Have you ever met a confident person and thought they were fake or hubristic? I used to meet people like this but no longer. Not because confident people don’t exist, not because I haven’t socialized in one year, but because I’ve become a more confident person. This of course had to be pointed out to me by my friend and coach because my lack of self confidence is something I hold onto. It’s a truth from my younger self that I keep dragging along with me like. It’s a truth no longer and I am tentatively shedding it.
Confident people historically have given me pause. My own lack of confidence was thrown in their direction and I was either shocked at their gall or amazed at their gallantry…ah, the difference a few letters can make in one’s perceptions. My own fear of failing or looking like an imposter was not only used as a shield to protect myself against failure and judgement, but also to hide behind disabling me from fully exploring my truths.
I am writing like my self-confidence has finally bloomed and I’m about to take over the world! Well, let’s just say that like yoga, self-confidence is a journey and I’m happily on the path. Sometimes along the path I get lost and must be re-directed by my true Self or my friends and family. If I get a negative niggle when I meet confident people along my path I try to stop and ask myself the question why? The answer is not important because the answer is just a story. The aim is to practice enough awareness so I can stop and ask the question. I must recognize the story that I or others have assigned to me and shed it.
One of yoga’s tenets is to become the Watcher. To get in touch with the Self. To be the Self. To do this, we must release the stories that we and other people have assigned to us, we must look away from old or imagined truths, we must release what our ego wants us to be and become who we are. There are moments in our yoga journey when we don’t want to release an old story or idea. We might think that releasing may mean being alone, it may make us unstable and sad but each time we practice our true Self knows this is not true. That really seeing and releasing is not being alone but softening and opening to truer relationships with ourselves and others, building a solid foundation from which we can continue to see and grow. Our yoga practice provides us with grounding and stability so we can look in the mirror and see our true Self and not a reflection of our past self. It helps us build the courage required to release our old stories and make space for whatever comes next.
Being confident is freeing and also demanding. Confidence demands I put down my shield and step forward, it demands I open to failing as equally as I open to succeeding, and it demands I stop traveling with old stories. Today I’ve grabbed hold of a thread of elusive self-confidence to begin traveling along my path, and if you see me looking lost please redirect me.