Playing It Safe Vs. A Confident Weirdo
So I’ve been thinking…(lookout!)
You know those people who you meet in life who seem to ooze confidence and who walk around with their head held high, like they can do or be anything?
Well that’s not me.
I want to share a little insight into my thoughts on confidence, fear and vulnerability. Why? Because I believe that life is a continual lesson and as I learn, I want to share what I learn so that others can benefit too.
I hope you learn something from my ramblings, or at least simply enjoy the read…
Those ‘confident’ people believe in themselves beyond any worry of judgment or failure. Its almost as if its some kind of super power that they were born with, some kind of protective shield that stops them from the infliction of self doubt or insecurity.
Sometimes the confident come in the form of a weird looking dude in a bar with no teeth, wearing socks and thongs and he approaches you with a smile and confidently asks you out on date. You’re pretty sure he hasn’t bathed in a week and is probably on the most wanted list in several countries, but his appearance, his status in life, and the stale smell emanating from his armpits doesn’t seem to deter his advances, or his confidence.
Or perhaps they come in the form of a young girl who thinks she is certain to take over the world as a pop singer, even though she is completely tone deaf.
Or that goofy and yet strangely cocky guy in the office who big notes himself and acts like he is God’s gift to the office. You know, he’s the guy you laugh about in the staff kitchen. Some mornings you wonder how he manages to put his own pants on is he is that thick. But as the years pass, you keep laughing from the kitchen as you watch him excel through the ranks of the business, scaling past your position to suddenly become your boss. (But seriously, how does he even get his pants on?!)
It astounds me where that confidence comes from. Is it that they are just delusional? Was it something they were born with? Did they learn it?
I’m sure you know those people; we’ve all met one. They live the motto “If in doubt, gloss and pout” or “Fake it till you make it”.
Sometimes you mock them because you question their talents, and you snigger at their deluded fantasies. ‘Pah! As if she will ever be a singer’.
Your skepticism doesn’t come from a place of jealousy or malice, ‘Sure, good on her if she could succeed, but c’mon, she can’t. Never gonna happen!! She’s dreamin!‘
And then, there’s you…the person who lives with two feet firmly on the ground in the world of reality, who goes on day-by-day knowing that you may not be the sharpest tool in the shed or the best looking fish in the pond or the best singer in the room, but you just accept that and get on with life. It is what it is, you are happy being who you are and moving along at your own pace. You accept your fate as the third most skilled office worker on the floor. Ok…maybe the fourth.
Well I guess I’m that girl. Don’t get me wrong, I am a far cry from a shy insecure wallflower and certainly no negative nelly, but over the years I’m starting to show signs of having grown skeptical. Doubtful. Apprehensive even. Yep, it seems I have succumbed to the boundaries of reality with fear playing my strings like a puppet.
So which team is it better to bat for? Which is more likely to succeed, find happiness and get all they want out of life?
Well the reality bunch may find contentment in life (after all, that’s all they think they deserve), but they have that voice in their head that keeps them firmly rooted on the ground. Kind of like a tree. You know that part in the school play that they give to the person who can’t really act or dance and who the teachers don’t really want anyone to see…that’s the tree.
They will grow up but they’re not about to do anything fantastic in life, after all, a tree can only grow in one direction right? Whereas the confident dreamers keep dreaming, keep pushing and trying relentlessly no matter the rejection and failure.
I wonder…if you had to choose a team, if you could make that choice, which would you be?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be more confident and believe that you deserve something truly grand even though reality, that voice in your head and your peers may keep telling you it’s not likely.
I never used to be such a grounded skeptical tree. I once dreamed of being an inventor or a chemical. Yes, I was only 6 but I knew I could do it!
And when I was 20 I dreamt of being on Big Brother. My first attempt for season 1 failed, but no matter how many whispers I heard of “is she serious?” I kept going. I kept trying and even though I was scared of putting myself out there (oh so vulnerable) I still did it. And low and behold, come the 2nd season of Big Brother, I managed to grace (perhaps grace is the wrong word?!) the TV as an intruder.
And you know what? When I came out of that house, I felt alive. Not because I was a better person, not because I was prettier or stronger or richer, simply because I did it. I challenged myself, I was vulnerable but I kept trying and I challenged my fear. That feeling was like a ball of energy welling up inside of me and it made me feel as if I could do or be anything that I wanted.
But sadly, as you grow up reality seems to change you. With each knock back in life it’s as if you are moulded into a person who is softer around the edges, less fragile, less likely to break.
And so you become less hopeful and less daring until eventually you stop dreaming so big. Or perhaps you might still have the big dreams, but you squash them and put them at the back of your mind, because you know better.
So I hit a few road bumps along the way and my life dreams became exactly that, just dreams. To cope, I slowly whittled my big dreams into more attainable goals. More realistic, more mundane. “I will get that role as a tree in the play, you just watch!” And even then, I was unsure of myself.
Well over the last 6 months I’ve been standing in my forest of skeptical grounded trees and I’ve been wondering if its time this girl stop fearing what might be and the many possibilities of failure. I’ve slowly been looking forward and dipping my toe into the unknown, testing the temperature of the challenging journey ahead.
And I have never felt more alive. I wake up with a smile; I have a skip in my step. I am breaking the boundaries of reality and I am starting to believe that I can be and do anything again. Sure, being vulnerable is scary; hell I feel fear everyday these days, but that just makes me feel even more alive.
No I’m not quite an over confident toothless weirdo just yet, and I’m not about to think that I can become the worlds next pop singer, but perhaps there is something that we can learn from the confident team…
Maybe, just maybe the only thing stopping us from moving forward and living our dreams is an unrelenting, unforgiving, dogged belief that we can do it.
Yes the trees may point fingers and judge, but that is exactly where they will stay, at the back of the stage, hidden from view, mocking, judging and not moving forward.
So tell me, which team do you choose to belong to?