The Truth Behind Self Confidence
Somebody in one of my spiritual development classes asked me, “What are the ingredients of self-confidence?”
I replied, “Well it’s simple…
Don’t give a sh*t.
Do whatever you want and wear whatever you want without a care in the world.
Don’t hide behind anything. Just be yourself.”
This is what the world tells us we’re supposed to do to feel confident, right? But the truth is it’s really an impossible and unobtainable ingredient list.
We can’t not care. We do care. We do give a shit. We care about loved ones. We care about co-workers. Hell, we even care about strangers.
I even had that happen today.
So there I was, sitting in a waiting room at a salon watching beautiful women walk past me. They’ve got their glam eyelashes that almost touch their friggin’ foreheads, and I felt like they were looking at me saying, “Yes, I know I’m beautiful.”
Watching one woman in particular walk past me with that sort of attitude, I said to myself, “Whatever, bitch.”
And just as quickly as the thought slipped in, I heard myself. I mean I really heard myself.
There I was, sitting at a place where people go to look good and feel better about themselves, and I was hating on a woman who was probably in her 60’s but didn’t look it.
I have to admit I have a 60th birthday approaching.
I realized that if anything, she was probably looking at me thinking, “Why is this woman staring at me?” And in that moment, I realized that as I sat there in my judgment, what was really happening was that I was in a lot of self-judgment. And that self-judgment wasn’t helping me at all with my self-confidence.
Self-judgment really is one of the ingredients to an inability to have self-confidence.
The truth is, I didn’t know her story. I didn’t know who she is, I didn’t know if she was going home to a Don Juan or a Fred Munster. I didn’t know what life she was going home to. All I do know is she looked confident, and didn’t seem to care a whole lot about the way I looked.
The point is, I did.
Caring is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it’s just a clue to seeing the truth of how you really feel about yourself. When I find myself projecting onto other people like this, I have to take a look at where I’m at, and how I’m really feeling about myself.
Maybe it’s not about striving to “not care,” maybe it’s about striving to care more about the things that really matter.
I’ve had to learn to turn that care inward. And here’s what I mean:
Care enough to surround yourself with people who are going to pull you up.
Care enough to say “no” sometimes.
Care enough to realize your limitations.
Care enough to refuel your spirit.
Care enough to do things that make you feel alive.
I believe we have to find a way of rebuilding our self-confidence, ourselves and that begins with caring about ourselves. And I don’t mean striving towards some unrealistic definition of your “perfect self.” Instead of striving for this, or striving for that, just have the desire to be better, to feel better. Because at the end of the day, how we feel about ourselves is what we will create more of.
We’re not going to be thirty forever. We are going to age like everybody else. But as long as we are working towards caring for ourselves, doing things that make us feel better today or in this moment, we’ll be better off down the road.
Some people may take offense to your self-care, especially if they’re used to you stepping back. Some will be inspired and learn to love themselves that much more. I prefer to hold that I’ll be the beacon of light.