Confidence – that’s something I think we all long for. And not just any kind of confidence mind you, but self-confidence, a feeling of assuredness and satisfaction with the way we are. It’s always baffled me how easy it is to be confident about everything but yourself. You actually tend to be more confident about others then you are about yourself.
But why is that? Why are we so easily swayed when it comes to our opinion about ourselves? What exactly is confidence and what does it take to achieve it.
In my mind confidence is being happy with who you are, right where you’re at. It doesn’t matter what other people do or don’t think about you, you don’t feel the need to justify the way you are. You’re not constantly looking for ways to improve yourself, because you know you’ve already got a good thing going. You respect yourself, and by doing so gain others’ respect for you.
I have a friend who I consider to be a very confident person. I asked him the other day how one could gain “self-confidence”. He said it’s something that no one else can give you, it has to come from deep inside. And what it takes to get there – well that’s different for each person. For him the turning point came just a few short months ago. He was a physically active, pretty good looking guy. He was smart, funny and had lots of friends, and yet these things were not enough to build his self-esteem. His “defining moment” came when in the middle of martial arts practice he fractured his ankle. In order for it to heal he needed a mental bar placed in his leg and a complicated operation to put the bones together. That and 4 months of hobbling around on crutches.
He said “You can’t imagine how frustrating it is for an active person to suddenly be forced into a sedentary lifestyle. At times I felt I was going insane. I was dependent on other’s help for the simplest of tasks, and that made me feel weak and insecure. I was irritable, moody and on the verge of depression. But I realized that this time was a defining moment in my life. And as painful and debilitating as this experience was – I’m glad it happened. Somewhere along the way I gained confidence in myself, confidence in the fact that if I could go through something like this I could go through anything. I realized how strong of a person I am, and that forever changed me ”.
At the same time confidence was not something he acquired overnight, it came with time, through the painful process of recovery and the struggles he faced he found the things that really mattered to him. He found himself.
In my life I feel recovery from an ED is that turning point. It is now I can begin to develop confidence that is not defined by how I think I look or how I feel at a given moment. I firmly believe that I have it in me to develop a self-assurances that is not dependent on other people. I can learn to accept and appreciate who I am, right now – and own it.
It’s a long process and I know it will take time to overcome my past and the things that have shattered my self-esteem. But once this lesson is learned, it won’t be easily lost. I believe that I can learn to love and accept myself just as I am. And to me, that is priceless.
What does self-confidence mean to you?
Was there an experience you went through that was a “defining moment” in your life? How did it affect you