People around me seem to be having a good life, the life they always wanted. I feel I have nothing, and am rather worthless. I would like to be like them. How can I learn to be more confident about myself and my life choices?
The error here is believing your thoughts. Very risky.
Your thoughts are no more than neurological processes that you do not control, seemingly heavily influenced by your genetic and psychological history, your parents’ attitudes, your childhood culture and your life experiences. Your thoughts do not point to anything real, but rather express your conditioning and no more. For example you say:
“People around me seem to be having a good life, the life they always wanted.”
This is a thought, right? It certainly seems that way to you. But it is only your impression from outside. You are unaware of other people’s inner uncertainties, angers, disappointments, frustrated loves, jealousies and so on. Just as you do not share everything with others, so they do not share all their innermost fears with you. Maybe, slightly, sometimes – but most is hidden from you. Most is even unconscious, hidden from them also. Read a few biographes of famous people and you will soon see the contrast between the image they project and the real inner complexity.
You have little or no knowledge of what life people want. Often you are not even sure what you yourself want, never mind other people.
“I feel I have nothing, and am rather worthless”
Another thought, right? That seems to be the way you see yourself. But who and what are you really, if not what you think. What do you really have, if not what you think, your opinion? For example:
Are you alive?
Do you have enough to eat?
Do you have a place to live, to sleep?
Do you have any intelligence, education, knowledge?
Any other assets…?
Do you actually have nothing. Or is it more accurate to say that you have exactly what you have? What happens if we mentally restart the process. Here, now, with exactly what you have. Then the only question I can find is “Here I am. What can I do with this?”
I suggest to you that we are all, always, in this situation, in reality.
“I would like to be like them”
Is it possible that, in fact, you are not like anyone else.
You are not even unlike anyone else.
You are you.
That is all.
Is it possible to enjoy being you. Or not. Either way, you are still you. The Zen people say “If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are still the way they they are.”
You are not anyone else and nobody else is you.
You are not higher, nor lower, nor even on the level. In reality there are no levels.
You are you.
I hope this helps as a beginning.
I suggest you make yourself some quiet time every day, say 20 minutes each morning, to sit quietly by yourself, with no objective. It is enough to watch what happens. Some people call this meditation. I call it resting in the unconditioned mind. Watching reality, what actually happens. This way, you may begin to discover the transparency of your thoughts, so that they cease troubling you.
I wish you a happy and fulfilling life.