal friend. These are the things that really matter. Best wishes to you, Ardie. Thanks for sharing.

neverstoplearning 5 years ago

I recognize myself in this piece - I deal with that second-guessing internal voice as well.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi SuburbanPoet - Thanks for the vote and for the link. Its nice to know Im not alone. I wasnt abused as a child - so I dont know from where so much self doubt comes. But it's there and it's mine to deal with. I hope your friend is doing better with herself now.

Hello Lord! Its a sad time when we cant be happy with who and what we are. I even watch my 6 year old struggle with it. I try to teach her coping skills - which is how Im getting my own nagging voice to shut up.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Poetic Fool - those are words spoken by someone who is NOT a poetic fool :) I agree that the times are making us who we are, which is not necessarily a good thing. Its a sad day when people compete with one another instead of helping and supporting one another. I will try my hardest to remember my positive traits. Thanks for coming in!!

Neverstoplearning - we can work on this together. What do you find positive about yourself? Write it here in all caps and tell the world. So when you forget we can remind you!!!

Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

Hey Ardie, I know what it's like to battle with self-esteem issues. I had many when I was a kid and on top of that, I did have to deal with some abuse, like my own issues weren't enough for me to deal with. Not to mention, I was always bullied by those who didn't like the fact that I was smarter than them. I never considered myself smarter than them, but they did and that would lead to my self-esteem issues. Being blamed for something I didn't see in myself was kind of difficult to deal with.

I always thought the fact that I questioned so many things including myself, wasn't a self-esteem issue, but thought something was wrong with me. When I learned to identify it for what it was- a self-esteem issue, then I was better able to handle it. I no longer have self esteem issues because I've grown confident in knowing what I am capable of(my potential) and what my limitations actually are. Very nicely written. Voted up! :)

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Im so sad for your past Cagsil. Kids have a rough enough time figuring out their place in the world without someone constantly on their back being abusive. Then that abuse follows that person forever, usually in the form of self-doubt or self-hate. Im glad you've learned to overcome your past and you've learned who you are and what you're worth :)

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

Life is a battle and we are fighters, the enemies are either inside us or outside us.

Beautifully written.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thank you Vinaya. At least when the enemy is inside I know its weaknesses ;)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Voted up. Great voice throughout. Well written, I was an interested and sad fly on the fall

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

PDX, Wow, that comment means a lot coming from you!! Thanks for the vote :)

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Thanks for writing and for the compliment!

RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

A thought-provoking piece, Ardy. We all suffer from our inner voices sometimes, and sometimes not easy to vanquish, no?

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks RedElf :) I'm sure this voice is something many of us have dealt with before and can relate to. I'd actually be frightened of someone who never feels self-doubt!

tsmog profile image

tsmog 5 years ago from Escondido, CA

Discovering this awesome poem, before adding to the comment you offered me earlier, I was captivated by the nuances and intricacies presented with it. The usage of voice, as stated by PDXK, emphasized with italics contrasting the normal pitch more discovery is made.

With Symbolic Interactionism symbols offer meaning. The contrast offered with the actual symbols of the type face very nicely presents the 'battle.' George Herbert Mead, an interactonist wrote extensively on the communication of 'self' being that of the "I" and the "ME." Your poem demonstrates this theory extensively and thoroughly - well done, Ardie!

I am amazed with the choice of photo enhancement too. I really love the reflective pond imagery.

Well, I could write more, yet I have a date with my barber. Seems, I have them wondering at my workplace now. Better spruce up my image.

Thank you for sharing this intimate poem of 'self.' It is encouraging.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello dear tsmog :) Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad I was able to get my point across. I was worried when I posted the hub that people might misunderstand my meaning and think I was either VERY depressed or raving mad.

I hope the trip to the barber went well and he/she was able to spruce you up enough for work and for the holidays!

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Hi Ardie. Many of us have to deal with those self esteem issues, even at my age they still creep up. Believe it or not I have a hub that has been waiting to be published for 3 weeks but I'm still not sure if it would be the right thing to do and what will people think, probably that I am nuts Lol.

We have to learn to believe in ourselves as you say you are a mature woman and very capable.

I loved your poem, it portrayed exactly how you feel and I am pleased that you told the voice to go away

Take care

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thank you Rosemay! Publish that hub :) Can you believe all this time I thought your name was RosemaRy...wow. I need to wear my glasses more often.

Im glad that little voice goes away too. It still comes back now and again but Im getting better and better at sending it on its way each time.

I will keep my eyes open for something new from you - vanquish that voice!

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Maybe I'll pluck up the courage, maybe not Lol. I'll let you know if and when I do.

So pleased you are winning your battle, keep fight lady... :-)

pennyofheaven profile image

pennyofheaven 5 years ago from New Zealand

What a strong spirit. I like the firm tone in the your mind toward the end. Awesome

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks penny! Sometimes my spirit has to work up the courage but it always finds it :)

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 5 years ago from Western NC

Yes, we all have that little voice. It can make you crazy if you don't squelch it before it takes over. It's like an errant little monster and smacking it would only give it half the satisfaction of what you'd really like to do with it. Hehehe...In any case, you aced this one! Kudos to you. :)

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi cclitgirl! Oh how I'd love to smack the little voice and send it off crying. Thankfully it's not here ALL the time or I'd start to question my own sanity :) Thanks for the compliment and for the read.

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Self doubt and low esteem are like heavy fogs that cause you to lose your way. I sometimes have the voices sounding off in my mind when I fail. They remind me of times when I couldn't overcome, of when I tried but lost. Sometimes it can be more than I can bear. But I take a moment, and decide that I won't carry the yoke of failure no more. I look at my shortcomings like a math problem, and work at it until I find a solution. I know you will do the same.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi AA, I dont always walk around with the stupid voice in my head. But when it DOES show up it sure sends me into a tailspin. I am a stubborn one so I mostly win :) The times that I lose are few and far between and dont keep me down long. Thanks for reading

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

I know this terrain well! And I know this voice--perhaps we all do to some extent. This is such a brave poem--and I just wanted to tell you that I really loved it. I don't say that often--but your work really moved me---

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello Audrey, Im glad to see you here but Im sorry you have this stupid voice too. I often wonder if women hear this voice more frequently than men. We are so hard on ourselves all the time. Im glad my work moved you because then it means I am not alone with my feelings. Have a wonderful day.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

No, I don't think any of us are alone in those feelings--and for me, it has helped to know that--take care.

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Ardie, are you enjoying that book?

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

I am having a difficult time starting it! Every single time I sit down to read I hear "Mommy she's looking at me" or "Mommy, she's picking her nooooooose". I will take it to bed with me tonight and pretend to be sleeping hahah

ExoticHippieQueen 5 years ago

Hi Ardie, I can sympathize with you. I think everyone has some of that in them. I recently wrote something about an invisible group that lives in my brain that is bored, cruel and judgmental, always criticizing and taunting everything that I do and all of my struggles. It must go with the creative territory! Loved this...........

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello ExoticHippieQueen, Im so glad to see you here :) I think you're right and although I wouldnt wish the voice or mean group on anyone it IS nice to know Im not alone with my thoughts and feelings. I'd love to read your piece on the group. I will come looking for it.

Dee42 profile image

Dee42 5 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

That was so great!!! All of us writers hear voices, it's the creative whispers that we were born with, myself no different.Wonderful hub,voting up and across.

poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Great poem Ardie. I never knew I had self esteem and confidence problems until the last 2 years or so when life really started to become tough and still is at the moment.Battling against depression doesn't help either. We all have conversations with ourselves but it is difficult to get a word in edgeways sometimes when that inner voice won't shut up. Conscience is what they call it.We have to try to channel it in a positive way. I find that writing on here and blogging etc keeps me busy and doesn't give rise to the inner voice and therefore keeps it at bay.

Keep writing this great stuff.

I know I am going to learn a lot from you.

We all need a mentor.

Will you be mine?

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks Dee42, I think you're right. Someone was trying to help me pinpoint the origin of the voice one day and I honestly could not! Its just what I was born with as a storyteller

Hi Posh, good to see you here :) I bet the depression made the voice worse and meaner. Thankfully you've found a way to keep it under control through your writing. Life can indeed be tough at times, please know I am here if you need to talk. And I will only be your mentor if you will be mine!

poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Ardie. now who is way too nice.Thanks for that babe. We will mentor each other equally, I just know it. Hope I haven't blown it with the Tousled Hair hub or some of my Blogs. Don't know now what picture you will have of me. I just have an appreciation of nice things.Hope you can see through that.It is also my way of helping I suppose. Hope you will see that.

Thanks for reading.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Posh! You did NOT blow anything :) Men will be men, no? Stick around - it will be fun!

Jspot profile image

Jspot 5 years ago from Flames of water and love

I don't know if I should be offended or not about that men comment, but the depth of pain of not knowing felt in your words is heartbreaking. People are people in my eyes, gender speaks nothing as much as the actions shown. Voted up and awesome.

Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

HI J and thanks for reading. I know men DO suffer from just as much self doubt - you being one of them and Im sorry for the comment. Thank you for the votes my friend.

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Ardie... we have all had those times when the voice calls out far louder than we care to hear. I once read a quote that has had a great impact of my life in many ways. It os so simple and yet powerful.... "Limits exist only in our minds"

Yet there will also always be these little voices attacking. Glad you are able to call out far louder with your writing than the silly little voice. Take authority over it as you have with your words... well written with words of strength.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hello Rolly, I really like that quote! I am going to add it to my list of inspiring and uplifting quotes :) Thank you for reading this - it isnt a well known side of me but it is there once a year or so (maybe more often heheh). I try to ignore the voice but it can be such a nag! Luckily I have learned how to tune it out more often than not :)

Sphinxs Sanctum profile image

Sphinxs Sanctum 4 years ago from Southern United States

Ardie - I DO Believe that woman are crafted to have this voice from as early in life as possible, which is so unfortunate. For if we were not made to second-guess ourselves, then men wouldn't have been in the lead for as long as they were! This was no accident!

As a perfectionist, I battle this back-and-forth as well; never fun. It has caused me to not react with the speed that certain life events called for, holding me back from certain achievements. And you don't always realize it, but when you're having this internal conversation, other people see it. I was once "found-out" by a male friend who saw me coming down a flight of stairs. With each step I took, I was looking down for foot-placement. When I reached the bottom, this friend told me that I really needed to gain some self-confidence! I was shocked & a little pissed by his discovery but he was right in his observation. Every time I go down stairs, I think of this man & do my best to trust my feet. I now try to trust my feet in all life's journeys.

Very Interesting Hub. Thanks!

Sphinx's Sanctum

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi SS :) Im so glad to see you stopped in. I read some of your poetry just earlier today (maybe it was yesterday) and hadn't realized you'd left me a comment before that! I admit I've been a bit lazy on getting back to my comments lately.

I love the analogy of trusting your feet. We all (women) need to learn to trust ourselves a little more, right?

xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Ohhhh that nattering negativity that lives inside out heads! You capture the battle well here with humor. You got the best of it this time, and we salute you! Up all the way!

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi xstatic =) How have you been? Thank goodness I get the best of that nagging voice more often than not. Thanks for the vote and comment.

AliceFSpencer profile image

AliceFSpencer 4 years ago from Texas

Voted up this is great, as women we have so many great and strong moments and then so many dark ones. But we always manage to see our true value !!

Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

=) Thanks for the up vote Alice! Luckily I am learning to overcome this nagging voice as I get older. But its a shame it has to be there at all. Thanks for reading

freedomspirit 4 years ago

Hi Ardie, I have five chauvinistic brothers and my dad was. I was forced to call them on it or I would have suffered worse! people have complimented me on my outspokenness and they always know where I stand.

freedomspirit 4 years ago

Good hub. Thanks for the read. Rose.

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