How many times have we heard that we "lack confidence" and have "low self esteem"? Society seems to think we have a problem performing and that we need to "do" better. Do you feel good about yourself when you hear this because I don't. Every time I think about my "lacking" this or that I feel ashamed. I am tired of this so I want to introduce a more accurate perspective that doesn't hurt our self-esteem or make us look like invalids.
The lack of confidence and self-esteem are not the cause of the problem or the problem itself, they are symptoms. Consider other disorders which are accepted by society as genuine problems. In general we don't say that a person with Cerebral Palsy lacks "coordination" or that a person with an auditory disorder lacks "hearing comprehension". It doesn't make any sense to emphasize these symptoms because they are natural consequences of those disorders. Furthermore, calling attention to the symptoms misplaces attention and implies that the person is failing to perform when that is not the case.
I insist that the same thinking applies to those with mental illness and neurological conditions. I do not lack "confidence" or "self-esteem", I have a psychiatric disorder (several actually) which is actively producing those symptoms! I refuse to acknowledge a performance failure and I reject the suggestion that I "need" more confidence, more self-esteem, more self-respect, more discipline, more social skills, etc. No! What I NEED IS LESS ANXIETY, LESS SHAME, LESS OBSESSING, LESS COMPULSION, LESS DEPRESSION, LESS DISTORTED THINKING. I feel much better about myself looking at it from this angle and I think most others will too.