Monday, June 14, 2010

Creating Confidence

I hate almost everything I've ever written. I find it to be soulless, garbage that lacks any depth or personality. Most writers probably feel that way at some point. But in the end, that's a poisonous, self-destructive mindset that leeches creativity and inspiration out of you. At some point, we have to overcome our insecurities, accept our flaws and push forward. And in my opinion, that's one of the hardest struggles for any person to overcome.

But how do we actually do that? I've read (skimmed) dozens of self-help and motivational books, and none of them have a permanent, lasting solution. The best of them can motivate for a short period of time, and then they lose effectiveness. That's because at the end of the day, nobody else can create your path to success. It's almost impossible to create your own.

The hardest part of succeeding (for me, at least), isn't in avoiding pitfalls. Anybody with reasonable intelligence can steer away from the types of endeavors that doom us to failure. But what's harder to get away from are the mediocre successes we experience in life. Those are the most dangerous traps we encounter. The unnsuccessful is so unpleasant that it demands we escape.

Mediocrity, on the other hand, is the low-hanging fruit of life. It might not keep us full, or make us happy, but it allows us safety and contentment. And the habit it creates makes it more and more difficult to escape its clutches everyday. We go into our 9-5 every day, and on one of those days, we wake up as an unsuccessful, depressed middle-aged sycophant.

The only way we can escape that trap is through sheer self-confidence. We have to believe in our own ability to overcome the obstacles in life. But even more importantly, we have to believe in that we have the ability necessary to step out from comfortable life. To escape the trap of employment, and chae our greatest dreams. For some people, this comes naturally. For most of us, it's the greatest struggle of our lives.

Of course, it takes more than just self confidence. It takes incredible work ethic, skill, craft and creativity to escape the trap that encapsulates so many of us. But none of those matter if we don't have the confidence to expose those skills to the world.

I don't have that confidence. Yet. And I don't know if I have the skill, talent or drive to become a great success. But I do know that living a normal, boring 9-5 life makes me miserable. It eats away at the tiny spark that makes up my best qualities. It's a long, slow, boring death, and it's one of the most terrifying realities in the world.

I cannot, will not accept less than what makes me happy. Even if I don't know what that ultimately is, I know that I am more than what I have achieved so far.

Confidence, for me, is not a choice. It is not an option, or a goal. It is an ultimatum. I will have confidence with my life, because I do not have a choice. I will either be confident enough to pursue my dreams with everything I have, or I will be a miserable failure for the rest for my life. That thought is all the inspiration I'll ever need.

1 comment:

  1. that last paragraph definitely struck a chord. "confidence is not a a choice...it's an ultimatum." wow, like words right out of everything i've been thinking about the past year since i graduated from college. i'm glad we had that conversation...at least i know i'm not the only one who feels that way.

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