This is a blog that is close to my heart. Contrary to the images you see as part of this blog, I am not an extrovert. I grew up as a naturally shy child, constantly seeking validation from others to promote how I felt about myself. A way of being that stemmed from a lack of self love and deep rooted confidence. I’d like to share my story around the role confidence has played in my life and how I’ve learnt to boost my self-love by consciously living in tune with my true values and passions.
For a long time, I lived what I now term a shadow life, that is a life that wasn’t really meant for me. In a judgemental world, I wasn’t brave enough to embrace and show the real me for fear of rejection, instead I chose to take the easiest and safe route in following the path most trodden. In doing so I was living a life that ticked plenty of boxes and impressing others, but I was stripping myself of my authenticity whilst struggling to connect and feel proud of the person I really was. The visible end product was a person lacking in self-love and outer confidence, I was representing a shadow of the person imprisoned within.
I masked my happiness by living for the weekend and chasing short term fixes through alcohol fuelled experiences. These moments briefly allowed me to live free and temporarily numb the empty feeling I felt during the other 5 days of the week. I was what I call fake happy, my soul was asleep and my life was devoid of the things that really mattered.
At 6’6 and with a well trained and athletic physique I was able to mask the inner insecurities through my exterior presentation. But the confidence that I portrayed wasn’t real or authentic, for I wasn’t really proud or love the person I was.
I’ve come to understand that I must align my behaviour and actions with the things that serve my soul if I want to feel alive and truly happy. With a dissatisfaction about the way I was living, I have spent a lot of time and energy into investing in my own personal development. I am here now to experience self liberation, to feel free, immersed in the things that i’m passionate about and to simply be more of my true self.
This isn’t a rebellion against those around me who wanted me to live a normal life, it’s simply a change in my own philosophy for me to behave in a way that makes me proud of being me. In doing so I have grown to love myself more, to be more proud of the person I am. I’m not doing it for others to like me but if they do then that’s where authentic and real relationships are made.
In September last year, much to the bemusement of many people around me, I made the decision to stop eating meat and dairy. My diet up until that point was heavily meat based, but upon digging deeper into where and how that food came from I decided I didn’t want to be part of the process any longer.
Whilst I stand by these values, the change in diet made my life more difficult, I was a fairly basic and limited cook and the change in diet meant eating became a less pleasurable experience. However, eating plant based / ethically sourced foods was something that mattered to me and my actions made me feel proud of me. I had no intention to preach to others about my way of being, I was just enjoying doing something that served my soul and made me proud of myself. I have since adapted my diet but thats a story for another time.
In making bold and difficult decisions like these, I have made a greater connection with my soul, the place where inner peace and deep rooted self confidence and contentment truly stems from. Inner confidence comes from your behaviour and actions representing the things that truly matter to you, regardless of others thoughts and perceptions.
I am not interested in living an outwardly confident life that ticks the social boxes that makes everyone else think I am happy. This way of living can make us look good in the eyes of others, but what’s the point in looking good if you feel bad inside? Your friends and peers may think good of you, but what good is that if behind closed doors you live unfulfilled, lonely and sad.
I’m focusing on taking the energy from my inner critic and investing it into my own inner champion, the person that I really want to be. Each day I am moving closer towards the life I really want to live, whether others relate to it or not. I’m learning to be bold on my own behalf, to stand up for the things that inspire me and behave in a fashion that truly represents me. It’s this that provides deep rooted inner peace, happiness, confidence and as a result, fulfillment.
Follow your heart and, irrespective of what others think, make yourself proud of the story you are living and the actions you are taking. Make your soul love the person you represent, that’s being authentic and that’s the most powerful representation of confidence you can possibly imagine.