Something’s bugging me

November 8th, 2012 by Patty Bear

When I find myself chewing on something over and over I know that there’s an exciting breakthrough just around the corner.

Well something’s been bugging me and I just figured out what it is.

My husband would raise his eyebrow’s, smile, and ask, “just ONE thing?”

But here it is.

Recently, I’ve noticed that in many walks of life from business to politics and certainly diet plans and products, that’s there’s this premium on confidence. Not the kind of quiet confidence that ‘s rooted in years of experience or substance, but a projected confidence. A celebrity confidence. The kind of brash, confident veneer that is so sure of itself that it makes you feel silly to voice the inconsistencies and questions your inner wisdom is quietly noting.

It’s the kind of confidence that slices and dices the truth and dares you to speak up – so sure of itself that you question what you know: facts, logic, commonsense, experience, everything. This kind of confidence is offered as evidence of truth. There’s a saying that “a lie well told is as good as the truth”.

It’s THAT kind of confidence.

For years people have told me that they see me as “fearless” which I guess is a kind of confidence. While on the one hand I’m flattered, on the other hand it also amuses me. You see, self-doubt has been a lifelong nemesis- one I have sought to rid myself of many a time with varying degrees of success. Lately though, it strikes me that self-doubt may actually be a healthy thing if it’s the right kind.

There are two kinds of self-doubt:

self-doubt masquerading as cowardice and the kind that keeps you honest.

The painful kind of doubt keeps you small and “safe”, but it’s painful because it gives lie to the truth about how big you really are and what you are capable of. It’s the kind of doubt that once it gets started feels like a cancer that spreads to every area of your life.

And then there’s self-doubt like a kind and true friend that says “hold on a minute here”, maybe there’s more to this. Maybe you need to learn a little more, did you really mean to say that, maybe you could check those numbers again. It laughs with you and doesn’t take you too seriously. It’s the humble kind of doubt that recognizes “the more you learn the more you realize how much there is to learn. It’s the kind of self-doubt that keeps you stretching and growing, open and curious, and moving forward easily.

How can you tell the difference between the imposters of self-doubt and confidence?

By how they feel. Real confidence and healthy self-doubt are both worn lightly. Both feel grounded, substantive, not too serious, and connected to your own inner knowing. Beneath both, your wiser, grounded self is saying quietly, “yes, that feels solid”. Most importantly, with healthy doubt and healthy confidence your wisest self is being heard.

Fearless to me really means a confidence that is more than skin deep.

It’s self- assurance that’s substantive because it’s willing to take the long view, take risks, and make mistakes. A relaxed knowing that you can be right and you can also be wrong and either way the world won’t shift on its axis.

My challenge for you this month is toembrace your healthy self-doubt and your true confidence. Hear the voice of wisdom within and follow it fearlessly.
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