There are three types of people in the 21st Century. Firstly, those who show up to be seen, show off and are arrogant. Secondly, those who are confused about why they keep showing up, with ambivalent desires or never satisfied with their choices and follow the crowd. Finally, those who genuinely know themselves and understand their emotions with strong values/ beliefs.
At the grand age of 39, the sheer importance of truly showing up each time for myself and not getting caught up in society’s expectations finally dawned on me. Pressure comes from family and society expectations of education, career, partners and settling down. Pressure also comes from social standards of looking a particular way, keeping up with trends and/ or being a slave to the material world. Like so many of us, I have fallen into these traps, forever trying to fulfil certain expectations and believing that by doing so, I will find contentment.
Life can be a dangerous and lonely journey if you are continuously falling into these expectation traps. I have always considered myself to be a good person, I have never intentionally hurt anyone but in the process of keeping others happy, I’ve often found myself hurt and betrayed. So, what is the right way?
I think the right way is to reclaim the natural, inner confidence in showing up as your authentic self. Consciously avoiding getting dragged down by peer, family, cultural and social pressures. When you live by external desires and expectations, you will never be satisfied and feel empty from within. However, when establishing and following your values, beliefs and passions, you will feel empowered. Your confidence will be boosted in your daily life, career and relationships. Everything around you will become more attractive and people will be attracted to you. As Arianna Huffington beautifully puts it in her book — On becoming Fearless, “Confidence is the ultimate attraction”. You will love and feel confident about your body, mind and soul. Confidence is ultimately self-love. Not the egotistical, selfish self-love, more the humble awareness of the natural self and love of people around you.
Right now, I may not have it all in the eyes of others as I don’t follow the norm of society’s expectations including the endless list of do’s and don’ts. One thing I do have is the real me for me. I do not have to chase something I do not particularly like or want. If it doesn’t fit in my world, I don’t want it.
Having confidence in knowing who you are gives you that strength to survive and be happy.
Once you know who you are and have self-love, it doesn’t make you weak; it doesn’t compel you to fit in with the crowd and it certainly doesn’t make you lie to find love. When you have found the love within you, you will then be able to find real and honest love in the world around you.
With many years of soul searching, I have truly valued my learning journey. My faith and connection with God has bought me purpose and meaning in everything I do. Psychology has taught me about behaviours and how we can continuously improve ourselves to ensure that the people or environment around us becomes more significant and fulfilling.
I learnt that God made all souls on this earth as an expression of his love and compassion. Then, as fallible humans, we lose ourselves to human stresses and we become the person who we are today. Having reconnected with God and the divine wisdom, I realise that love is the forefront of everything we do, everything we live for and want from others. God made us from love with love, how could I not love myself?
In my journey to reclaim myself, I found a passion and purpose for life. Putting aside my fears, I am able to try new challenges and projects that perhaps once I never dreamt of. Standing strong in my faith has built confidence within me, that what was meant for me will reach me in its own time and what does not reach me, was never meant for me. I welcome all that life has to give, experiencing the good and bad. This lifelong path of discovery has me excited to see what the future holds.
So, I ask of you, before trying to find love in your career, friends and romantic love, find the confidence within you. Discover how it brings love, compassion and hope to the world around you.
I hope my journey of intuition, passion for life, and continuous excitement in new experiences gives you the enthusiasm to go out and find your true confident self.