Being a go getter for much of my life, my confidence came from achieving, doing more, being recognized for my contribution and ‘a job well done’.
I became addicted to it.
Climbing the ladder, getting more money and achieving that recognition was synonymous with how I felt about myself. It felt good. That pay rise, that promotion, that deadline achieved.
The more I did the better it felt.
Or so I thought.
What I hadn’t realized was the confidence and fulfilment I thought I felt were fake.
My confidence was based on someone else’s measure of my success not actually my own.
Implanted in my psyche by a society that is consumed with money, hierarchy and control as the definition of success.
Societal expectations of what good looks like weren’t however intrinsically mine.
My so-called confidence and self esteem were also superficial. Only skin deep. Fleeting, even.
All that achieving, the addiction, was just that – short term hits for no long term gain.
Not only that but all that achieving came at great cost – my body, my family, my kids and, at a fundamental level, my real self.
Carving out something completely new for myself has resulted in a surprising discovery.
With calm comes self assurance. Real confidence. Which seems somehow counter intuitive. How can stepping away and becoming quiet lead to more confidence?
Yet the old adage of being quietly confident is quite true.
The feeling is somehow deeper. More fulfilling. A quiet excitement. A place where the only expectations I need to meet are my own.
The opinions of others don’t matter as much anymore. My self worth isn’t about what others think of me.
There is no interference.
It has become much more about what I think of myself.
And I quite like her. Who she is becoming.
Amazing things happen when you break free of the treadmill and create space, quiet and calm in its place instead.
There is something truly liberating about letting go and surrendering yourself. Being who you want to be. Setting your own measures of success and noone elses.
Confidence becomes you.
Originally published at medium.com