How to find yourself, when you're all but lost (or how to avoid filling out a missing persons report...)
Confidence is a strange word, so much emotion and anxiety sits behind this word of 3 syllables for so many people, but as I turned a year older last month I'm more inclined than ever to challenge myself and my thinking about what it means to be confident.
It's so easy for us to say - 'I have confidence, I don't give a shit what people think of me!' But so often this is said in defense - and not felt in truth.
We can have the confidence to stand up in front of 100 strangers and give a speech, but can't hold a conversation with a small group of peers. We can wear a power suit every day to work, but hide beneath tracksuit pants and hoodies on the weekend. We can talk openly with our boss and ask for the things we are supposed to want from a job, but we can't ask friends for help with the business we are trying to start which burns deep inside us....
I think confidence is often the mask we put on when we are comfortable with our lives. Everything is going just fine, so why rock the boat with wanting more?? But being comfortable does not come with a feeling of being ALIVE.
In this 'Age of Discontent' we fill the yawning gaps with 'stuff' - with new clothes, alcohol, mindless TV, and busy-ness, - for that brief high which lasts but a fleeting moment and then the fear sets in again...
We have confidence to pursue the lives we were told we should pursue because all it requires of us is to follow the 'Standard Operating Procedures' that the generations before us have set forth - we don't need to think or feel when we are pursuing someone else's idea of the 'American/Australian Dream'.
But honestly, what confidence do you have to pursue the dreams of your childhood, to find that depth of passion and joy for life again, to express the creativity that you were born with that is your right as a human on this earth?
I ask you this because I have spent the last 16 months asking myself the same questions, over and over again as I challenge the Stories I believe about myself, as I confront the Opinions I hold about the way the world works, and as I question the Perspectives I adopt in every part of my life. Through all this exploration - I have not drowned in the depths of despair, I have not died from humiliation, I have not lost all my friends, and I have not become penniless, homeless, or abandoned - I have come out feeling a confidence that who I am in the depths of my soul is perfect in my human-ness.
I write this blog because I feel we all struggle with similar issues of confidence when we are faced with the fear of not achieving the dreams we so desperately want to achieve. I want to show that any man or woman is capable of clawing back the person they used it to be, no matter how long ago. I want to show that it is never too late. I want others to see and feel that if you are lost in life you can be found again - there is no need to complete that missing persons report just yet - we will find YOU again - with confidence we can do this together.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos @everett225