52. BUILDING CONFIDENCE

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There was a time, not so long ago, when believing in myself was nothing more than knowing I could drink a fifth of vodka and then eat a whole extra-large pizza in one sitting. My skills were as dull as a marshmallow and my drive was limited to wherever the closest liquor store was.  I placed no value on my existence, nor did anyone else. It was as if I were incarcerated, doomed to watch the world pass me by through the bars of my little window. To be honest, I was jealous of those who seemed to flow through their days with focus, determination, and purpose. Their attitude was one of self-respect, fortitude, and dedication;  while mine was one of lack, self-destruction, and selfishness. I wanted more than anything to possess what seemed unreachable. Through practice, patience, and effort I was able to nail down the following definition of success and fulfillment.

I believe above all other (material) pursuits, beyond money, power, and fame there sits at the top of the mountain, confidence.  Once possessed nothing else is needed. This elusive quality is the elixir of manifestation. It moves in grace, planning its strategy while embracing the moment, knowing what it wants without ignoring the audience. It does not seek to improve its image by boasting or advertising.  It is quiet, calm, and aware. It does not complain, nor does it ridicule. It gives credit and takes little. When this behavior is attempted by those who don’t understand how it must be carefully developed, it comes across as cockiness, and this of course, is the way of oblivion.

Here is the equation- Cockiness wants admiration for its “abilities” without being asked to provide actions or a history to back them up. Its modus operandi is recognition and approval. It prefers the sales pitch over the product. Confidence, on the other hand,  wants to take action, thereby allowing it a chance to build a list of achievements. It needs no recognition from others and cares not for trophies. It prefers the product over the sales pitch.  Cockiness lives in a state of reactiveness, it plays the antagonist. Confidence is about moving through life proactively and it plays the ally. Cockiness is quick to point out what needs fixed and is easily insulted, which means it’s reactions are mostly of a mistrusting, defensive nature. Confidence is quick to complement and willing to help, which means it’s actions are mostly trusting and cooperative.

How many seek the self-assured life  but  settle  for its adversary?  I certainly have on many occasions, especially when I was a young man. It’s easy to understand the temptation of trying to impress others without having to provide evidence. Shortcuts have an appeal, but rarely do they yield reward. The “reward” in this case is the journey, nothing else. It’s like trying to convince someone you’re a bodybuilder without having the muscles to prove it. It sounds funny, but this type behavior is overwhelmingly common.

All I can share is what I know so far. Most of what I’ve picked up over the years comes from mimicking the patterns of those who already possess what I want. Here is a list of twelve bullet points that might help. It’s not professional, it’s just my opinion.

  • Don’t ask others to believe in you; believe in yourself.
  • Make a list of values and ethics that will force you expect more from yourself than others will ever expect from you.
  • Moving or thinking somewhat slower allows for more calculated actions and responses. It will appear to observers that there’s a dedicated mind  behind the process; which there is.
  • Be quick to admit fault. This removes the temptation to blame.
  • Be quick to admit defeat. This creates partners instead of rivals.
  • Be quick to offer praise, be hesitant to express dissatisfaction.
  • Shine a light on the past to sell the future. Nothing beats a track record.
  • Avoid anger, frustration, and resentment. Remember, “He who walks away from confrontation with the lowest blood pressure, wins.”
  • The only punishment allowed for “failure” is to keep going with a new strategy. Repeating old tactics isn’t permitted.
  • DO NOT hesitate to ask for both help and criticism from those who are better than you.
  • Say “Yes” and “No” a lot without embellishment. I.E.- Do you want to eat out tonight? No. Would you be willing to help me next Thursday? Yes.
  • Strive to become better than you were yesterday. The only person you are allowed to compete with is who you were.

Am I always confidant? No. I am, however, much more than practiced I used to be, and I expect this skill will increase with continued awareness. Not a day goes by where I don’t  “break” at least some of these rules and end up paying instantly for my ignorance. At least I am also confident that by action I’m quite capable of demonstrating what NOT to do.

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With Love and Compassion, Daniel Andrew Lockwood

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One comment

  1. This entry of yours reminds me of an entry I just read by Teal Swan. She was discussing the nature of Desire. When I read about your thoughts on Confidence, and how it relates to the Manifestation process, I can’t help but to think of her description of desire! Here it is for you to read, if interested:

    “Desire has been a big topic of controversy in the world. Spiritual teachers often say that desire is the root of suffering. They say that happiness is the result of learning how to rid oneself of desire. But even the desire to rid yourself of desire, is a desire. So you can never truly rid yourself of desire and you can never lie to yourself enough to convince yourself that you don’t want what you want. So why is it that thousands of people have experienced relief from supposedly ridding themselves of desire?

    When you desire something, that desire is the emotional indication that you have given birth to a brand new improved idea. That improved idea holds a frequency. And your higher self matches that new frequency the minute you desire it. So now, there is a gap between the frequency you hold, and the frequency your higher self holds. There is a vibrational gap between you and what you want. If you think a thought that feels negative, it is because that thought has a vibration, which separates you further from your higher self and therefore your desire. If you think a thought that feels positive, it is because that thought has a vibration, which is closer to the vibration of your higher self and therefore your desire. So there are two ways to close this gap between you and your higher self; between you and your desire. The first is to understand that anything you can ever want is meant to be yours and will be yours the minute you think thoughts and take actions that line you up vibrationally with it. The second is to want the now. If you want the now, your higher self joins you where you are. There is no gap between you and your higher self and therefore, no negative emotion can arise from you. Over the centuries, though no one has managed to rid themselves of desire, many have managed to appreciate the now to such a degree that they were no longer suffering.

    The desire that is emanating from every being in existence is what is causing the expansion of this universe. To come here and to not desire is to promote ended-ness within the universe. It goes directly against the reason you chose to come into physical existence to begin with. You are designed to desire. Desire is as true to you as pure being-ness. So why does desire cause us pain? The answer is, it doesn’t.

    Desire never caused pain. It’s what we add to desire that causes us pain. What makes desire painful is thoughts like these: I can’t have what I desire. I don’t deserve to have what I want. I’m not good enough until I get this thing that I desire. What causes pain is continuing to focus on what you don’t have or don’t like or don’t want after you have already given birth to the idea of what you do want.

    So many of us think that desire is about wanting what we do not have and so when we think of desire, we do not think of the feeling of inspiration and forward movement. We think of the feeling of desperate dissatisfaction with where we currently are. We call that the feeling of desire, when it is not the feeling of desire; it is the feeling of the negative thought we’re thinking after we desire something. We associate desire with the feeling that the desire is not currently ours and may in fact never be ours. The feeling we associate with desire is actually the feeling of resistance to our desire. It is not desire that causes suffering, it is resistance to your desire that causes suffering. Desire causes you pain when you contradict your desire with thoughts that prevent you from it. Desire causes you pain when you continue to focus on what is unwanted (what inspired you to that desire in the first place) even though you already know what you want instead. Desire causes you suffering when you do not understand that desire will never end. It truly is the finish line that you will never reach. The minute you reach the point you thought was the finish line, it will move and you will be chasing something else that you want. Once you accept that you can never reach that finish line, you open the door to joy in your life. You experience the joy of the journey instead of the destination. If you know you will never reach the end of the line, you will no longer think something is wrong when you don’t reach the end of the line. You can enjoy the feeling of the process of hatching that new improved idea and the process of lining up with that idea mentally, emotionally and physically until you are living the reality of it.

    There is no reason to feel as if desire is the enemy. Everything you love about existence, from living in houses instead of caves, to that perfect piece of chocolate cake, is available to you now because it was once the byproduct of someone else’s desire. There is nothing you could not be or do or have. Everything you could ever think to desire is meant to be yours. If it was not meant to be yours, you could not desire it in the first place. If you desire it, it can be done.”

    Liked by 1 person

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