“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” ― Marcus Aurelius
When I think about confidence, I think about being or feeling certain of one's capabilities, thoughts and decisions. I am the first to say that I am not the most confident person when you put it in those terms. Certain? Certain is a very rigid, black and white, concrete word. How can someone be certain at all times or even most of the time? Certain would mean one could foresee outcomes prior to living it. When you think of it that way, wouldn't that mean having enough faith in your knowledge and ability that everything will work out as it was meant to be. Well NOW we're getting somewhere! Certain that with faith and hope, things will work out just fine. I can relate more to this definition of confidence, than with just the term "certain".
I like to ask the BIG questions about life, love, philosophy and human nature. In my experience, those big questions usually lead to numerous and varied answers that differ for every individual in every culture. If everyone is confident that their answers are correct, how can everyone be right at the same time? They can't of course, but is that what's most important? Being confident doesn't make you correct, all-knowing or omniscient, it just makes you faithful of your belief in yourself.
My faith in myself has always been present in my life. Being one that finds comfort being alone with my thoughts, I know what makes me tick. I know when I am particularly weak and when I am feeling strong and trusting my own instincts. If you can set aside time to reflect and contemplate on your thoughts and actions, you begin to learn where and when you need more self-belief and self-assurance. Those areas that you feel particularly weak need more attention than your inherit strengths. Being outgoing, outwardly vocal or self-promoting are all areas or weaknesses I need to work harder at to raise my confidence levels. My ability to appreciate, sympathize, understand, observe, relate and assist are my inherit strengths where I feel most confident in my ability to carry out. All of the attributes I described are important singularly as they are combined. Some people have different strengths and weaknesses but can all benefit by building confidence in the areas that need more self-assurance. More assurance comes with study, practice, effort and even more practice. True confidence comes from within and doesn't rely on external validation. Once you have it, no one can take it away.
Being only one of countless other talented and gifted furniture artists and upcyclers means that there will come a time where you question if you can stand apart and if your pieces can hold up in an ever growing industry. I say, why not? If you love what you do and have a passion that never fades, no matter how long you do it, how in the world can you fail? When you believe you have a unique vision that you can share with others, you have a duty to share it. I feel blessed to be able to work with my hands, use my imagination, be creative and continue to be inspired by the work of amazing, gifted and talented artists of all mediums from painters, musicians and literary geniuses. I am grateful to have found my passion, know my strengths but also realize the areas in which I can build, better myself and my self-confidence. There is wonderful piece on building confidence from the group Stand in Balance which I've included a link here: http://standinbalance.com/true-confidence/
Isn't it comforting to know we are all a magnificent work in progress. We will never stop growing and learning until our last moment on this beautiful planet. In this we are all the same. We all have something in common that binds us, the desire to be better versions of ourselves. That's a great place to start I would say!
For fellow jazz lovers I have included a link to Nina Simone "Feeling Good". As the lyrics say, every day "is a new dawn and a new day".
Always stay classy,
Project Vintage US