I used to think confidence is to be seen and heard loudly, to be attention grabbing, charismatic and outspoken. Fake it till you make it, they say.
But years of faking didn’t do much for my esteem except to reinforce my belief of ‘being a fraud’. The beginning of my journey in confidence probably started with this –
Making my bed.
I never made my bed before I was 30 years old. I always found it redundant as you use the bed every night. Then I read a book that says, ‘If you want to be rich, make your bed’.
The thing is that to have confidence or courage to embark on the things that truly matters, I need to know that I can do the simple little things if I put my mind to it.
To gain real confidence in a grounded and less noisy way by starting with the little things in life. It’s really not about making the bed. I needed to know that I can follow through when I set the intention.
You and I, we can all begin with the little things.
In a meditation practice, we start with the breath. As the practice gets longer, we gain focus but that is just one aspect. We are not having a competition of who can watch the breath longer. It is also about cultivating the space to watch our reactions, the craving, the wanting to avoid or cling, and of course, our thoughts. To begin to see its nature, get close and familiar, so that the next time it shows up, I have a little bit more tenacity to sit with them. Growing a bit more skilful internally with each practice.
When one gradually becomes less daunted by what happens inside, confidence arrives. The confidence that shines through without words. A smile. A nod. A presence.