Each of us has the potential for peak moments. With all sense of resistance, fear, and doubt dissolved, we are completely present and engaged with what is before us. We stand in our most natural self, fully alive to the now. Athletes and artists know this place when they are surrendered to their task and time dissolves, the sense of separateness is gone and all that exists is the perfection of what is. Lovers touch this place when life feels as though million-watt bulbs were just turned on and everything bloomed into technicolour. Heroes live this when they throw all caution to the wind and dive into a seemingly impossible situation, experiencing the momentary death of their ego, expanding into the realm of eternal possibility. In it is the source of true self-confidence.
What is self-confidence? It is our certitude in our ability to discern or act. In self-confidence, we are no longer participating in internal conflicts such as doubt or fear. As we stand in inner peace, our actions can take on that potency that awes us in those peak moments. So how do we experience that?
When my grandmother was on her deathbed, I asked her what the meaning of life was. She said to me so wisely: “It is all about being yourself. It is so simple, most people miss it.” We can all get caught up in thinking we “should” be, think, or act in some other way than what feels most relaxed and naturally ourselves. Our true nature is love. Our true capacities are sourced in that place. So we learn to relax more deeply into trusting that divine truth. We continue to allow it to flower within us without second-guessing it.
Self-confidence is not tense, constricted or against. It is not tightening to fight the moment with bravado. It is not about shoring up a limited sense of “me” to face the world. Instead, it is rooted in being our selves, as my grandmother so wisely put it. It cannot come from a willful push, for that will tire and break. It must come from a sincere arising, feeling connected with the ground, our breath and the heavens.
Like a healthy garden, good qualities within us need to be cultivated. We can develop greater self-confidence with the intention to do so. It ultimately begins in how we approach each moment. This can take the form of practical exercises, such as the way we start each day.
What if, for example, we set a clear intention each morning to practice feeling good about being ourselves? What if we made it a point, just as we brush our teeth or fix our hair, to spend time daily in learning to care for, befriend, honour, love and be gentle with ourselves? The specifics of this practice could vary. It could be journaling, or quiet meditation, or mirror work, or gentle yoga, or going out for a jog. The point is that we ensure we are on a healthy basis with ourselves, rooted in knowing our inherent value.
We are often tested in the process of becoming our fullest selves. Only when we face our fears will we be free from them. Only when we stop fighting the dark, will we no longer be afraid to be the light we are. We must not passively let adversity steamroll over us. We wobble. We fall. We get up. We start again. We learn to be both humble and powerful, because we are aligned not to our personal will but to our soul, our inherent worth.
We may feel afraid or challenged and unsure how to make it through. Yet beyond the doubts and the fears, stronger than the power of the obstacles, we learn to touch, and then rest in, the reality that we are guided, that we are not alone, that we are loved. Though the dark may scare us, we know we are beings of light. In this self-confidence, wonders can unfold.
For the next few weeks, we will continue to explore the power of self-confidence, how to deepen it, and what challenges it, so that you can experience the inner peace and outer effectiveness that come from being anchored in your own value.
Between now and then, consider the following questions:
• What is my self-confidence like?
• Where do I give my power away?
• What am I hoping to gain in giving it away? Is that truly working?
• What would my life look like if I allowed myself to feel rooted, vital, and expansive in being my most natural self, the one that is in harmony with the whole, the now, the universe?
• Am I willing to be open to that, just one moment after the next, one breath at a time?
From my heart to yours,