Believing in Yourself When You’ve Lost Confidence

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We have just passed the full hunter’s moon in Aries.  And I absolutely feel alive.  For the first time in my life I am beginning to understand what it means to have confidence in yourself.  To enjoy being in the moment and to be able to stay in the moment. I’m still learning how to maintain that but I definitely have a better understanding of what it means to be present now.

I have spent so much of my life in a state of not knowing who I am.  In a place of wandering aimlessly, finding places that gave me the most praise, the places that would give me a little bit of attention for a job well done.  I wandered from group to group, looking for the one that matched me best.  It’s only in hindsight that I realize that I found groups that I matched best with at the moment.  And to a degree that is normal.  We all have to go through a morph of who we are from time to time.

I have always felt on the outside.  My motivation was always about something outside of myself.  Even from a young age, it was about the positive attention I got from my family for grades, teachers noticed me because of grades, people came to me for help because I knew things.

Over the last few years I have felt more and more like I don’t know anything.  I struggled to make the most mundane decisions and I questioned every decision I made.  I felt like a failure and I felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time-all the time.  I felt like I was amounting to nothing at work.  I knew people were getting paid more than I was for the same job in spite of similar history and experience so I felt like I was being taken advantage of.  I managed to switch roles and it was amazing fun for a while but I soon began to feel burnt out with that too and unfulfilled.  My relationship with my husband was strained because I didn’t know how to articulate what I really needed and he was always the kind of person to do as he pleased regardless, so my confusion led to indecision which I couldn’t explain to him so he would make his own decisions based on what he needed and I would resent him and lash out.  I felt like my time was monopolized by my child and that I would never have the opportunity to work on the things I wanted to.  And then I would realize that I didn’t really know what I wanted anyway and the frustration would build and build.

I knew my soul was craving something.  The trouble was I didn’t know what and I didn’t know how to quiet down enough to HEAR what my soul was telling me.

It was in this state of confusion that I found myself communicating poorly and still trying to prove myself.  I wanted to be the cool person, I wanted to be the person who knew her shit, and I found myself at a table with people who I felt were more closely aligned but still weren’t quite the right fit.  I couldn’t believe that after such a short time in a new environment that I felt this voice again, this feeling telling me that it wasn’t the right fit.  That this wasn’t it for me.  I felt some numbness creeping back in.

It’s funny how sometimes the universe pushes things into your path or creates events that move you.  For me, there were three specific moments in the course of about a month that really pushed me.  1.  I went to a birthday celebration with these people and during that time, a person drove their vehicle through the building we were in.  I was terrified.  While we learned after the fact that we weren’t in direct danger, that moment was terrifying as we were evacuated from the facility.  We thought it was an active shooter or a bomb because that’s what we were told and it literally felt like we were running for our lives.  The act was eventually charged as terrorism.  It hit me that day that I had zero reason to not go for the things I wanted in life.  I realized that I had to learn how to figure myself out.  2. One day I read a horoscope that talked about shedding inhibitions.  About coming into my own and not holding back any longer.  The phrasing resonated with me.  I knew these words were exactly the process I felt—the shedding of inhibitions and the real purpose of my soul wanting to break free.  3.  I caught a glimpse of a post from a friend of mine that looked like it was talking about many of the same things that I want to achieve with my life and it was along the lines of the last 90 days of the year and what are you going to do with them.  Now.  I want to be clear that I love this person.  I have a ton of respect for this person.  But this isn’t a person who has ever appeared to me as someone who would be involved in that kind of inspiration or someone who would focus on that line of work.  This isn’t to say anything against this person’s ability to be an inspiration—they have done an amazing job in their life and have achieved remarkable things.  But that line of work is not something I ever saw them doing. Quite frankly I felt violated and it infuriated me.  That was the moment where I realized that THAT is MY dream and I didn’t want to see it go away.

Liz Gilbert often says that inspiration and magic dance with us and that if we don’t respond it will eventually go away.  Seeing that post was the absolute last straw for me.  I knew in that moment I wasn’t going to pass on this again.

As I write these words, I will openly admit that I am still learning.  I don’t know everything.  But what I do know is that in the small steps I’ve taken to learn to listen to myself, I have felt more alive and more open.  Listening to the little voice in my head that says, “Yes, do this,” makes me feel more validation than any other individual has been able to do.  The INTERNAL focus allows you to make sense of the external.  So that is where I’ve begun; When there is something that feels right, I have learned to say yes.  In my previous life, I would have always turned down the opportunities that were given to me in the hopes of it someday coming back around to me.  I thought I was doing the selfless thing and doing the right thing and that it really would come back to me.  And that is where I was wrong.  I had sent out an expectation tied to my action, expecting the result to come back to me.  I have since learned that when an opportunity presents itself to me, it is meant for me.

I realized that I had a trust issue as well.  And that it really started with me.  I never knew how to trust myself and I was taught to second guess my decisions.  If I couldn’t even trust myself, how on earth could I trust anyone else?  Most of my relationships were built around the premise of mistrust.  I could find a reason to not be close to anyone.  When I started to take the time to listen to myself and to follow through, I learned that I could trust myself.

This is a process I’m still working on because it is a matter of rebuilding the foundation.  It is a foundation built on understanding and trusting your gut.  I’m starting simply—by listening.  My mind tends to race a million miles a minute so things like meditation are difficult for me, so even though I recommend it and believe in it, I don’t practice that at the moment.  I do practice gratitude and I keep a gratitude journal.  So between listening to what my intuition has to say and being appreciative of what I have, my focus is slowly shifting away from the negative.  I want to be clear that this is something I have to do every day, and again, I am a work in progress.  But I am becoming more comfortable with that.  When you operate from a place of needing to know the answer at all time, it is difficult to be comfortable with uncertainty.

The gift of uncertainty, however, is knowing that there is life in the gray.  Not all answers are black and white and it is enough to learn to steady yourself somewhere in the middle.  My discomfort with my current situation led me to this place, to have the confidence to share my words. It may seem small to some but this is a monumental thing for me.  Sometimes the result you want comes from a path you didn’t expect.  That is magic.

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