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Minor revelation [Mar. 27th, 2009|12:35 pm]
John
In a shamanic journeying class, I went through a guided meditation to bring your true self into you.

And my true self is confident... in movement and thought and action. And when he melded with me, I had this revelation, which I thought I would share.

Everyone has probably heard there's a bit of a trick to confidence. Fake it until you make it; pretend to be confident, and eventually, you'll become more confident, right?

And I had this sudden silly idea... what does this confidence look like? What does it mean to pretend to be confident?

And it just hit me. It doesn't *look* like anything. When I had absorbed him, I had this, "how can I show the other people this huge outpouring of confidence?" and the answer was "I don't have to. That's the entire point."

No one had to know I was confident, because I was. And if someone didn't see that, well, they weren't looking, or hadn't seen me in a situation where it would show.

The idea of faking it made me think that I should do something to appear confident, but that's not the right way... or at least, isn't the right way for me.

There are things I might fake. If I find myself nervous about speaking, I could stop, think about what I was going to say, and if it still made sense, say it. And if I blew it... what then?

Well... what happened? What did I do? Did I say something hurtful? Well, I could apologize. Did I say something incredibly stupid? Well, I could laugh about it (and/or apologize if necessary). Did I just say something that, in the end, doesn't make any sense? Eh. It's part of being human. The point is, there's things that could happen that I don't like... but it's not like I can't handle each of those circumstances. I don't *want* to... no one wants to have to apologize or laugh at their own sudden attack of stupidity. But that's confidence in a nutshell... it's not that you know that everything will come up roses, it's that you know that you can handle things if they don't.

So there were two parts to what happened. First, I got a taste of real confidence (which I recognized, having felt it before, but this time I knew what it was). And second, I got what it means to appear truly confident, and realized I'd never have to try to "appear" confident, in and of itself, ever again.
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[User Picture]From: anansi133
2009-03-27 10:35 pm (UTC)
That is bloody brilliant! It explains to me exaclt what it is I find so tiresome about people who need to prove themselves: they're always looking busy instead of being productive.

...and it gives me a better idea of what it will feel like when I get out of this rut I'm in, too.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-03-27 10:59 pm (UTC)
I had sort of a corollary experience this week. I gave a short talk on Wednesday, and I was so nervous during it, I could hardly talk. (This was my very first PowerPoint presentation.)

No one in my audience could tell that I was nervous, though, which at first surprised me. But I think it's because I projected confidence--the nervousness was just what I felt in the moment.

Or maybe not. But this is how what you wrote resonates with me.
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2009-03-27 11:21 pm (UTC)
Somewhere between the ages of 40 and 50, I became a confident person. I'm not sure how or why -- S/M has something to do with it, of course, as does all the public speaking I did. But I didn't used to be confident, and now I am... often to a degree that startles me in hindsight.

Which isn't to say that I don't sometimes run into situations in which I feel uncertain; I do. But many fewer than before, and my sense of being able to cope with them is much greater than before.
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[User Picture]From: marypcb
2009-03-28 04:45 am (UTC)
That's really interesting. I'm confident in any situation in which I feel I 'belong', perhaps because I know what to do and why I'm there. If I'm just there personally I feel much less comfortable and less confident and I don't approach people I don't know....
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