I was not a confident child, not at all, actually. I wore glasses ever since I was three so you can imagine all the appellatives I was kindly given. I am still not the most confident person, but I am more confident than I was last year and for me that is a win.
I am under no circumstance entitled to give advice on being confident, but I have recently read one of Murakami’s books “What I talk about when I talk about running” which is actually a book about writing just as much as it is about running. This has given me an idea! I have always struggled with my confidence, but one thing that definitely helped me improve it, was dancing.
So to paraphrase Murakami, what do I think about (If you know me, you know that I am not the best talker) when I think about dancing? Long story short, I think about creating a sequence of moves that at first seem quite unnatural for the body so when I do them, I still need to think about which one is next. Then I get used to doing them in the same order and even my body seems to have assimilated them. When I am given a character, the sequence of moves starts to have a reason and I ask myself: how would a hysterical person do these moves?(why did I start with hysterical?:))) how would a candid person do them, how would a protective mum…you get the idea. I adapt the moves to the personality of the character.
After a lot of rehearsing, I don’t even need to think about the particularities of that character, it is all already natural for the body, both the moves and the attitude. When on stage, though, weird things can happen. To me, being on stage seems the most subtle balance between controlling, thinking about the moves and character and enjoying it. Sometimes however, I might get distracted by the audience and I experience a “black-out”. My mind can’t remember what the next move is, but my body leads the way and continues to do what has been doing for all these months of rehearsals and frankly, saves the day.
You might be asking yourself why am I going in this much detail about dancing and what is my point. I do have a point, I promise! And to prove it, I will draw the first conclusion. Grab your glass of wine and the almonds, I grabbed mine also and let me explain to you why I think having a motivational mantra works. To simplify things because we want to enjoy our wine also, you keep on telling yourself that you are confident. At first, you hardly believe it, but then you see that from time to time, you do manage to act confidently. You keep on telling yourself things that will boost your confidence and notice that people react to you as if you do actually have it.
Now you start overthinking and believe you are a total Pinocchio for fooling everybody (with something that is harmless and actually beneficial to you), but because you already got used to feeding your brain with confidence boosters, you continue, out of habit. You’ve had ups and down, you are human after all but then something proves to you that you are doing the right thing.
One person has woken up on the wrong side of the bed, which I always think is underneath the bed, because both his and hers side are pretty good from my experience. Back to the grumpy person and to you. For some weird reason that in retrospective will seem destiny, you and grumpy find yourselves interacting. Grumpy challenges your confidence and because you haven’t had the greatest morning either, your mind takes you to how you would have reacted months ago when you had zero confidence, however, you into “auto-pilot” and surprisingly disarm grumpy with confidence.
This is what you have worked for all these months – for your auto-pilot response to be one with confidence, and this is why even though I had a massive black-out on stage, my body was trained to continue without my blonde mind.
Shall I bring some more nuts?
Till next time…wine-stained kisses!
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