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Hey guys. Well, I'm coming to the trusty land of the amazing Robotic Masterminds again! I need your advice on yet another matter.

I've just been incredibly depressed for about a year now, and counseling is helping a lot, but you guys always seem so confident. So I thought maybe you could help me out.

I already know the REASONS why I'm so unhappy (family abuse I won't go into on here), but it's very difficult to get out of that overwhelming sadness and be more rational. I know I have talent, and that I'll eventually be happy again, but it's just so hard to see it when your vision is clouded by a storm.

What do you do to get yourself in that mindset of productivity and confidence? Or, if it's a constant, how do you maintain your self-worth so well? How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?

Any tips at all would be really awesome. You don't necessarily have to answer my questions. You guys are seriously wonderful people; you've helped me so much in previous threads. Really glad I joined PerC :) so thank you :)
 

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...but it's just so hard to see it when your vision is clouded by a storm.
If you imagine this literally, a storm is temporary; it'll eventually pass (unless you're on Jupiter... then you might be up sh*t creek). What do you do when it storms in real life? I like to sit outside and observe it. Often times it'll show you where the leaks and weak spots are all around you and then you'll know what things you need to work on when the storm clears up.

Now, if you think about the storm figuratively, it's essentially the same thing. Take some time out for yourself and step back and observe the "storm". What kind of storm is it? How is it effecting you? What areas in your life is it effecting you? How can you plug the leaks? Once you find a way to diminish the figurative storm, your vision should be clear as day. Well, unless there's a tree or a tall building in the way, but that's a problem for another day!


What do you do to get yourself in that mindset of productivity and confidence? Or, if it's a constant, how do you maintain your self-worth so well?
I don't know about other INTJs, but the mindset of productivity is ever-constant in me. It's something that I've NEVER been able to turn off. I think my drive to constantly learn things, experience things, change things and observe things and the fact that I don't let much get in the way of me accomplishing those things gives off the air of confidence. So I guess I'd say, if there's something you want to do or pursue, do it! In chasing something you feel strongly about, I think confidence will naturally follow.


How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?
I'm going to guess you might get a similar answer from most INTJs, but the secret to this is genuinely not caring what anyone thinks of you. It's your life to live, not anyone else's. :p
 

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I have been in a depressive state before. The cause was grades.

I'm in college (university for your non-'muricans), so the only person who knew my grades was me.

I basically had a really bad semester. I caused it. I sort of self-sabotaged by not going to class or studying or anything. I knew I wanted to change majors but it was mid-semester and I was forced to finish it out. I couldn't just drop my classes -- I had to stay at full-time student status or else I could lose my scholarship. And it was too late to add any classes that would benefit my new major.


Anyway, in hindsight it seems like one of the dumbest reasons for a person to be depressed. But seeing my final grades made me the most depressed I have ever been in my entire life. (No exaggeration--my life is stupidly easy).

I just got over it with time. And by starting a new semester and just forgetting about it. I couldn't change it. It was in the past. The past doesn't exist anymore. Only the present exists. Dwelling on the past does not help anyone.


What do you do to get yourself in that mindset of productivity and confidence? Or, if it's a constant, how do you maintain your self-worth so well? How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?
So are you depressed because of what others think of you? Or because of what you think of yourself?

I'm not sure what you mean by productivity. Are you getting all your work done? Are you wanting to get more than all your work done? What constitutes "productivity"?

Confidence is something you can fake until you become it. Sometimes I tell myself--like if I'm about to give a presentation like I had to to yesterday-- that I'm going to act confidently for a moment. And so I do. I volunteered to do my presentation first.

And I did it. And I just was really assertive and charismatic for a few minutes. And I totally faked being confident because the reality is that I hate giving presentations and naturally I was quite nervous.

But you know what? It was real confidence. It was temporary, but I really was confident in those moments. I told myself to be confident. And I did it. I was confident.


Are you talking about have a positive self-image? I think that's oftentimes what people think of when they think of confidence. I don't personally think they're the same thing. But certainly having a positive self-image helps you be more confident.

I can't help you there. I have no idea how to have a positive self-image. It's like asking a fish how to swim or breathe under water. The fish will just look at you crazy and say "dafuq you talking about? Anyone can do that. That's easy." But they won't be able to explain it to you because they've never not swam or breathed under water. So in that way, they don't really know what it's like to swim or breathe under water. To know what light is, you have to experience dark, no?

--

I think idealists will naturally have low self-images. Humans are not ideal specimens. So when you don't act or behave or look in an ideal way, you will feel disappointed, no?

Humans are real. And I think realists will just naturally have the highest self-images. You may not be an ideal human, but hey, at least you're better than that guy! Oh hey and that one, too... and that one.. and that one! . . .

I think to have a higher self-image, you either need to become your ideal, change your ideal, or just embrace realism.
 
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This is always a complex matter, but slowly it can be effectively improved. The main difficulty is that the majority of people can't face the slowness.

I like to try to help people in the confidence field, 'cause I know how difficult it's to not feel that.

The first thing to say is a simple one, even if this always raises objections, barriers from the listening part and excuses: don't be stupid.

From what I know, confidence is linked to what you do, and less to what other people think. In reality it's not that simple, but this' enough.

So, what you're doing right now? Attending some school/college/course, and not making it well, rosenight? Trying to find a job? Having a job and don't feel right for it?

A good way to gain some confidence is understand what you're doing, improve it and feel a bit of satisfaction from that. Slowly, this ball will begin to roll and it'll grow in a strong avalanche, which will crash your little insecurities, placing them in a corner.

Just my small contribution here, I hope this will help you continuing this thread and do something.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you imagine this literally, a storm is temporary; it'll eventually pass (unless you're on Jupiter... then you might be up sh*t creek). What do you do when it storms in real life? I like to sit outside and observe it. Often times it'll show you where the leaks and weak spots are all around you and then you'll know what things you need to work on when the storm clears up.

Now, if you think about the storm figuratively, it's essentially the same thing. Take some time out for yourself and step back and observe the "storm". What kind of storm is it? How is it effecting you? What areas in your life is it effecting you? How can you plug the leaks? Once you find a way to diminish the figurative storm, your vision should be clear as day. Well, unless there's a tree or a tall building in the way, but that's a problem for another day!




I don't know about other INTJs, but the mindset of productivity is ever-constant in me. It's something that I've NEVER been able to turn off. I think my drive to constantly learn things, experience things, change things and observe things and the fact that I don't let much get in the way of me accomplishing those things gives off the air of confidence. So I guess I'd say, if there's something you want to do or pursue, do it! In chasing something you feel strongly about, I think confidence will naturally follow.




I'm going to guess you might get a similar answer from most INTJs, but the secret to this is genuinely not caring what anyone thinks of you. It's your life to live, not anyone else's. :p
Just as a side-note: I loved your continuation of my storm metaphor... It made me laugh! I'm glad we don't live on Jupiter! I think there are more than a few huge trees in my way right now, but hopefully I can work up the courage to brave the storm and take a chainsaw to them in the near future.

But thank you so much! Being a feeler rather than a thinker, it's hard to genuinely NOT care what anyone thinks of me. But my counselor has been trying to help me with that. I just won't be seeing her again for quite a while because I'm studying abroad, so I really wanted to get some extra tips from you guys.

Anyway, I used to share your love of learning, but that's diminished a lot due to what's been going on in my life at present. I know that logically I can't let family problems get in the way of my own success, but that's incredibly hard when you care so much about the people involved. Luckily, I'm studying abroad in a few days, so that should help to clear my head, and maybe I can buy a chainsaw to get rid of those trees the storm coughed up. I just need to work on my observation/detachment skills in order to think about it as clearly as I can.

Thank you so much for the tips -- I really need them right now.
 

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Depression is tough - it saps motivation. The good news for you is that you have recognized and are dealing with it. That is usually a sign that the depression is lessening.

My ENFJ husband went through a kind of emotional crisis a few years back, in which he kept tearing himself down and criticizing himself and assuming the world was against him. When he was in that state he wouldn't believe any reassurances or positive comments. He and I worked out a tool that has been very useful to him. Maybe a variation would help you.

He got a bunch of notecards, and on a day when he was feeling pretty good and calm he wrote down all the criticisms and assumptions that he was making, like:

I'm useless
I can't do it
Everybody hates me
I'm weak
I'm no good at XXXXX
There's no point trying

Things like that. Things that play over and over in his head that weren't really true. He wrote one on each card. Then on each card he wrote why those thoughts are untrue, the positive reality that he kept overlooking. So now each card looks like:

I'm useless - Actually, I help a lot of people every day, support my family, and often am praised as a great teacher.
I can't do it - I usually succeed when I try, and even if I fail, so what? I'll learn from that and do better next time.

Things like that. He learned a lot from creating the cards. He had to really think about himself and his perceptions, which is not something that comes naturally to him. And now whenever he is having a hard time or getting things out of perspective he gets out the notecards and reviews them. It calms him down, reminds him that what he is feeling is temporary, and soon he feels better.

Maybe that works better for an ENFJ than an INFP; you guys are already pretty introspective. But I think it is the ritual as much as the cards themselves that helps him. It switches him into a different pattern of behavior. Maybe you can find something like that, a ritual that empowers you.
 

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What do you do to get yourself in that mindset of productivity and confidence? Or, if it's a constant, how do you maintain your self-worth so well? How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?
I've gone through depression myself in the past. The answer to your first question about getting yourself in the mind of productivity and confidence is amazingly simple. You just force yourself to do the things you know you need to do. If you wait until you're in the mood...you may be waiting a lifetime.

Getting organized to know what to do (and what not to) is a little trickier. Write down what you want your life to look like in 5 years. Then step back through time, what steps do you need to take to get there? Write them down and put them in order. Then put them in a calendar as to when you're going to do them. Eliminate those things that aren't important, those are just time wasters.

Confidence grows by seeing yourself accomplish things. By breaking your goals up into small chunks, you can get a sense of reward each time you finish one of your tasks toward the overall goal. Over an extended period of time your confidence will rise. Sure you'll have some setbacks, but that's part of the process, just pick yourself back up and keep going.

For people who've wronged you, you've got to forgive and move on. That doesn't necessarily mean forgetting what they did or putting yourself back in a position to have the same thing done again. But let go of the anger, you can't and will never change the past. It is what it is. The anger and hurt only hurt you, not them. What you can change is what you do today. Focus on what you can do today to improve your life today and tomorrow.

Don't forget the important stuff like your health, friendships, and spiritual life, you need to take care of these things if you want to get better mentally. I've seen enough evidence to believe these two aspects are critical to long term happiness. But don't rely on someone else to tell you how to build your life, it's your story so go write it.

Some light reading for you if you really want to dig deep on this stuff...you can probably pick these up at your local library.

Boundaries - http://amzn.com/0310247454
The Talent Code - http://amzn.com/B0026OR1UK
Speed of Trust - http://amzn.com/B000MGATWG
First Things First - http://amzn.com/0684802031
 

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I find I slip into a depressive state when my shortcomings are highlighted. For instance, I may get put on a project at work where I'm working with people I don't know. All of a sudden I may realize that my lack of being "on" all the time is apparent. The key for me is to start thinking about my positive traits. When I feel depressed its because I'm constantly focused on what I'm bad at. It doesn't solve the problem, but it helps keep things from getting worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've gone through depression myself in the past. The answer to your first question about getting yourself in the mind of productivity and confidence is amazingly simple. You just force yourself to do the things you know you need to do. If you wait until you're in the mood...you may be waiting a lifetime.

Getting organized to know what to do (and what not to) is a little trickier. Write down what you want your life to look like in 5 years. Then step back through time, what steps do you need to take to get there? Write them down and put them in order. Then put them in a calendar as to when you're going to do them. Eliminate those things that aren't important, those are just time wasters.

Confidence grows by seeing yourself accomplish things. By breaking your goals up into small chunks, you can get a sense of reward each time you finish one of your tasks toward the overall goal. Over an extended period of time your confidence will rise. Sure you'll have some setbacks, but that's part of the process, just pick yourself back up and keep going.

For people who've wronged you, you've got to forgive and move on. That doesn't necessarily mean forgetting what they did or putting yourself back in a position to have the same thing done again. But let go of the anger, you can't and will never change the past. It is what it is. The anger and hurt only hurt you, not them. What you can change is what you do today. Focus on what you can do today to improve your life today and tomorrow.

Don't forget the important stuff like your health, friendships, and spiritual life, you need to take care of these things if you want to get better mentally. I've seen enough evidence to believe these two aspects are critical to long term happiness. But don't rely on someone else to tell you how to build your life, it's your story so go write it.

Some light reading for you if you really want to dig deep on this stuff...you can probably pick these up at your local library.

Boundaries - http://amzn.com/0310247454
The Talent Code - http://amzn.com/B0026OR1UK
Speed of Trust - Amazon.com: The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything eBook: Stephen M.R. Covey: Kindle Store
First Things First - http://amzn.com/0684802031
Thank you so much. This was so inspiring! Especially the part about being unable to change the past and the abuse I've suffered. That made me tear up. Thank you. You're all so helpful... I've found that INTJs really keep me grounded more than any other type. You have such sound advice, and you do a really good job at motivating people :) so thank you so, so much.
 

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Hey guys. Well, I'm coming to the trusty land of the amazing Robotic Masterminds again! I need your advice on yet another matter.

I've just been incredibly depressed for about a year now, and counseling is helping a lot, but you guys always seem so confident. So I thought maybe you could help me out.

I already know the REASONS why I'm so unhappy (family abuse I won't go into on here), but it's very difficult to get out of that overwhelming sadness and be more rational. I know I have talent, and that I'll eventually be happy again, but it's just so hard to see it when your vision is clouded by a storm.

What do you do to get yourself in that mindset of productivity and confidence? Or, if it's a constant, how do you maintain your self-worth so well? How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?

Any tips at all would be really awesome. You don't necessarily have to answer my questions. You guys are seriously wonderful people; you've helped me so much in previous threads. Really glad I joined PerC :) so thank you :)
Fake it 'til you make it, baby.
 

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Well, I've read you're going to study abroad in some days. That could definitely help. A new location, new tasks, new people (even if this, due to our Introvert nature can be irrelevant).

Try to just assess that position, for what it's possible: take care of what material you need for your study, how's going with the accomodation, deadlines, payments and so on...

This way you'll create for you a good "place" for be organized, productive and slowly confident.

Well, even allow yourself to feel moody or sluggish is a confident thing: some days can be better than other but it's not "I'm not good for nothing", "I'm useless", it's just a bad day.
 

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I know I have talent, and that I'll eventually be happy again, but it's just so hard to see it when your vision is clouded by a storm.
when i'm sad or feeling awful, reminding myself i have talent and all that isn't as helpful as paying attention to the very littlest things, because talent is 'some time later' but the small things are now. the worst i ever felt about myself was a hole i climbed out of by doggedly remembering to remind myself, all the time, every time i ran into concrete evidence that some of my most fundamental fears about myself weren't true. or at the very least, proving to myself that whatever i thought of me at that point, other people had no idea about it. it wasn't grandiose thoughts like 'you rock', it was minuscule little concrete victories over that awful depression mindset. like 'look, you went into the gas station store and bought milk, and nobody behind the counter thought there was anything weird about you.' it took a few months, iirc, but over time i did rewire my brain to the point where i lost that obsessive fear that i was just inherently 'wrong' in some way.

How do you seem to just NOT CARE what anyone thinks of you?
it's not that i don't care. it's that i use the same old heartless inhumane logic against my own self, basically: 'what you think other people probably think doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does . . . because they don't even know what you think.' and looking at it logically from the outside at that time, i realised that there was honestly very very little statistical probability, even, that i could be as worthless as that.

as a matter of fact, it was the evidence of other people's reactions to me that i used against that delusional side of my own mind. i didn't think i was worth anything, but as i said . . . if i went out in the world and did things like make eye contact and respond to 'have a nice day', obviously nobody else was noticing anything weird or especially worthless about me.

You guys are seriously wonderful people; you've helped me so much in previous threads.
well, you know what; that's not totally accidental. i mean, yeah . . . we're mostly a nice bunch and we like being helpful to other people, but it's still not an accident that you got such 'nice' and 'helpful' responses to your previous threads. the tone and kind of responses you got were about 50% due to the tone and dynamic that you put into your side of them . . . see what i mean? i know when i was struggling really badly, i just plain forgot to give myself credit for things like that. but the fact is, a lot of good stuff that comes to good people is related to the kind of people they are.
 

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Productivity is more of a defencive mechanism for when I don't feel well emotionally. It works in two ways.

In the short term it gets my mind of what troubles me, which I desperately need. I tend to over analyse conversations and actions, criticise my responses if they don't convey the meaning I wanted them to, I delve into what could have been and what could possibly be... and all that does is it amplifies my emotions to an unbearable state while still keeping me in this loop of thoughts that resolve nothing. When I concentrate on teaching myself something I manage to disconnect myself from my worries. And when I sleep on the problem I usually can come back to it with a clearer mind and a fresh perspective that leads to better resolutions (which I then am able to reach with my Te and not Fi).
Note: People are a lot more emotional at night, even if they don't realise it. That's when depression stabs deepest. Just go to sleep. If you want to find an objective answer try in the morning.

That activity that I undertook built up my competence. I feel secure if I know I can deal with problems at hand and all those I can foresee. That internal security, I guess, gets read by other people as confidence. But that is a slow process. You don't need to be brave all the time, most people aren't even if they seem so. Just find it in you to be confident for that short moment when you need to make a decision or take an action. Do it enought times and it becomes second nature. I use both aproaches, but it's up to you to find your comfort zone.

As for the "I don't care" vibe, that depends on who I interact with. I care little to none about the opinions of random people and complete strangers. But if you are a person I care about (and I don't use that term lightly) your oppinion will be something I value highly. That is one of the dimentions by which I define what (to me) means a friend. That I rarely convey verbally which makes me look cold. Instead I show my appreciation by devoting time to those I care about, by trying to help them with personal problems but that often goes by unnoticed.
That, or maybe we really are as stone cold as people say we are, idk ;D

Conclusion: Productivity is a necessity so as to keep my sanity, confidence is a byproduct from this whole excercise (feel bad -> distract myself in a constructive way -> long term satisfaction).

There is a bit more to the topic, but anyway I hope this helped and made at least some sense, that is, if you actually sludged through the whole text. ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
when i'm sad or feeling awful, reminding myself i have talent and all that isn't as helpful as paying attention to the very littlest things, because talent is 'some time later' but the small things are now. the worst i ever felt about myself was a hole i climbed out of by doggedly remembering to remind myself, all the time, every time i ran into concrete evidence that some of my most fundamental fears about myself weren't true. or at the very least, proving to myself that whatever i thought of me at that point, other people had no idea about it. it wasn't grandiose thoughts like 'you rock', it was minuscule little concrete victories over that awful depression mindset. like 'look, you went into the gas station store and bought milk, and nobody behind the counter thought there was anything weird about you.' it took a few months, iirc, but over time i did rewire my brain to the point where i lost that obsessive fear that i was just inherently 'wrong' in some way.



it's not that i don't care. it's that i use the same old heartless inhumane logic against my own self, basically: 'what you think other people probably think doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does . . . because they don't even know what you think.' and looking at it logically from the outside at that time, i realised that there was honestly very very little statistical probability, even, that i could be as worthless as that.

as a matter of fact, it was the evidence of other people's reactions to me that i used against that delusional side of my own mind. i didn't think i was worth anything, but as i said . . . if i went out in the world and did things like make eye contact and respond to 'have a nice day', obviously nobody else was noticing anything weird or especially worthless about me.



well, you know what; that's not totally accidental. i mean, yeah . . . we're mostly a nice bunch and we like being helpful to other people, but it's still not an accident that you got such 'nice' and 'helpful' responses to your previous threads. the tone and kind of responses you got were about 50% due to the tone and dynamic that you put into your side of them . . . see what i mean? i know when i was struggling really badly, i just plain forgot to give myself credit for things like that. but the fact is, a lot of good stuff that comes to good people is related to the kind of people they are.
This was so helpful. Seriously. Especially the bit at the end where you talked about 'nice' and 'helpful' responses being 50/50. That was just... Amazing. Thank you :happy:
 
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