In my research to learning more about confidence (building and understanding it) I stumbled on an article in Psychology Today titled The Finest Audacity.
“Self-acceptance is one of those aspects of life that often require a long struggle. Some younger people appear to be self-possessed, but this is not the same thing as the confidence that comes with getting older. Self-confidence that is earned over the years, rather than simply claimed, is much more resistant to self-doubt. There is no substitute for having been tested by prior ordeals and having come out the other side more solid than before. Each time we stand our ground, each time we throw off comparison and envy, another layer of confidence is added.” ~ Wendy Lustbader, M.S.W.
I’m twenty-six years old. I’ve been working on my writing career since I was twenty-two. The rejections, the harsh, truthful criticisms, the reality of the economy and the publishing industry, have all done their damage to my confidence. At least that’s what I thought. But I was wrong. Because here I am still doing it. For the past three-and-a-half years the experiences haven’t worn me down. I guess if I dwell on it, it just might have. But I knew where I was starting and where I wanted to be. And nothing was going to stop me. Nothing should stop you.
There’s this saying I heard (in a cartoon of all places):
“The path before you is already set. How fast you decide to go down that path, is up to you.”
My point is that I know my path. At my youngest point of my writing career, I was going 100 mph. Now I’m slowing, more careful of the potholes, the springing deer, and dangerous storms. I read all the signs warning me of what’s ahead, and what to look out for. Do you know your path—where you plan to be—even if it’s still vague? Trust yourself. Believe in the path. Let that help you in maintaining and building your confidence. Small successes, inches gained, is progress. Progress maintains your motivation and thus builds your confidence. So keep believing…keep dreaming...
It might take a long time but like I said, if you have a goal, then the path before you is set…Don’t be afraid to floor it and enjoy the ride.
(Photos above: The first is of the Hudson Bookstore, found in airport terminals all across the U.S. I promised myself that one day, my book would rest among their shelves.
Second photo: That's my company's Co-President's car...looks fast, huh?)