What is a book that can show me how to accept myself, and start to build self-confidence?
I have some things I'm good at, and friends who support me, but I just can't see myself as someone worthy of... pretty much anything. Has anything helped you shape your mind in a healthier way?
Three Pillars of Zen (you gotta meditate though)
General, life affirming philosophy like Plato, Evola, something to really get you feeling your true Self
Read something that motivates you to better yourself, and motivates you to stop wanting from the world.
You need philosophy, especially on Death, Women, whatever you struggle to understand...
And lots of Do It Yourselfers, to gain skills and be interesting. Confidence isn't grown, it's found after you've grown yourself.
“People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts. No animal could ever be so cruel as a man. So artfully, so picturesquely cruel.”
“And what's strange, what would be marvelous, is not that God should really exist.
The marvel is that such an idea, the idea of the necessity of God, could enter the head of such a savage, vicious beast as man.”
“Killing myself was a matter of such indifference to me that I felt like waiting for a moment when it would make some difference.”
“Do you know I've been sitting here thinking to myself:
that if I didn't believe in life, if I lost faith in the woman I love,
lost faith in the order of things, were convinced in fact that everything is a disorderly, damnable, and perhaps devil-ridden chaos, if I were struck by every horror of man's disillusionment --
still I should want to live.
Having once tasted of the cup, I would not turn away from it till I had drained it! ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Literally none of those can be called "life affirming philosophy". The Stoics and Buddhists are pessimists. Evola whines a lot and has a fatalist conception of history where we are stuck in the Kali Yuga and have to put up with it. Plato is odd. He has a very bizarre gnostic mysticism where you are saved by becoming aware of the truth that is latent in your soul, and then you disappear into the One and break the thousand year cycle of reincarnation. I don't know if that is "life-affirming".
Self-Confidence isn't something you immediately gain from reading a book. It's something you build up over a part of your life by enduring challenges, gaining general knowledge and life skills, and achieving goals you set for yourself.
although, actually, Plato ends up positing a very totalitarian government where people are put into a caste based on the quality of their soul (how much they resemble Plato's ideal philosopher, I suppose). If you aren't born with a golden soul you have to hope to be reincarnated next time in one; if you are born with a golden soul you have a small chance of achieving enlightenment. Sounds like a rip-off of Hinduism.
I didn't say Zen was life affirming. Evola ain't life affirming in a hedonistic or even nietzchian sense but he will drill into you that there is an eternal part of you that is your truest part and part and parcel with the root and principle of reality. It's above all the petty bullshit of every day life. People have successfully internalized this have a kind of transcendental confidence and dignity that typical self-help books will never grant you
Also Plato's republic was based on love and is supposed to mirror the cosmos, where the one emanates the next level of being, and so on and on, all bounded on love. Do you really think Plato was naive enough to put his faith in a soulless dictatorship, no matter how philosophically inclined it's rulers were? It's exactly that philosophical education that would nip all the problems of unenlightened tyranny in the bud that you're alluding to