So, this may well be way too reductive.
But I’m still thinking about the issue of my total lack of confidence. Trying to determine whether confidence is supposed to be naturally-generated or if it’s a learned behavior based on enough positive reinforcement. I am totally not able to naturally generate confidence, but this very awkwardness and reticence often comes through in what I do, and actually quashes others’ inclination to give positive feedback. I know it’s only priming people to be critical. So, even if I’m motivated by external positive reinforcement, that very desire is its own undoing.
The deeper concern is that confidence just seems so dishonest. I can’t claim I’m capable of doing something successfully, because Shit Happens. I can’t claim I’m capable of rolling with the shit that happens, because Shit Happens. And while I feel like it’s far more honest and realistic to be self-critical and self-doubting, it’s also a loop that keeps me from ever acquiring confidence. I don’t get how people can look at themselves and choose to be confident – how they ignore what they ignore, or forget what they forget, or whether they’re just synthesizing some fake-confidence in the form of Pride or outright Delusion that works well enough to get them through life without much incident.
Given all that…. I wonder if, ironically, I need to give up on the idea of having confidence or faith at all.
Just acknowledge the fact that, even though I’ve earned a sense of self, that doesn’t mean I matter. Or should matter. Not even to myself.
And then, knowing that I don’t matter, and therefore surrendering any concerns about whether I feel deserving or capable or disingenous, JUST DO THINGS ANYWAY.
The few times I -have- dared to do things without feeling ready, it was scary and stressful – but, with persistence, they really helped make me who I am. Which is odd, since I was originally 100% positive that they couldn’t possibly overlap with my life. For whatever reason (okay, occasionally a booze-related reason,) I just turned my brain off and pushed the Do It Anyway button — and whaddaya know. Things that aren’t part of your life can become part of your life if you just DO THEM.
Courage isn’t the condition of feeling fearless, but of facing one’s fear. Maybe confidence isn’t the condition of feeling self-certain, but of facing a challenge to your identity and seeing it through.
Maybe I’m forgetting that there’s no certainty in anything, no matter what you do. That things can become unpredictably complex because of simple changes, but those changes ARE, themselves, simple. For all the hemming and hawing about What to do, Why to do it, How to do it, When to do it, For Whom to do it, the only certainty there can be is that, if you DON’T do it, it doesn’t get done.
Yes, things get complicated later on, in ways I may or may not be equipped to deal with. But still, it all starts with a choice between Create Something and Don’t Create Something.
Perhaps I just need to remind myself:
Maybe it’s better to err on the side of creation.