I would like to start by wishing you all a Happy Valentines Day! Valentines Day is my second favorite holiday behind Christmas. It's a whole day in honor of love, and I am a hopeless romantic. So what better day to say carpe diem! I am finding it interesting that I have this attitude because for the first time in many, many years I am spending it alone. R had to go out of town for work, and so we are separated. He will return tomorrow. Distance doesn't diminish love by any stretch though, and while I was sad at first...I am ok with it. I have plans to spend the day with Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom by having a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie marathon and sewing.
Yesterday I went out and ran some errands, and while I was out I picked up the latest issue of "Where Women Create." I read an article about being confident. Oddly enough I have been thinking a bit on that very subject recently. Last week someone told me that people are drawn to me because of my confidence. So naturally I had to ponder that. I don't think I am all that confident in a lot of ways...afterall I am a classic neurotic artist. But perhaps at this stage of life I have become comfortable with all that I am, and am not, including the neurotic part. Maybe that's what they were referring to?
The article said that confidence is the quality that makes us most attractive. I think I agree with that. People that we tend to find attractive in some way are usually not those with super model good looks...but rather those people who exude a confidence in who they are and what they are capable of.
We have all encountered people here and there who are just "cool" no matter what they do. I have come across those people several times. One famous person who I think fits that bill is Lenny Kravitz. I don't find him physically attractive per se', but he could be flossing his teeth and still be cool doing it. Another is Phil Collins. Not handsome, but oh so cool. They truly exude confidence.
As artists, when we have longevity in our chosen field we become good at what we do. But yet we can go to a show and suddenly feel very insecure, we think everyone else has better work than we do. Our normal confidence can fly right out the window. Who knows, maybe Lenny and Phil have those same insecurities.
How do we gain confidence to start with? Why can we suddenly lose it in an instant? I think the answer to the first question is rather simple. I think it's a matter of repetition of actions...whether it's putting on mascara everyday, making a thousand bears, or simply learning to accept ourselves as worthy for what we are right now this second. When we become familiar with any process it becomes second nature and we feel confident in how we do it. When we learn to love all that we are, without waiting for that "someday" when we get better at something, or lose ten pounds, or be nicer to our family then we become confident. Now I don't want to mistake that with complacency. I think it's important to always try to improve what you do and who you are...but acceptance that you are the very best you that you can be right this second is equally important.
What about the second question though? Why is it that even when we are usually confident in who we are, that we can feel insecure when surrounded by our peers? Actually I think that the answer to this one is simple too. Whether you're at a show and you think everyone has better work than you, or whether you're just meeting a friend for lunch and think she has an amazing outfit and you suddenly feel frumpy....it's because we are too close to what we do. We cannot step outside ourselves and see how others view us. We may have a general sense of it, and we could be close...or we could be way off base. That also varies from person to person who is viewing us. For all we know our friend may think we look better than they do, and the other artists at the show might be feeling exactly the same as we do. It's because we are so familiar with our own process, and we think maybe someone has a better one.
We only get one life, and one chance to live it. It's up to you to make it amazing. It's important to work on our confidence, and to not squander any opportunity. I told you in earlier posts that this year was about taking risks for me. The funny thing is, a friend pointed out that I have always been a risk taker who goes her own way. That's how she sees me. She too sees me as filled with self confidence. But to me, she is the amazing one who I aspire to be like. Ironic isn't it!
So my Valentines wish for you all is to love everyone in your life with absolute confidence, whether they are near or far. Love yourself with absolute confidence, you and your work are wonderful and worthy and cool in your own way. Seize the day and make it amazing for you and those you love!