A survival instinct is deeply rooted in our individual psyche. This instinct is part of the wiring intended for individual protection and continuation of the species. Judgment is a learned behavior. It is my personal belief that these two somehow link to one another in a manner destructive to one’s authenticity.
The base defensiveness built into the survival instinct combines with learned judgment to from the opinions that too easily spew forth in criticism and harsh response. In the process, we begin to believe our library of opinions represents us in this world. The fact is we stand behind these opinions as a frontiersman stood behind the perishable walls of his fort; safe only for a time.
And safe from what?
Injected with judgment and unnatural fear our instinct forms into a terrible foe. Behind the walls of our fort, we are closed in with a beast more dangerous than anything outside the walls. We are the prisoner of a closed mind.
I must leave this fort behind. Opinions may be part of my experience but they do not represent who I am. Confidence opens the doors of my fort and moves me back into the natural flow.
Fully opening to understand and accept who I am at the core (the intended me) gives me the best sense of safety as I explore beyond the walls. The bounty of present moment experience is mine only as I allow understanding to direct my behavior – my choices and my decisions. This means I am learning to wade into each experience conscious of my purpose while respecting the potential and power of self and others.
Confidence is a constant process. Sometimes I have to sneak up on myself in that fort. Forcing my attention outside the walls, it is back to realizing it is not how I feel that determines how I act authentically; it is how I authentically act that determines how I feel. This is real confidence.
And it is real confidence – the new confidence – that opens us more fully. Without a doubt, I am my biggest adversary; I can step into self-pity with the best of them. Confidence allows me to step out of self-pity and leverage understanding to open myself to others. To be open, one must be relaxed; cool with self. Outside the walls I discover encouragement in hope and courage in adventure.