Convincing? or Confident? --- realizing my fake pursuit towards confidence.

Confidence… a funny word isn't it. A thing we are all trying to obtain but neglect to recognize what we already have. I need to tell a tiny little story to help this flush out. So bear with me.

I planned a week trip to CO and KS. Two of my hometowns. To be honest I have spent the majority of my life ready to get away from my hometown… and when I was away, I dreaded to go back. I thought where I was... WAS SOOO MUCH BETTER. (eye rolling at my self for even admitting this). Especially since my brother passed, I guess home was too scary, and just sad so... better to stay away. I went back to CO, spent 5 days with friends that are like family, and my Brother and Sister-in-law. 5 days in I was bored BUT loving every second of who I was. I felt relaxed and oddly…. relatable to the person I saw in the mirror. Moving on to KS, I showed up to surprise my Dad, we had a big surprise party for his 60th and everyone was there. I existed alongside people who I knew I didn't need to sell myself to... Or prove anything too. I was home and with them, that was beyond enough. My Brothers and I went out that night and to say it was one of my favorite nights is an understatement. I felt whole and “confident", free and fun. 

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I left the next morning and realized a simple thing: I have missed my family, I have missed home. Those walls that I have placed up for years avoiding home, have done nothing to benefit me. It more so held me back from so much love and support wanting to come in and spoil me. The tears didn't stop for a week. I HAVE NEVER. NOT ONCE. EVEN ALLOWED MYSELF, TO GET CLOSE TO....this thought. I’D EVEN JUDGE PEOPLE FOR HAVING THIS THOUGHT... (blushing typing this): “Maybe I should move back home”. So here I was in tears... fearing the question that came to mind.  I loved the way I felt at home and hated the way I made myself feel in LA, the place I have made home. So, what do you do when the question that you have said “I will never ever EVER even think” comes up? The question you have tied failure, and everything negative too? What do you do when you realize apart of you so beautiful, something so freeing and whole? Is in a package you have never wanted to receive? That goes against your dreams? …. WELL, you try and get it again… in a package you DO want to receive. You allow the question, the thought and the conversations to exist. Because we all know holding them in never worked for anyone. So, I remembered something my dance teacher insightfully shared with me while I was in CO…(perfect timing… huh?!?) “what are you curious about? follow that and see what comes up”. She encouraged me to stay away from the “what am I supposed to do with my life?” question and allow myself to explore my curiosities, to find the answer myself. Because a “yes” or a “no”, will never lead to a “what if?”. But an unanswered question, without a doubt, will.

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I was in acting class a couple days after getting back and couldn't shake the fact that all I have been doing was trying to put on all this confidence. I realized I have been spending months, possibly years, trying to convince people “I AM CONFIDENT”. Self-help books, affirmations, stand in the superman pose, say “I am confident”  a bazillion times, ETC. Being an actress and dancer... "walk in with confidence." is like a kid hearing "eat your vegetables". We hear it allllll the time. But I couldn't get that I was so freaking confident a couple days prior without needing an ounce of the “convincing” bullshit. I just was. We lather on so much cream we call confidence, when in reality the confidence we have, doesn't need to be worn like armor. Confidence should be identified from the inside. I don't think we need to lead with confidence. I believe we need to lead with courage, curiosity, love, and kindness. Let confidence be the burning flame that makes all those things possible. But when we trade out confidence for something we are wearing rather than burning… are we diluting the power of it?!? perhaps.

Honestly, I have spent so long feeling fake to myself… not fake in the “oh they so Hollywood” type way. But in the, “not knowing who I am” that wavering feeling. It felt like I didn't know if I even had my own back. I was sick of not standing for something. So, I guess I’m writing this to remind myself and anyone who’s reading these words, take a second to find your heartbeat. To remember that no location, no job, no STATUS, needs additional or fake confidence to pursue them. They need that real authentic burning flame, that both dims and goes crazy. Cause that's life, that's real… THATS YOU. That's workable. I have spent these past couple weeks deciding that I am going to shoot to ask myself, first and for most, how I want to go through my day. The things that I do, will always be different than others. I'm learning to be obedient to me, so I build a trust and a respect with myself. Let my confidence grow from the inside out. Yes, the affirmations, self-help books etc. are all great tools, if we are digesting them, not just trying to apply them and seeing if the magic sticks. 

The magic will stay when it begins and ends with you. So here I proclaim, I'm going to leave any situation I am feeling the need to convince someone I am confident! I'm going to remind myself, confidence is… where you are, what you are, and what you love. Let it be. And have some fun! 

MY DADS TAKE-AWAY: "Confidence comes from the ability to trust yourself to figure it out."  <------ I love this reminder that we don't have to be perfect for a task, dream, or pursuit... we have to trust who we are to get through it. Because we can all learn, grow, and be more... if  we let ourselves. 

as always,

live free,

ARIE*

arielle bodenhausen