Betty J. Slade
Confidence! Who has it, and who needs it? Some people are born with confidence and others fight for it. I find most artists lack the self-confidence of who they are and who they are meant to be. And, of course, being an artist usually means we are the odd-man-out, and that seems to be emphasized.
Well, it sure makes life a lot easier when you have confidence. You’re not driven by every little whim or idea and tossed to and fro, double minded and restless. And of course, you are easier to live with because you do not need reaffirming all the time.
I have a friend who was just born with self assurance. She is bold and seems to have a knowing of who she is. I used to ask her, “How did you get to be that way?” Her answer was always, “I don’t know, I’m just that way.” That did not appease me; I needed to know more.
Today, and many years later, I asked the same friend who has lived through many trials and she now knows where confidence comes from.
“Confidence! Well, it comes with a price”, She says. “In a world where people fear the truth there can be no confidence and they walk around in the rudiments of life never really living. There is a quality of confidence which leads one to stand, endure, and undertake anything. I know, how could I have endured the last five years without it? It is not the same confidence that I started with.”
Another artist put it this way, “False confidence, or ego, needs approval from people. They are trying to put an image on it, proving who they are on the outside rather than being confident about themselves on the inside.”
Another artist puts it this way, “False confidence or ego needs approval from people. They are trying to put an image on it, proving who they are on the outside but never succeeding.”
So how do we get it? I heard it put this way, “You’ve got to get it before you get it. Once you get it, you’ll get it. Once you get it, you’ll act like you’ve got it.”
What brought about this new confidence? As she put it, “One day I was apprehended by the Lord" She was stopped short by a personal catastrophe. "Truth came to light to where I could no longer excuse my way of living and doing what everyone else was doing, and then I began to know that I was not living, I was just riding a merry-go-round. I stepped off that merry-go-round.”
The dictionary says it is trust, assurance and an unquestionable belief in the integrity, strength or ability of a person or thing. You would think that confidence would come from possessions, riches, companionship, popularity, approval or admiration from others. It doesn’t. I know, because I have sought those things and they did not produce confidence. Nothing under the sun can bring this to you. We can not conjure it up. We can not give ourselves this confidence.
In those days, because I was asking I did not have it and didn’t know how to get it, but when I finally came full circle, I got it. I quit looking for other things to build my life on. I quit comparing myself and my talent with others, I quit fighting for what I perceived to be the life I wanted and began to accept and trust and enjoy the life I was given. I finally admitted that I hadn’t arrived, and that's okay because now I am on the way.
The Final Brushstroke! My friend was right, confidence comes with a price, and it’s well worth it!