Right, so we’ll get to building your sexy ass confidence in just a second, good friend.
First tho, here’s a fun trick to try if you’d like to test your creative confidence; publish a blog post about erotica, get everybody all seduced and lathered up, and then come back a week later and publish another blog post.
About anything else.
Post about something else – after riffing about touching and stroking and fingering – and expect anyone to give a shit about what could possibly come after all that goodness.
I hear you. I know. But never fear, my love. I’ve got you. I am not afraid.
I have something even hotter to talk about this week, if you can possibly fathom that (I realize a blogger with any sense at all would be concerned about deliberately stacking this kind of dangerous pyramid scheme of expectations but nobody’s here to play it safe, I sincerely hope).
So here’s what, monster lovers, let’s not talk about what comes after erotica because the hell if I’m here to chase dragons (. . .that could be cool, though? . . . okay, let’s not shelve that idea entirely, right. Dragons are kind of hot).
Let’s talk about what came before the post about erotica. Let’s talk about the audacity (courage, passion, sensitivity, wild burning love) it took to even consider posting about erotica, something beautiful and sexy, but also immensely vulnerable and delicate.
There’s only one thing you need to acquire in order to have the self-confidence to write about what you ACTUALLY want to write about, to work on what you ACTUALLY want to work on, to be who you ACTUALLY are instead of screwing around trying on different half-baked versions of other people’s ideas / tricks / style / swagger.
Above and beyond all else, my beautiful talented creature, you have to learn to trust yourself.
You must somehow (how?) learn to trust that you have a reciprocal relationship you can believe in with the work, the muse, the creativity, the Thing you want to be more confident about.
You have to start doing something that will convince you that you are in a creative cycle WITH yourself, but not BY yourself.
There are forces working on your behalf all the time and you can tap into exactly how to make them work for you on the regular.
(For the merciful sake of this little bite-sized weekly exercise, just pick a single thing – one thing or one area in your life where you’d like to really knock your own socks off – and concentrate on that. Trying to be confident in EVERY area of your life all at once is too overwhelming and seriously: people who excel at everything are annoying.)
There is a simple, proven way to build the kind of self-trust that naturally leads to self-confidence. There’s a clever way, it turns out, to get good at it. To sharpen our game, to ramp up our prowess, confidence and competence.
No matter what it is you want to do – go pro with your art or creative work; be taken more seriously as a teacher / biz owner / parent / painter / balloon salesperson; get physically fit; go vegan – the common denominator in all of these situations is you, of course: you.
You are there, as fate would have it, every which way you turn.
The only way to get the confidence you crave is to learn to trust YOU.
OR: we could stall (most of us are terribly clever at the stalling, so clever are we that we can even convince ourselves it’s necessary) and pretend we need additional tech skills or new sneakers or the right class or the right pen / paper / desk / box of wine.
But none of that stuff actually matters if at your core, you have no faith. If you cannot trust yourself to get shit done, ain’t nothing worthwhile about to go down.
I’ll be completely honest with you guys (why stop now, yeah?): part of me wasn’t sure how the erotica post would go over. Happily, there was no mass exodus from the Glory Begin Insider Subscribers List, as I had feared. (I did lose a few, but best we understand each other now instead of later in case I get really bizarre up in here).
The work I put forth here in this place always comes from love and it always comes from the place in our relationship (you and me, lover, had you known we were in this together? Frightened? Relieved? Boxed wine?) where I believe we are ready to push, to move, to expand, to explore.
To be honest with each other on a next level.
And the only way I knew it was time for us to get erotic (read: vulnerable) is because I trust myself to feel through these things for us. I trust that creativity and I are in this game together. I trust that inspiration comes to shed light, to elevate, to bring us closer to ourselves and closer to each other.
“All I can tell you for certain is that my entire life has been shaped by an early decision to reject the cult of artistic martyrdom and instead to place my trust in the crazy notion that my work loves me as much as I love it – that it wants to play with me as much as I want to play with it – and that this source of love and play is boundless.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
But, Allison Marie, I so badly, badly, desperately, wantonly wish to trust myself, to trust my instincts, to go for what I want to believe in, but I can’t, you say. I can’t go to certain creative heights or attempt certain feats or expand to further passionate lengths because my confidence just is not there.
I’m scared, you say.
I know, angel. I promise you, I do. I get scared, too. A lot of what I do (and have done and plan to do) scares me.
What to do now?
How to build trust with yourself so that you can crush it in your chosen area of creative pursuit?
Simple. All you need to heavy-focus on to build self-trust and, therefore, self-confidence is this:
Whatever you want to do: write a book, make an album, lose 20 pounds, the balloon thing (remember?), the only way you will learn to truly trust yourself is to do a thing consistently.
Take your thing and commit to it. As in daily, weekly, monthly, and SHOW THE FUCK UP. On a schedule. At a predetermined time that is a non-negotiable.
Consistency is the way you honor yourself. And, being honored, you learn you are trustworthy. You learn that you will, in actual demonstrated fact, by there for yourself.
No matter what.
Want to know a dirty secret? When I committed to a regular Wednesday blogging schedule, I hated it. (Part of me still rails against it, I’m not even kidding.)
I like free flow, free style, free form; I don’t like to be told what to do or when to do it, even when I’m telling myself.
Especially when I’m telling myself.
In fact, it’s almost impressive how often I get on my own nerves.
I like freedom, I like wilderness, I like surprise. I like uncharted territory.
I’m frustrated by the damn schedule and yet, you know what’s weird and totally way more important?
I trust myself now more than ever before. I have more confidence, more self-trust, than I have EVER HAD before.
I treat the whole scene as a trust building activity. I trust I can bring us something valuable every week, as promised. I should expect that of me. You should expect that of me.
“If you don’t underestimate me, I won’t underestimate you.”
I like knowing you and I have a date. I think it’s really cool and stealth and fun. And an excuse for boxed wine (really, again?).
I like trusting that creativity, beauty, mystery will reveal itself in whatever topic we tackle. I love that what I’m learning is that as long as I show up, inspiration will, too.
If you don’t trust yourself, beautiful creature, you won’t talk about what you really want to talk about. If you don’t trust yourself to show up, you won’t. If you don’t trust the universe to show up when you do, you’ll never get about doing the work of your soul.
Without self-trust, the world feels like it’s out to ruin you, instead of lift you up.
This creative soul stuff is a relationship, you guys.
To get the confidence you want, you have to build trust in yourself. Because at a certain point, self-trust is your ability to make decisions faster, with more confidence, with greater ease, without fear. You know you; you trust you.
You have your own back (which sounds sort of Cirque du Soleil but without the leotards).
Your highest self doesn’t have time to sit around wondering who you’d like to be today, babe.
Be you. Commit to a schedule. Show up. Get shit done.
Confidence is hot.