“Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right…” -The Grateful Dead
These words are often times used interchangeably, but apparently confidence and belief are about as similar as Juicy Couture and Couture. I know this because I was once quite comfortable in my confidence. I had no trouble speaking up, dancing freely, and traveling solo. I jumped out of airplanes, surfed big waves and skied double black diamonds without so much as a second thought. I had conviction to make the grade, land the deal, and get the guy.
Then, as my former relationship broke down and I was stripped of the things I’d come to define myself by, I watched my confidence disappear too. I realized that confidence is something that is predicated on the ability to feel capable based on external conditions like physical appearance, zeros in the bank account or social circle. But I would soon discover, real belief has little to do with confidence.
Looking to the natural world we think nothing of this unflagging cycle of creation and destruction that is inherent to all living things. Each Fall trees lose their leaves and stand bare throughout winter, but come Spring, each tree flourishes with new life once again. We often forget that we, too, are part of the natural world, and that aspects of our lives need to be destroyed before new life can spring forth as well.
As I meandered through new neighborhoods and friendships, embarked on new projects and love, sure enough, my fickle confidence reappeared. However, amid the continual cycle of creation and destruction, an unfamiliar power emerged. Belief. Regardless of the seemingly undesirable things the physical plane presented, time and again, I’d arise from the wreckage, not necessarily with what I thought I needed or wanted, but with deeper compassion, greater gratitude, and a willingness to take responsibility for my life. Ultimately, I came to trust that this roller coaster of life is the vehicle by which I get to journey into understanding myself. Turns out the greatest secrets really are hidden in the most unlikely places.
It’s clear to me now that when my world, as I knew it, was destroyed so many years ago, it was really just part of the natural cycle of creation necessary for me gain greater consciousness and certainty about myself and my path. While destruction is admittedly unnerving, I know that in order to grow into the most conscious, inspired, and free woman I can be, there are many walls in my mind that still need to come down, and therefore more destruction lurks on my horizon. However, it’s the knowing, the belief, that every thing I create is designed to help me evolve into my highest self that makes it far less frightening or painful.
What is your experience with confidence and belief?