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Where I think on confidence

by John on January 21st, 2015

No matter how things play out, there is always a difference between “real life” and “virtual life.” For some, that difference can be marked and quite intentional — for others, it may be minimal. But, there’s no doubting that, being behind the screen that is “being online” people are different.

The “me” that shines through is…confident. One might even say cocky. Maybe. Or one might just like writing the word cocky (giggling as they do so). Cocky cocky cocky. Cock. Cocky. Anyway – while I do believe I’m a confident individual, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I’m more assured of myself online than I am in “real life.”

I was thinking about how things were, with me, a few months ago, and a few years ago. To say that I’m more self-assured, now, is an understatement. Things in my life are far from perfect — in some aspects of my life, things are worse for me, now, than they’ve ever been . . . but, whereas the me from a few years ago would fixate on key items (with so much focus on “what isn’t perfect” that I’d lose sight of the good stuff), I’m now able to brush off those things that bother me.

Maybe it’s a special brand of meditation that I’m not aware that I’m deploying. Maybe it’s some odd kind of defense mechanism where I just move about from thing to thing in life — always with a focus on “what must be done” without reflection on “what am I feeling?” but I really don’t think that’s it. I think I’m, simply, more confident these days. I feel less of a need to prove myself. I don’t think I’m more optimistic (I fear for the future just as much as ever) but I don’t focus on self-doubt like I did a relatively short while ago, and, as such, don’t allow external factors to create self-doubt like they once did.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, what does this all mean, in the context of this blog, aside from the fact that I had a strange stage-performance anxiety dream last night1? I just listened to Yo Yo Ma’s performance of Bach’s Violoncello Suite #1 (unaccompanied). And, more confident as I may be these days, Mr. Ma, in his little finger, has more confidence in his performance than I can even fathom.

1 I believe I last experienced stage fright during the height of the first Clinton administration.
  1. Confidence is a wonderful thing. I think it’s something we develop with age, maturity and perspective. It’s great when you can shut down the doubt and negative voices in your head and just… “be.”

    • I’ve been having a LOT of trouble shutting out those voices lately . . . but yes, when that happens? It’s magical.

  2. Sometimes it’s not what we typically thing of as “confidence” so much as it is gaining a sense of perspective. At this point, the things that aren’t perfect, or are even problems, are not the first problems/challenges you’ve ever dealt with.

    • Yeah — perhaps “more mature perspective on life” is a better term for my realization than confidence. Because, yeah, things are FAR from perfect . . . but, well, that’s ok.

  3. I know, for me anyway, that I tend to approach issues with more confidence than I used to simply because I HAVE to. I think it comes along with having kids. We used to be able to be wishy washy with our future plans because they only involved us. We didn’t have to be calculated back then, now we do. Now, when we make decisions or approach different obstacles, we do so with confidence because we have thought everything out. We have our ducks in a row, for the most part.

    • Yeah, that much is certainly true — every now & then, someone (usually a non-parent) will ask me “how do you do it all?”

      And the answer is “you just do it. Don’t sit down and figure out how to do it all, just do what needs to get done — anything that waits for the next day didn’t really need to be done in the first place.”

  4. I firmly believe that confidence is grown. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more confident in myself and my abilities. Whatever the reason for it, I’m happy you’re feeling more comfortable in your own skin!

    Also.. Focusing on “what must be done” without reflection on “what am I feeling” is largely what’s gotten me through the past year and a half.

    • Evie – just thinking about your past year & a half . . . it makes me exhausted, emotionally & physically. It’s funny, in a horrible sense of the word, to see the defense mechanisms come about.

  5. Don’t we all come off a little cocky online? That said, I think the more we have to deal with things — especially stuff that’s hard — the more we know who we are and what we are capable of, and that confidence gets more real, more substantive.

    So, we fake it til we make it. 🙂

    • I truly believe I may be better at “faking it until I make it” than anyone online ;-p

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