hey, ladybug, it's nice to meet you. something that i use to help with my anxiety might work for your confidence. when i am really anxious about something, i imagine the worst that could possibly happen and what i would do in that situation. having a backup plan assures me that i can handle it, no matter what.
family influences are pretty common around here - do you live w/your parents?
For me ... it was making the decision to do what is helpful toward me rather than neglectful. I was smoking at the time and decided as long as I smoked I could not truly like myself. And that is where my true journey began.
I know in woman magazines it is suggested to do yourself up, buy clothes, dye hair, etc. I think those are all temporary lifts.
I want to start nourishing my inner body & inner spirit. What can I do to treat my mind/body with more respect? And it comes to those basics you hear so often, eat better, exercise, laugh & relax.
What I have found, if I take on too much it will eventually all go back to the way it was. Instead it's taking a couple of things, make them habit before moving on. This also requires understanding this is a life long process. An esteem is not going to sprout over night & to allow yourself to continue to be uncomfortable in areas of your life.
I don't know if you've ever heard of FLY Lady (Finally Loving Yourself). Her website is in regards to cleaning your house. What I appreciated is somewhere she stated something like, your house did not become a mess over night, it's going to take more than a night to clean it. Then you concentrate on the 'hot spots' of the house, just a few minutes a day. But keep it up & it becomes easier & easier to have a clean home.
As far as parents go. Tough one, but I finally had to get to a point I barely talk to them. That is easy with my father, he's barely been in my life at all - but my over bearing, controlling (narcissistic) mother has been harder to break away from. Though I believe I've done it. I keep enough of a relationship for my children to barely have a grandparent in their lives. (I'd like them to have more of her - but unless I call upon her in need she does not make herself present.... which is a from of self-degradation.)
I first had to realize, no matter what I do, I will not be seen positively in my mother's eyes. No matter how I change myself to mold into what I perceive her perfect person - it will not happen. Jewel sings a song 'pieces of you' in which she refers as parents not being able to like their children because they are "pieces of you." Their dislike of themselves make them dislike you. You cannot make somebody feel better about themselves - only you can make you feel better about you.
So, accept my parents for who they are. Realize I cannot change them. I can live without their approval. Think of this definition of forgiveness, "Giving up all hope for a better past."
my mom would make 'sideways' comments to me, like, 'you're not wearing THAT, are you?' etc. i know now that she's always had trouble with her own self-image (e.g., calling herself fat or ugly) and she just projected those feelings onto my sister and me. my dad's standards for himself were super-high, so no matter what he did it was never good enough. he also projected his self-beliefs on my siblings and me (we never thought that we were good enough). so i wouldn't be surprised if your dad's criticisms of you were just projections of how he felt about himself.
maybe you could try facing your fears; ask yourself what if what your dad said about you