If you were 100% confident about who you are, would you be worried about what other people think?
If you felt 100% comfortable with who you are, could you feel calm, centered and peaceful no matter what anyone else says and no matter what situation you find yourself in?
Being okay with who we are frees us up from having to worry about saying or doing the wrong thing.
Yes – it would be great to feel this way - but being okay with who we are is a tall order.
How can we even begin to think about reaching this level of comfort and confidence?
Creating space between ‘who’ and ‘what’
To take our first step, let’s learn how to create a space between ‘who’ we are and ‘what’ we feel, between ‘who’ we are and the anxiety we experience.
Take a look at the following three sentences. And as you read each one, notice how the energy inside of you (basically how you feel) changes.
I am anxious.
I am experiencing anxiety.
Something is causing me anxiety.
In sentence #1, we are saying that I AM anxious. The ‘who’ in this case is anxious.
This suggests that who you are is anxious. Who we are, at our highest, highest nature, at the core of our being, is anxious!? This touches us deeply. It sounds permanent. And seems to be addressing our very identity as a human being. As who we think we are.
Now take sentence #2: I am experiencing anxiety now.
We are not anxious, as in sentence #1. But we are HAVING an EXPERIENCE of anxiety. There seems to be a person separate from the experience that is taking place.
A deeper or larger presence of who we are is separate from the anxiety.
Now look at sentence #3. Something is causing me anxiety. Here there is even more distance between the ‘who’ that we are and the anxiety that we feel.
In this case, the anxiety is about something else. It’s not about us. It is about something else that is going on.
Now, I am not saying that any one statement is more true than another when it comes to anxiety. These are just three perspectives used to loosen the hold that anxiety has on us.
Sense the ‘who’ at the core your being
Use this distinction to carve a gap between ‘who’ you are and ‘what’ you are capable of experiencing. Between you and ‘what’ happens outside of you, in your thoughts and in your body.
Use this sense of the ‘who’ at the core of your being to watch the experience of anxiety as separate and distinct.
This is a first step. Seeing yourself as having a separate identity from all that you can experience – including anxiety.
The next challenge is to learn how to continually choose your deeper ‘who’ over the surface thoughts and feelings.
©2005 Sarah Malik is dedicated to helping people reduce their anxiety and increase their confidence, so that they can experience freedom and self-expression - No matter where they are and no matter what they are doing. More information is available at: http://www.createyourownconfidence.com - Note to editors: Please feel free to create a live link to this article.