Firstly, my apologies for the late delivery of this morning’s blog. I’ve been struggling a bit, both with inspiration and the ‘C’ word you’ll find in this blog’s title… not Cake, not even Christmas, unfortunately. I’m writing about Confidence. My not-so favourite word.
How can a person who wrote her one hundred thousandth word on her current Work-in-Progress yesterday be struggling with confidence? Surely confidence is abundant, oozing out of her very pores? You’d think so, of course. Not the case, though. It’s easy to think you’ve got confidence when you’re sitting behind a computer screen for 8 hours a day, arguing with nobody more intelligent than yourself, but then you remember that you’re about to enter a writing competition, or you have to make a telephone call to a stranger, or you have to deal with a nasty person in ‘real’ life, and the facade crumbles. The confidence cracks off, and the real you – shy, a little awkward among new people, not quite sure that she’s got the right end of the stick most of the time – staggers, blinking, into the harsh light of day. I don’t know about you, but there’s very little that makes me feel more vulnerable, and less confident, than suddenly feeling like you’re out on a limb.
I’m not a naturally confident person. I’ve always been shy around people I don’t know, even though I’d like to think I’m friendly, too. I tend to knock myself and my own ability a lot. I’m not sure where this behaviour comes from, but I know it’s there. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to the quiet, solitary side of writing – the bit where it’s just you and the keyboard against the world. The rest of it is scary. I guess this is becoming real to me because I am – I actually am – going to deliver my entry to the writing competition tomorrow. It may go nowhere, or it may lead to places I can only dream of. Either way, I’m nervous, and I don’t feel capable of dealing with what’s facing me, right at this moment in time.
I’ve felt like this before, though. The first day of every new job I’ve ever had; the first day of college; the first day of school. I’ve been here before, and I’ve survived. I do struggle with confidence – often, I’ve had to twist my own arm behind my back in order to force myself to get up there and give that paper, or teach that class, or deal with that customer, or whatever the case may be. I know this time will be no different, and so I guess I’ll deal with it the way I always have – by faking it. I know I can push myself to deal with the rejection without letting it crush me, and I can make myself keep on writing – it’s not easy, but with a bit of stern self-talking, I’ll get through it. It’s not exactly confidence – it’s more an approximation of confidence, or perhaps a coating of bravado in the same shade as confidence – but if it works, it works.
So, brave bloggers. What are your tricks for bluffing your way out of scary situations, or pretending you’re not terrified when, in fact, you are? In short, how do you create your confidence?
Happy Wednesday, all.