Yesterday morning somebody asked about self-confidence; ‘Where does it come from’? ‘Why does it go’? ‘How can it be cultivated’? I can’t remember exactly what the question was but whatever it was I thought about an answer for a good part of the rest of the morning. That’s between breakfast, the business meeting, community tea followed by a support call on WhatsApp. And a couple of phone calls during the call! ‘It’s the 4th you know. Have you done your laundry yet’? Since writing the post about how my day goes I realize my days are fairly fast-paced and full-on. Today was no exception. This pm, I made a batch of Crabapple Jelly (apples from a tree on the property), a wall painted (in the Guest Department), and saw through two loads of laundry. Late in the afternoon, I dozed off while watching an online talk! Happens to the best of us.
If I look into my day from the outside I look busy but I tend to regard ‘being busy’ as a state of mind. As for you so for me, the biggest burden we carry is what we carry in our minds. And as mention in another post, it is not so easy to just let that burden go. There are skillful ways to address the burden. Or carrying a burden, of any sort.
Thinking of burdens brings me to the question of self-confidence, posed earlier. One can be lacking in confidence around a specific task, for example driving an unfamiliar car, having to make a (non-lumpy) white sauce for 25 people! Or whatever the trial of the day might be. However, there is a more global feeling/attitude around confidence, which if adopted can over time become a self imposed personality trait, or a way of thinking about oneself – an identity. ‘I’m not a confident person, I lack self-confidence’. We know it surely? A life changing event happens, getting the sack, the break up of a relationship. Lockdown is a classic example. Our usual routine of work and seeing people is interrupted, there is uncertainty around the future, and slowly and out of conscious awareness, the bottom falls out of the confidence bucket! I noticed that in myself, in a mild form, as lockdown dragged on back in May/June.
Clearly lack of personal confidence for some people can develope into a mental health issue. If one is able to is important to tackle this issue before one can’t, not without help anyway. My initial thinking is that confidence is allied with faith. Nobody feels they are imbued with bundles of faith and THAT can be a burden to carry, ‘Oh, I am lacking in faith‘. But faith in a deeply religious sense is not personal, not something you have or don’t have more that faith is the background to our daily functioning. One IS faith, unknowingly
Incidentally one doesn’t need to FEEL confident to BE confident! I can attest to that. Our internal ‘weather’ changes fast and frequently. Let it! I have confidence in that fact.