The degree to which you feel free to be yourself, even when acting silly, reveals your level of self confidence.
I used to think if I let go and acted very silly that people would judge me poorly. I thought they would see me as irresponsible or childish. More importantly, I thought looking goofy would damage my credibility.
So I never did anything that I thought caused me to look silly or anything less than serious. I mean never. Not when I was a baby. Not when I was a kid. And certainly not when I grew up!
Do your thoughts run the same way?
If you answered yes let me tell you the consequences of being a serious person all the time all of your life.
First of all it doesn’t feel so great. You do a lot less laughing out loud. Oh my goodness. I didn’t even laugh out loud until I had kids of m own and I laughed with them. No kidding!
Are you getting the idea of just how serious I used to be?
Notice I said “used to be.” The Universe brought people into my life that made me laugh. They live in joy. I watched how differently they experience life than I do.
One of those people is my daughter. She was funny from the age of one month and she just got funnier and funnier as she grew older. Now I am not saying she is comedian or she acts goofy all the time.
I am saying I envied her freedom simply to be herself all her life. What a joy it was raising her! I learned about being silly. I didn’t make my move to that domain while raising her but at least I saw that you can have fun without losing friends or the respect of others.
My life changed when I met my friend, Diane. Diane is a joy. Being around her leaves me smiling and feeling light. Hmm. Actually I mean Light. She is a bright Light that illuminates the world.
From Diane I learned that it is okay to let your little child out to play. In fact it s very healthy to let that child be part of who you are rather than hidden away.
I realized that I did not have enough self confidence to be me, no matter. I lacked the confidence to know that what other people think of me has nothing to do with me.
The only person’s whose opinion of me matters to me is me. As soon as I made that first video that message came through loud and clear!
Diane and I started making videos together. We did pretty goofy stuff. At first I was really scared. Can you even imagine being afraid to cut loose and act silly?
Well, I was. You know how most people fear the unknown? Well, I am somebody who jumps in and does it anyway. Yet it took me more than fifty years to jump in on this one! Mostly because the thought of doing so had not really occurred to me. I thought having fun in a goofy way was for other people but certainly not for me.
Well, Diane and I created a series of videos we call Laughing Ladies. I had so much fun after making the first one, and we got such a great response from friends and even from strangers, that we went on to make two more Laughing Ladies videos.
And me? I learned that being goofy and laugh out loud fun are great stress relievers! And no one thinks any less of me. In fact, people told me how much they appreciated the light videos – or do I mean Light.
I really “get” that self confidence has nothing to do with appearances or behaviors. And when yours is very high you truly can do anything you want to!
Self Confidence and self esteem are two different concepts, two separate parts of who and how you are in the world. You can be very self confident in many areas of your life and yet suffer from low self esteem.
Self esteem is how you feel about yourself. You alone make you feel good about yourself. You alone make you feel bad about yourself.
As a psychotherapist I heard people blame others for putting them down and destroying their self esteem. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You cannot keep a good man down without his permissions.”
No one has any power over you and no one can tell you how to feel about yourself. If someone makes a remark that you choose to interpret as hurtful or a put-down realize that you chose to take in the remark that way.
What if, in doing or saying what they did, that person had no idea you would assign the meaning you did and feel hurt? What if that person had zero intention of putting you or anything about you down?
Chances are that what I just proposed is accurate. Very few people speak with an intention to hurt others. Sure, there are some people who feel so bad about themselves they attempt to make themselves feel better by potting others down thinking that makes them superior. Of course that is their belief system (BS) and has no basis in reality.
Plain and simple, like everything else in your life, you totally create and control how you feel about you. In any moment, if you catch yourself beating yourself up or putting yourself down you can catch yourself and replace those thoughts with others that empower you to feel good about being you.
Self confidence is all about how well you feel you do the tasks you perform. When you know you do something well you have high self confidence. When you know you possess certain talents you feel very confident in those areas of your life.
Can you see that a person can be very self confident yet have low self esteem? Of course a person can perform amazing feats and suffer from both low self confidence and low self esteem.
Witness the number of celebrities (actors, sports figures, politicians) with drug problems. Most of them are very talented and very good at what they do. They clearly are very confident that they will perform well most of the time. They have high self confidence yet, if they were happy being who they are as they are, why would they turn to drugs to feel good?
People who need the adulation of others to feel good about themselves lack the self esteem that allows them to feel good about themselves just because they exist. Self esteem and self confidence are both do-it-yourself jobs.
I often hear stories about how kids were told they were worthless and would never amount to anything in life. Or maybe they were called clumsy or awkward or dumb.
I never got any put-down labels when I was growing up. In fact I experienced the opposite. I was left on my own to figure it all out and pretty much did so. Yeah, I had some funny ideas like thinking people somehow detached their garages from their houses then they had garage sales!
You see, my mom thought I knew everything and could do everything. So I grew up feeling totally confident in myself. I knew I could do anything, absolutely anything I set m mind to. And I pretty much did.
Looking back I wonder how I figured out how to do al the things I did. Now I know we are never alone. Now I know we always have guides and angels with us showing us the way. Yeah. I know all that now but hey – I never knew it all those years.
When people talk about being afraid of change I wonder why. I live spontaneously. I jump in and do. I leave the figuring out how for later.
Did that ever leave me floundering? You better believe it! I recall the first (and only time) I went off the high dive. Land sakes alive I thought I would never hit the water! And when I did I thought I was going to hit the bottom of the pool and wondered if I would have enough air to get back up to the surface. Yikes!
That never stopped me from going for what I wanted. I always felt confident I cold do anything – including the things people told me I could not possibly accomplish – especially when people told me I could not possibly do something.
So when my dean told me not to apply for the music scholarship in college because “freshman never got that one” I ignored her and – you guessed it – I won it. (Can you imagine the dean of a university telling a student not to bother trying? How the heck did she get to be the dean?)
Here is the knowledge I want you to get from my sharing my life experience…
Your self-confidence comes from inside you. No one out there makes you feel good about being you. No one and nothing outside yourself can make you feel great about being you exactly as you are, imperfections and all. Hey, if you were perfect you wouldn’t be human!