Crisis of Confidence
I am having one. Which I know may seem odd to those causal observers of me. I am not always what I appear. But then, who really is?
I started this blog to claim myself. To be willing to share who I am and what I am with all of you. Which took an amazing amount of confidence really.
What I am currently amazed by is how much confidence I really lacked back then as evinced by my current emotional deficit of confidence.
I am always in awe of how much I ground I think I have gained, while really not gaining what I thought I did. The past always subject to new reflection and new ideas and new judgmental review. And in some ways, the past can always only lack. Because if one is growing, the past will always be a poor reflection of who we are now. If we are constantly working to move towards a better version of ourselves.
I have gone through a lot lately. A lot, a lot. Lots of loss, lots of things have drastically changed in my life. And I am not who I was six months ago. And for the most part, that is all a really good thing. But my confidence in myself has really taken a hit. Letting go of the people who told me who I was and am has been very liberating. But leaves a void that I have been unsure how to fill.
I mean I know who I am. I always have. Now whether I could and would share that with you is a completely other story. But I know, the good, the bad and the ugly about myself and I pretty much always have.
Where I have been very off in my life living skills is surrounding me with people who told me that I was less. Who told me who I was, and I believed them. I allowed their version of me to control my life and work and friendships. It took a lot of courage to walk away from that and for the most part, I have been over here licking my wounds. Much like my dog is doing to the cat food dish that she just knocked off the counter and is now licking around the kitchen. Such a good visual.
I was who I was so that I could maintain relationships that were really not worth maintaining. But those people told me who I was and that was far easier than asserting that for myself. I was able to be who they told me I was. And that was incredibly boring and painful, to not be loved or appreciated or even really seen for who I am. But it was a good cover story and I have been a big fan of that.
Where I find myself today is somewhere in the middle from self reclamation and denigration. I lack confidence at the moment in so many areas of my life. Afraid, scared, doubting myself in my most intimate and personal attempts at living, working and loving. But, here I am doing it anyway.
I have made a lot of bold moves in my life. And never once doubted myself. Changed lives, careers, geographic locations. Moved from the political Mecca to a native tribal nation. From the nation’s capitol to the nation’s first people. And I learned, I reviewed life and how I was living it and went deeper. But I did all of that with confidence, which currently feels like such a luxury.
I move forward in my life, with or without a feeling of being confident about what I am doing. I move forward anyway. I do it in spite of feeling inadequate, afraid and somewhat adrift.
And what I am gathering up today is perhaps a new level of confidence, the kind that propels you forward even when your own head creates more doubt and fear. Perhaps what I had before was bravado, not really confidence. I was sure, cocksure perhaps, that what I was doing was right and next. Today, I sit in awe of that cocksureness. I wish I had it. But I am finding my way even without it. And perhaps that is a new level of confidence that better suits this life I am currently living.
So as usual, this current crisis feels more gift like. More suited for my current station in the world. I move forward with the fear, instead of gross bravado that was really only a poor cover. Today, I hope that I am doing the foot work to show myself who I really am, what I am really capable of and changing in small incremental units that while do not bolster and serve my ego, do create a bedrock foundation that moves me forward anyway.
I always pictured confidence looking like someone planting a flag. Bold and wild proclamations “THIS IS ME!” “HERE I AM”. “I AM DOING THIS SHIT!” But like everything in my life, I am finding more and more that there are no ALL CAPS, no exclamation points. Only tiny baby steps in the directions I fear most. And as I keep finding out, life is more about being in the fray, with the doubt, the insecurity and the crisis of confidence than ever being relieved of it. Because what it seems to me, is the very second I feel the relief, is the exact moment that I am caught by the delusion of my own fragile, breakable ego that will tell me lots of things that are not really true.
Perhaps true confidence is not really believing in yourself and doing it anyway.