You start out in life so dependent on others for your most basic needs. In time, as you grow physically, that dependency also expands, encompassing mental and spiritual dependence on the ones who love us and whom we love back. But as our experiences begin to widen, we start to play around with the concept of independence while still holding firmly on to those familiar maternal strings. And how joyfully and cockily we make those bold moves. And so the self assured, confident, beaming individual is thus made, not born. She shines through life, viewing everything with her special glasses, gracefully handling every obstacle as if it was meant to be overcome, meant to be experienced and embraced.
And then we have the ones not so bold. The ones who worry about each statement, whether people will like what they have to say and who prefer the shadows backstage to the lights upfront.
How are they viewing life???s experiences?
We bring our experiences to bear in all we think, say and do. And our experiences, to large extent, colour our perceptions and vice versa ??? our perceptions colour our experiences. It is the ones who do not fear failure, who stay true to who they are, who value their own opinion over others without bravado or conceit, who feel centred and who are able to weather the storms who thrive. They say that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and one act to destroy it. Sometimes, it can feel that way too with self assuredness.
What I have found over time, is that self assuredness takes time to build and its strength lies in the experiences we go through. The more we experience, the more we gain that self confidence. The more we are willing to embrace fear, uncertainty, doubt and discard the opinion of the other, the closer we get to being true to ourselves. But like many things in life, I do believe that self assuredness is something that can be worked on and built step by step. Here???s what I find works for me.
1. Embrace fear.
I now understand when people say that the biggest thing to fear is fear itself. How much stronger a position we live and operate from, if we work from a point of hope and positive light than from one of fear. Once you overcome this hurdle, you???re halfway there.
2. Be true to you.
When you???re young and experienced, its easy to tip your hat to those wiser and older than you. But there is only one you in the world, and only one person who can manifest fully the true you – it is you. If we sway from side to side, we don???t put our stake in the sand. We don???t stand for anything. Whatever happens, you do have a viewpoint about it. Be true to that.
3. Allow yourself to fail.
This is about letting go. It???s about putting your best foot forward and just going with it. Accepting that it may work or may not, is part of that process. If we hold back, we will never know. So, allow yourself this indulgence.
4. Take things less seriously.
There are probably very few things in life to be taken seriously and I am sure that when push comes to shove, you will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. Inject some humour and lightheartedness in your daily life if only to make it a little bearable for yourself.
5. Watch the space.
Mistakes unwatched will recur. You need to watch, like a hawk, when you get things wrong. Do the math, turn it over in your head. Find out where it went wrong and be clear about it. Own up to it. Then, you have a chance to develop some real learning that you can take with you.
6. Take a chance.
What have you really got to lose?
7. Ask yourself what you think.
Be clear about how you feel or think about the issue. Don???t sit on the fence, not on the big issues. If you feel that you???ve not made your mind up with unresolved issues, the passage of time will surely point out your errors and show you how your lack of decision is actually a decision.