[Excerpt from Private Session originally posted on October 25, 2004. This session has not been re-posted to the current site for discussion.]
[HeidiH] How can I become more confident?
The key to your confidence can be found in the exploration of your ideas about Strength and Trust. At some point in your life you have decided two things: “strength can harm” and “trust must be earned”. Additionally, you have determined that “confidence” is the result of the combination of “strength” and “trust”. Being wary of both “strength” and “trust”, the result is your sensing a lack of “confidence”.
Displays of strength and trust are as enticing to you as they are terrifying. You envy the confidence of others, yet you also condemn your own ability to express it. You diminish displaying your own levels of strength and trust because you never want to harm another person and you do not wish to invite potential harm, either.
It is impossible for you NOT to have some sort of strength or trust in life, but you have eventually found ways of displaying your strength and trust in ways that are distorted or disguised. Your strength has been distorted into “endurance” and your skills of trust have been distorted into “invisibility”. Both qualities are valid and useful, but when combined for you, instead of experiencing confidence, you experience SEPARATION. The more separated you feel from others, the more you use endurance and invisibility, which, of course, perpetuates the cycle.
The key, then, to your bringing more confidence into your expression is through PRESENCE. Being more present in the moment of your experiences may be an easier task to accomplish than trying to express your concepts of confidence. Being Present is also a quality of combining Strength and Trust. Instead of battling the issue of whether you are experiencing Confidence, you can approach a less-threatening concept of being Present, and still get the same results.
In your case, being Present can be accomplished by randomly practicing Vividry, taking a class or course focused on speaking publicly, and exercising.
Vividry is the practice of gently bringing to your conscious awareness exactly where you are at any moment. Feel your presence in space, see your hands, relax your face, tongue, shoulders, and notice the colors, sounds, temperature, and textures of a few moments. Experience the vivid awareness of those few moments and delight in the experience of being a part of your reality. Allow the vividry to bring a smile to your face. You too often disengage from your physical expression of your Being and condense your experiences into a small perspective that could be said to be limited to your facial region. In other words, it could be said that you are “living in your head.” Vividry will help bring your consciousness into all parts of your body, which is going to eventually shine as confidence.
We would also suggest taking a course or class in speaking publicly, including considering classes in Improvisation. Learning how to organize thoughts, presentations, and spontaneous interactions within a safe group would greatly increase your ability to experience Presence and Confidence in daily life.
And finally, we suggest that at your own pace, within a context that is interesting to you, we would suggest some form of physical routine of exercise, such as Yoga, Treadmill, Tai Chi, etc.
Having these tangible approaches to being more Present will naturally provide you with the Confidence you wish to experience.