Insecure or Confident?

I don’t know what age I was…maybe 18… maybe younger, when I heard phrases like “Confidence is the most important thing”, “Confidence is sexy”, “Confidence is the most attractive attribute of a woman”
Whenever I had insecure thoughts in my head, which were not uncommon, especially when it came to how I looked, it would quickly follow by the acute realization that I am not confident since I have these thoughts.
I would sometimes see these women who seemed to somehow embody confidence in my eyes. Most times I didn’t really know them well. Maybe it was at a party, I would see a girl who didn’t seem shy, was beautiful, had a perfect body, or dressed beautifully, or seemed to have an air of detached-ness about her, or maybe a handsome or seemingly “cool” man next to her, looking at her with desire.
Without really knowing anything about her, merely based on her demeanor or looks I would think  “Gosh, she looks so confident. I bet she doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of her. I wish I was confident like that” And of course, having been told how confidence is important, I tried to hide all those areas where I lacked confidence. In fact I didn’t even see it as some areas of insecurity. I didn’t see it as shades of gray. I saw it as black and white. That this person has confidence and I don’t. Either you have it or not.
So, I just learned how to hide it. I learned how to never show my insecurities. I learned to act the opposite of what insecurity wanted me to do. I tried to make friends with confident people. And I tried to be social and outgoing and make it seem like I don’t care about what others think. And I don’t know if I did any of this consciously.
What is ironic is that everyone I chose to be friends with, based on how confident they appeared, when I actually got to know them well, I realized they also have insecurities. And the more they were aware of their insecurities and allowed me to see them, the more I connected with them and the closer our friendships became.
I remember I was talking to a friend who was telling me about how she has felt insecure about this or that in herself and realizing the insecurities makes her feel even more insecure.
This friend is a woman who is an amazing surgeon and one of the most beautiful women I know. She is someone I wished to be be friends with when I first met her in the hospital and saw that same air of confidence in her. She was quite and kept to her self and I took this as confidence and even slight detached-ness which I had come to associate with “coolness”. Little did I know that this was her “shyness”.
I don’t know at exactly which point in time, this big, impossible mountain of misconception about “insecure” vs. “confident” started to slowly chip away. Maybe it was after meeting my teacher, Siri Gian, the healer who taught me how to listen to that inner wisdom, that loving voice that speaks in whispers and for most of my life I wasn’t hearing it over the shouts of the other insecure voices. Or maybe it was in Azita’s yoga classes; a yoga teacher and psychologist who would open the class by genuinely sharing about her own vulnerabilities and emotions. Or maybe it was watching Brene Brown’s ted talks. Or maybe it slowly happened through all of these experiences and still happening as I sit with Homeira, my beloved therapist and teacher every week.
And that mountain started to chip away to this realization; That confidence is not a lack of insecurity, just like courage is not a lack of fear. It is wether we are aware of the insecurity, can accept it, not judge ourselves for it, love ourselves despite of it and look at it honestly and see the unreality of it.
After having talked to many brave women; doctors, artists, lawyers, engineers, dentists, journalists, housewives, mothers, etc, everyone seems to have insecurities around something or other. For someone it is around a body part that they try so hard to perfect, or around money or career or family or children or lack of children or status or partner or lack of it or health or a personality trait or so many other issues.
I know I have many insecurities of my own, but here is the amazing part of this past years of awakening to all of this, that the more I accept where I am, the more I get honest with myself instead of putting up a facade, the more I stop labeling myself as insecure and projecting perfection of confidence on to others, the more I breathe through any insecure feelings that come up and remember that this isn’t real, it doesn’t define me and is merely based on what I have bought in to, the more the insecurities release, shift and transform to real confidence. Not confidence based on having it all, but confidence based on accepting it all.
Thank you all the women (and men) who have bared your Souls with me, putting down the masks we all wear for some seconds or minutes or hours, showing me a piece of your insecurities and helping me heal mine. I am passing it on.

 

14 Replies to “Insecure or Confident?”

  1. Love you Keep them coming I’m loving every word because it’s like I’m talkingThank you 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my gosh what an amazing revelation! Having courage is NOT about having no fear, but accepting fear and overcoming it. And having confidence is NOT about lacking insecurities. It’s about accepting the insecurity and loving yourself in spite of it…maybe even treating the insecurity as a “guest,” allowing it to “visit,” stay for a little while, then be on its merry way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My favorite line: “That confidence is not a lack of insecurity, just like courage is not a lack of fear. It is wether we are aware of the insecurity, can accept it, not judge ourselves for it, love ourselves despite of it and look at it honestly and see the unreality of it.”

    I am grateful I have a lifetime to learn to love myself and have courage.thanks for the encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. To echo what you have said, over the years, like everyone, there have been tons of things that I have been afraid of doing or saying. What I started trying to do was to be confident in my inner compass and to ignore the naysayers or those giving off negative energy (while still considering their opinion) to what I believed to be the right thing to do. That doesn’t take away the fear of doing the right or wrong thing, but it is a fear that I can face. Now — I do realize how cheesy this movie is, and it almost takes away from the quote, but this reminds me of an amazing life lesson from this movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhtwTe2G5e0

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m new to this blog, and I just want to say how inspiring your words are. I’m not 40 – I’m 33, and my kids and I have moved into my parents’ house, indefinitely.

    And that’s quite alright. I feel like I *should* move out, but only by society’s standards. My kids and I are growing in this household.
    Thank you for sharing your words of personal wisdom.

    Tanya

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tanya thank you so much for letting me know that the post resonated with you. I hope you have a wonderful time in your parents house and your kids get to enjoy their grandparents’ love and every time the “should” comes to your head, may you remember it means nothing… just old societal conditioning.

      Liked by 2 people

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