Why I used to write so much. And why it suddenly all stopped.
Having your confidence knocked is painful. It’s not the type of pain you feel instantly, it’s not a sudden impact like being hit by a car or knocked off a bike. It almost feels like a gradual process. You wake up one day, look in the mirror and wonder at what check point or crossroad was it that you lost yourself at. Regaining confidence is a slow and patient journey. It’s a process of rehabilitation. Like baking a cake, your ingredients all need to be accounted for, you follow the steps in the right order, you take your time and volar! There’s your cake; it look goods, it smells good and it tastes incredible. The achievement of regaining confidence is the most empowering feeling in the world.
I don’t think we celebrate confidence enough when it does exist. We don’t celebrate it in ourselves and we most definitely don’t celebrate it in each other. Instead confidence is judged. Our courage and certainty is manipulated into arrogance and vanity. I wonder if what lies beneath confidence is the true measure of how we build it up and how we tear it down. Does a confident individual naturally exist based on their humanistic and biological traits? Or does a confident individual develop over time due to behavioural and cognitive experiences.
In my experience over this past year, the same person who built me up in believing in my ability to write was the same one person who tore it straight back down. Criticism can be hard to stomach at the best of times, but it wasn’t the critique in how I wrote but the judgement about what I wrote that made me feel belittled and offended. In the beginning my writing was an escape; it was a place of pure expression and honesty. It was a diary of poetry and theories; thoughts and sentiment. Some were reality, others perception. The mistake I made was the trust and validation I had in only one person. I put them on a pedestal and gave them power over my writing. I gave them a power over me that maybe they didn’t want, but none the less, a power they didn’t deserve. My thoughts belonged to me, they still do and how I put them to paper shouldn’t matter.
I loved this person, with every ounce of blood, bone and soul in my body. They led me to believe that every raw word I wrote, every vulnerable statement I made and every honest story I told made a difference to the world. The reality now is; I should have been telling myself those things all along. When someone so close to you hurts you, they hurt you hard. When someone so close to you knows every weakness, worry and traumatic trigger they will tear you down quicker than any falling Jenga tower. The negative comments got straight inside my head and I couldn’t put pen to paper anymore. I couldn’t post anything I thought. I felt as though I had lost my self-worth. I lost all confidence in knowing that what I wrote made a difference. I wondered if my words were ever read. Did they resonate with anyone?
The epiphany tonight is that I haven’t been seeking confidence all this time but seeking self-esteem. And that is something you are not going to find in anyone else but yourself. Naturally as humans we want to approach everything we do with the certainty of success and achievement. We want to feel rid of any anxieties or hesitations. We can all fake it till we make it, but what are the real hidden qualities of true confidence and how do we trust and build our own self esteem.
These are the things I began to tell myself and here I am; fingertips to keyboard, 1am, tapping away. Confidence restored. Self-esteem high. Self-love achieved.
- All I can do is my best. All I can be is myself. What will be, will be. Que sera sera.
- I know myself and I know my limits. Others perception on me will always say more about them than it does myself. I believe I can always improve and be a better person, but that’s up to me to decide.
- Positive visualisation and spiritual manifestation. (You believe in politics, I believe in fairies. Who cares.)
- I can’t be the best at everything, I can’t be perfect and I can’t be strong all the time. And that’s okay.
- Not everyone will like me and I won’t like everyone.
- Dam girl, look at that body.
- Don’t sit in doubt or fear. I am safe, I am in control and I have the ability to conquer.
- I am worth my weight in gold.
My message to you this evening is;
Do something today that you love! Go out and seek lost parts of yourself! Remind yourself of your power! Be empowered! Leave your house today wearing nothing but confidence.
This feeling is why I write. And this feeling is why I’ll never stop again.