Monday, December 03, 2012

Self Belief?

One of the transitions I am struggling with - let us be honest, have struggled with for some time - is the transition from being in a position of needing someone to believe in you to believing in yourself.  I am certain that this transition is complicated by the fact that I am person who is too often dependent on the approval of others (but, in fairness, I wonder if it is really any different or easier for others).

Self belief - self confidence - that inner spark that tells one that one is competent to do all that one has determined one will do - is a strange thing.  It seems that there are only two ways to acquire it: genetic or built.

Genetic?  Mindset perhaps.  There are those among us - surely you know one or even may be one - that simply seem to have always have had the inner belief that they were capable of doing whatever they could put their mind too.  Sometimes the surroundings of the these individuals is not such that one would think that such a belief could ever exist - but it does.

The good news for the rest of us, I suppose, is that unlike height or speed self belief is something that can be acquired even if we don't start out with it.  The problem is figuring out how to do that.

How is that done?  Oh, I wish that I had a better sense of it.  I do firmly believe that it is rooted in doing things and succeeding in them - from confidence, springs confidence.  But doing things alone is not enough:  one can do things a great many times but bereft of a belief that one can do them, one is always one failure away from feeling completely useless.

Is it something others can give?  Partially.  The believe of someone in you and your ability to do things can be a powerful motivator in coming to believe in yourself - but at the same time, too much reliance on others can lead to a fragile self belief, one that is ready to collapse under the first sign that such a person considers your performance a failure or simply moves on.

There is a fundamental transition and transaction that occurs somewhere within the soul, some moment when one moves from "I cannot" to "I am capable of".  It is not just based solely on accomplishing things.  It is much more than that.  It is best represented in the case that one moves from a temporary failure being a permanent setback to a temporary failure not denting one's confidence in the ultimate outcome - and believing it.

I deeply desire to believe that this is like a muscle  - it can be built over time.  Yet I constantly find myself falling back into a state of not having any confidence at all, of being undercut by events and individuals (and their comments) to a state where it feels as if no matter what I do I am doomed to fail, to be exactly what I am and have always been.

To feel that self belief is merely a figment of my own imagination or something that other people can find - but not me.

I do not believe (in my lucid moments) that this is the case.  I believe that there is such a thing as self belief.  I have seen the outcome of its workings.  I know that it exists - for others.  The difficulty is finding how to make it exist for me.

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