“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ~James Allen
I know now that I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t even have to try to be perfect. I used to think that things did not come to me because I did not try hard enough. Not true!
The truth was, I was sabotaging myself.
In college in Switzerland, instead of going to that school event or even answering the people who tried to talk to me, I shut myself down and ignored people.
I was afraid of being rejected so I rejected life first. I did not think that I had anything to offer the world. I wasted a tremendous opportunity to see that world and meet unique people.
It was only when I graduated that I realized that everything I wanted was knocking at my door, and I was choosing not to answer. Then I knew I had to change.
I had to find something to believe in—and I was that something. I also ultimately had to forgive myself for repressing myself for so long. This is a journey that I am still on.
I destroyed my early journals, wrought with misdirected messages, but writing once again became my resolve. A chance reading of a book on Zen changed my outlook as I began to meditate and calm my mind.
Meditation is so powerful; it allows you to embody you, as you are. You see and feel yourself, and know deep down that you are alright. From that place of peace you can find the seeds of change.
From there I started to build my life. I joined an amateur theater company, found a job I loved, got into and finished graduate school, and began to write on a new blog. Now I have to the bravery of self-reflection, the support of friends around the world, and the beginnings of my PhD in Humanities.
I am far from perfect, but I am happy.
When you lack confidence in yourself, as I did, it leads to trouble, because no one can give you what you won’t give yourself. No matter where I went, in America or Switzerland, I could not find what I was looking for, because what I needed could only be grown inside of me. I was carrying the seeds without knowing it.
Nothing replaces a humble sense of self-confidence. Here are some ideas on building gardens within you.
Turn yourself up: hear the noise going on in your head. Do you like what you hear?
Write down the messages you wish your mind were telling you and change the script. For example, instead of telling yourself to lose weight, reframe your thoughts to say that your body is your only vessel, and to love it by putting good food into it. This changes the action to a positive one, something that you are more receptive to.
Make plans, but keep them general.
I find that setting times instead of goals helps me achieve more and feel more fulfilled. Dedicate ten minutes to exercising or writing, or whatever you want to do, and you will find comfort in knowing that you only have to focus for a short time. Also, you will likely find that you will have given yourself just enough of a push to keep going.
Be present to what you love. Your child, your spouse, your pet. Let them infuse positivity in you.
If you love something that does not give anything back, consider changing your relationship to that thing. Continue to give love, but do not waste your energy on expecting things from people who are only vacuums of emotion.
Bottom line, you must learn to trust yourself. Without this balance, you will always doubt your actions, even your very being and right to live your life. You were given breath, so you do deserve to use it!
Trusting yourself does not mean being conceited or always being correct. It simply means being able to make informed decisions on your life and accept the consequences of your actions.
Many people give their power away because they are afraid of accepting responsibility for their own life. Accountability is a tremendous step that takes time, so do not be hard on yourself.
As long as you make efforts to own your choices, you’ll eventually feel more confident with yourself, just as you are.
Photo by Key Foster