I used to think you had to be good at something to be confident and that if you were confident without being good at something, you were embarrassing yourself. I used to think that if something bad was happening around me or to me, then it impacted who I was and how much confidence I should have. Almost anyone that has grown up, gone through puberty or tried to follow their dreams has probably had moments when they felt less than confident. Even more so if they have gone through a bad relationship, had a difficult upbringing or any type of trauma.
Sometimes we believe confidence comes from a story we tell ourselves that makes us feel good and capable. An example of this could be: I am the best at… I do the best and look the best.. I am better than.. I do this really well.. I know I will do/have/see/be….
But the problem is that when we have an artificial confidence, it is always tinged with fear. What happens if the story lets us down? What happens if self doubt creeps in? What happens if something changes?
Trauma will kick your confidence to the curb quicker than you realize as it often strips away any stories you had that felt good, or inhibits you from making them. Sometimes the trauma means we internalize a lot of the outside world and begin to believe we have less self worth than others, that somehow we deserve the trauma, or it is our fault, or nothing we can do will ever change the things around us. "But you know what, when you consciously choose to look at and heal your trauma--it can provide a gift of deeper confidence and trust in yourself than you ever thought possible"
There is a confidence that you can carry with you no matter what you do, have, see or are. We can call it inner confidence. Inner confidence is something that we experience when we connect with our vulnerability, when we recognize our innate strengths and weaknesses and when we let go of all of the stories that fill us with external confidence. By letting go of what it means to do, have, see or be and embracing the vulnerability of existing without the definition of these things, we find that we connect with our inner confidence. This is the confidence that I think Aurora talks about when she recognizes that the other shoe will drop, and we will get more shoes.
Through our inner confidence we can do what really makes us feel good, we can trust ourselves to deal with hard situations, we can inspire others to be themselves and we can use all of our extra energy and confidence to really make an impact. The best thing about it is that because it is not separate to ourselves, we will always carry it with us, no matter what changes on the outside.
Sheridan Ruth is a Yoga Teacher and founder of a non-profit organisation. She shares the practices of yoga to connect people with their inner confidence while working with Colombian organisations to empower teen girls. Her journey through Alopecia Areata and many other roller coasters in life has inspired her to share her experience with others.
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Cover Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash