I choose it because I know what it feels like to lose it. For a long time.
I’ve recently come out of a 7 year confidence slump, and it was hard as fuck to pull out of it. I questioned myself at every step and I never really felt like I was up to the task of even simple interactions with other people in my life. It wasn’t that I couldn’t operate, or that I thought I’d never be successful in my life again. The true feeling in my gut was one of discomfort around others. I felt as though I didn’t bring value. I’ve never shied away from getting to know someone new. But it was the way I was interacting, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t being open, I wasn’t funny, I wasn’t comfortable. I was quiet, more reserved, still nice, I think, but not the dynamic personality that I’m used to having (if I do say so myself).
I know why it happened, and like so many other things in life, it couldn’t be pinned down to one thing or one moment. Health, relationships, and business all combined to create this magical moment where it started to slip, and once the ball was in motion, it only gained steam.
Opportunities for both
And of course the funny awful/amazing about something like confidence is that it’s very circular. When it starts to go, unless I can notice that happening, I’m going to lose more of it. And in contrast, when it’s present, life meets you with more opportunities and reasons to be confident.
Making it even more complicated is the way in which I put myself out to the world. Waiting upon your judgement. I share more than the average person and to be honest I’m kind of in your face about it. As I get older (40 in less than a month!), I know that some people will like me and others won’t. That’s just how my world HAS to be. That’s the true measure of myself, if you’re interested in what I do but the word “fuck” offends you, I have to not care. I not only want to realize that you’ll be drawn to someone who does what I do and doesn’t say fuck, but that it’s better that you’re gone. Both you and I are better for you going elsewhere.
Confidence vs Uncertainty
I can now see the difference in confidence and uncertainty. More important than that, I can actually feel it in my body. So when I see and understand my habits, I notice myself feeling uncertain. And with a soft “that’s your lack of confidence talking, time to refocus” I can move right back into confidence.
Lack of confidence and uncertainty are still my default though. But I know that if I continue to notice and change thought patterns, one day that default will change to certainty and confidence. Or not… I guess. But it doesn’t really matter as long as I notice it and can change it.