Confidence – What You Feel Inside
I am getting better at accepting compliments. I don’t always agree they’re deserved, but I am beginning to agree more often than I used to. The most important thing is that I’m starting to be able to say “thank you” instead of turning to self-deprecating humour.
I am not comfortable receiving praise of any kind and I doubt, in the truest sense, I will ever be comfortable. I am the child of parents who were a little too busy feeding eight kids to focus on giving one constant reinforcement and I was brought up to be humble. That’s okay, though, because one doesn’t have to be comfortable with being perceived as valuable to know deep inside they are and have something to offer the world. We can strive to have massive amounts of confidence but we may die trying. I believe that as long as I feel I’m worthy of love and happiness, and I strive to follow my dreams and be brave, I don’t have to put the added burden on myself that I should be something I’m not. I love myself and I am even a little too proud of some of my traits but I know my weaknesses … and I think it leaves a very unique imprint on my work and some people really identify with it. I am not overconfident but I am confident enough to want to be myself and no one else. I do not believe you need to be oozing in confidence to be a fine artist, in the same way that one doesn’t have to be happy or sad.
So, I’ll say “thank you” and I will say it with greater ease … but I’m filled with insecurities every day. The thing is, I no longer care to forcefully change it and perhaps that affords me more growth potential as a person than feeling desperately in need to fit this society’s plastic concept of what it means to have value in this world. Maybe not striving to be a certain way because everyone is pretending to be in a constant state of ecstasy and acting like they’re the bomb is exactly the only confidence I require. Personally, I feel much better about myself when I don’t strive for that particular growth because if I don’t attain it I will feel like a failure and that’s counterproductive. I am fine if it happens organically … and, in my case, it already has to some degree. Someone told me recently that thinking we should be in a constant state of happiness and consistent confidence will end in disappointment and a sense of failure, because it isn’t realistic. From my perspective, this someone is successful in every sense, yet admitted to struggling everyday despite appearances. Life has it’s ups and downs and we aren’t always going to fell happy or confident. The key is being grateful and living the best life we can. The key is being gracious and saying thank you when someone likes your hair, ass or poetry. The key is also sending your brain good messages by refusing to speak negatively about yourself. Be real … in a strange way that is the most important form of confidence. At the very least, being real is less exhausting! So I guess this is to say that I’ve gotten better at accepting compliments and seeing value in my work, but I’ve got a lot more energy since caring less about appearing confident!
You had me laughing out loud at “when someone likes your hair, ass and poetry”! Thank you. Can’t remember when I was last complimented on my ass other than by myself (I’m one of those lucky ladies who really likes hers).
You also got me thinking about the difference between letting go of needing approval vs. striving “to have massive amounts of confidence”. I’m thinking confidence isn’t what you’re showing to the outside world, often exhibiting massive amounts of confidence actually is an attempt to hide the lack thereof. But confidence is what you feel inside, often esp. at those points in life as you’ve mentioned when life isn’t up but down, but you still feel at least in a part of you you’ll make it.