“All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts,
only needing circumstances to evoke them."
— Charles Dickens
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt."
— William Shakespeare
“What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Classic post from 4-14-11]
Today, I want to talk about confidence, worthiness, and the power within us, because I see a lot of people who seem so unsure of themselves.
A long time ago, and I can never forget it, my first wife told me that if I ever started really believing in myself there would be no stopping me. Back then, I wanted to believe in myself, but always felt like I was not good enough, not smart enough, didn't have a college degree, and the list was endless of the reasons I would state as to why I didn't do something or believe I could.
Oh, I wasn't stuck in neutral not doing anything, but I think there are one or more things that each of us can excel in and declare our specialness or uniqueness in. I just wasn't finding them, but I tried a number of things. And, at the same time, my low self-esteem kept me from trying things that required more courage.
One of the things that I always wanted from the time I was a child was to play a musical instrument, write songs, and sing. I dinked around with a garage band when I was in my teens, but we sucked and I never thought we were good enough to play in public. Later, I got into a career to earn money and the music took a seat in a different stadium.
When I was 30, I left the car business for a few years and opened a musical instrument store. I went to an open mike night to listen to a friend and he cajoled me into getting up and doing some songs. I was scared to death and did it anyway and it was fun–probably not very good, but fun. That was the 1979-80 time frame.
In the mid-80's I began writing songs and got into recording and getting better slowly, but still hiding in the studio behind closed doors for hours on end. I kept writing until around 1988.
Then in 1996, I started going to church and an opportunity came to play guitar and sing and lead worship with contemporary music. I laugh right now thinking of how bad I was, how nervous I was and how little confidence I had. But, I worked at it and got better, then began writing songs for the church and ended up doing that for 9 years, also expanding into musicianship by learning and even doing well at playing the bass guitar as well.
It was all a joyous experience, some of it required a courageous attitude, and I found that there is so much I learned and so many people were blessed by the songs and the style I developed and the blessings were then on me.
I fulfilled most of my dream of playing in a band, singing, and so on through this period and though I no longer do that, it was such a powerful boost to my confidence level.
So, I recommend trying and doing and allowing yourself to not have to be good from the beginning, but have a willingness to grow and become more. No matter where you are, you can always become more. There is no such thing as completion, it is just the journey. Want to be a speaker? Start talking to small groups and practice. Want to sing in a band? Get out there and allow yourself to not be perfect, to begin with.
This worthiness issue is all bunk. We are all worthy. I proclaim worthiness on you. Go and do and practice and improve and have fun. Whatever you do, have fun!
Dream Your Dreams. Now, Begin Living Them.
Spread Some Joy Today–There is nothing so fruitful as laughter at work. When you are laughing, you are loving.