Tag Archives: lack of trust

531. Redefining Self-Confidence

§  Continuing from: 530. The Secret Behind Attraction

 

Confidence is the first word to look at and the aspects that I see I require to fine tune this word are specifically in relation to an experience of hesitation, doubt and uncertainty that I’ve been facing interestingly enough in situations where I cannot really reference something ‘with others’ and where I have to stand on my own two feet, make decisions and learn to trust myself within it, learning from it.

I’ve noticed how when making decisions in my life, I’ve become used to always asking or having other people as supporters or detractors of what I decide to be and do – this being a source of ‘confidence’ for me based on how I take others’ words and perspectives as an encouraging or detracting factor for me to venture into doing something or not, and here I’m focusing mostly in relation to my expression, specifically in arts.

The outflows of this self-doubt, uncertainty or hesitation emerge upon assessing options or paths I could develop within myself when having a literal ‘white canvas’ in front of me. What emerges is that I start considering what would be approved by others, what would be most liked or appreciated by what I believe specific people could say about it – and interestingly enough, this is where what can be called as a ‘lack of confidence’ comes in, where I am desiring a point of reference, a second view from another approving or disapproving something that is very much my own expression, my own doing.

I’m actually talking about painting here, hence the ‘literal white canvas’ description, because that’s what I’ve been taking on again and I started realizing why I became so unsure of myself in something like painting or anything art related, and it all boils down to seeking a form of reassurance from others that I was doing the ‘right thing,’ or how I stopped for example taking photographs because I started judging the fact that ‘suddenly everyone can take photographs’ and it’s no longer some kind of ‘special thing’ as it was some 10 years ago when I started doing that and got to be the most prolific on it.

Therefore I saw the constant: I am having a projection, an idea of what I believe would be ‘others’ opinions’ or the expectation thereof in my mind as an obstacle within me to not continue expressing myself. And this is entirely my creation, my expectation, has nothing to do with ‘others’ really. The same when I started considering more what others were doing and comparing ‘my work’ to that of others, and how I slowly but surely got discouraged of continuing doing anything related to arts, because of having ‘others in my mind’ and using that as a source of discouragement – of course, it all has been self-created.

Therefore I can say I lost confidence in a way when it comes to expression in arts specifically – but if I look at it, was my ‘previous confidence’ actually real? Honestly not. I had built such confidence some 10 years ago based on the praise I’d get from teachers, friends, relatives, fellow artists and I kind of ‘elevated’ myself based on others’ feedback, building such confidence with having a backbone of opinions and perspectives by others that I took as ‘real’ and as a definition of ‘my work, who I am.’ This bubble then had to be burst and for the best, because if we are to truly embody and live a word, it cannot be sustained by anyone else’s opinions and perspectives but my own.

This also has to do with being sometimes ‘hyper-critical’ about my expression in the context of arts or musical expression. Same applies to playing music where I see that a tinge of fear emerges when considering ‘playing bass again’ or making music with others, because I remember all of those past times with people where I took someone’s perspective on my playing as ‘discouraging’ and in essence, I allowed myself to fall into a ‘uselessness’ experience about playing music, deciding that ‘my thing’ were visual arts and not music – essentially I took someone else’s opinion as ‘my truth’ and within that limited my ability to continue practicing and expressing through music as well. And there is really no one to blame here because it was me that took those words as ‘the ultimate truth’ = I accepted and allowed it.

And it’s relevant to say I’ve been challenging those past obstacles within me and in practice lately. I can also see why I have refrained myself from continuing to work on my artistic expression – resisting it, in other words – and in general keeping this ‘love-hate’ relationship I’ve shared when it comes to arts and expression in my life, but I am decided to for once and for all stop my drama around it and rather tackle my relationship with my expression in that realm of arts but also in general when it comes to my physical expression, because this has been one of those ‘trees I left to dry’ within my life, using several justifications  such as simply ‘not enjoying’ or having not such a ‘great time’ whenever I would paint and judging it as pointless, pondering what’s the use, etc. But the truth is that there was a background of not being sure about myself in such expression, which means I had gotten so used to ‘being sure of myself’ based on continuing to get feedback from other people to then define that ‘I’m on the right track, what I do is good stuff, this is good enough, others like it’.

So, uncertainty, doubt, hesitation about my self-expression are the result of having based my confidence on perceived good/positive feedback on anything I did, and used such opinions, views and perspectives as some kind of ‘fuel’ for my expression – which then I allowed to completely determine (or terminate, lol) my decision to express, getting to a point of not doing much for the past years, using many reasons and justifications around it.

However I’ve now been able to see the actual reason for it, and it’s because of the personal confrontation I get while making each decision on a painting or a point of expression: I have no other point of reference, there’s no one I can ask and say ‘hey, how do you see it?’ and base my next move according to someone else’s opinion – nope. It’s all on me now and that’s what’s actually cool that I am taking on again, it is not even so much about the actual ‘painting’ and result of it eventually, but more so the kind of certainty, confidence and assertiveness that I have to live while making a painting and learning to trust myself with it, as it, which I had not done before except when I first picked up painting in 2003 and I did my first paintings entirely for myself, no one else was  on my mind to ‘make them.’ However, this changed as I started showing them around and expectations started building… which I have to definitely get back to myself and develop as a trust, a comfort in my decisions to express and do.

I was sounding this word ‘confidence’ and it also sounds a bit like ‘comfy-dense’ as in solid-comfort where there’s assertiveness, there’s trust, there’s substance yet comfort, flow, expression in it and this is what I want to keep focusing on and deliberately applying while expressing myself, especially when it comes to trusting my decisions, and stopping having what I believe are ‘others’ opinions’ in my own mind.

This will continue….

Thanks for reading.

 

Suggested support:

Confidence: Practical Support – Atlanteans – Part 152

Self-Honesty

 

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