Last weekend I facilitated a workshop in which participants were encouraged to reveal parts of themselves they usually hide. They vulnerably shared their anger, grief, fear, self-consciousness, attraction…
Because I’ve found that the when you stop hiding the parts of yourself you think make you unlovable, and the parts you think will push others away, you actually feel less inhibited, awkward or nervous.
Even though you may imagine otherwise, sharing those parts allows you to become stronger and freer, more at ease in your connections and relationships.
You Are Not Alone
There is a relaxation that happens inside as you realize that at some point EVERYONE feels unworthy, scared and ashamed. A deeper confidence takes root as you recognize you don’t have to be perfect, or prove that you’re good enough.
I sat with one man as he expressed rage for the first time. It shocked him that when he was done, I looked into his eyes and said “I’m not scared of you.” As we both accepted his rage, it transformed into power and creative energy. Ten minutes before he’d been waiting for others to give him permission to have what he wanted. Suddenly he had access to his clarity and power. He asked for what he wanted without waiting!
Another man had a moment of vulnerability where he felt alone and less than the people around him. As I slowed him down and helped him move his attention from his thoughts to his emotions, and from his inner dialogue to our connection, his fear and self-judgment lessened. His mind stopped making up comparisons where he came up short. He started to feel nourished by being connected instead of hungry and afraid.
In another moment I supported a man to allow his turn-on, to feel the fullness of his desire, rather than shut it down. He said it released shame he’d been holding for decades and then realized how amazing it would feel to have more intimacy in his relationships.
Confidence Isn’t What It Seems to Be
These are three moments of hundreds that happened over the weekend. I share them so you know that you too, Test First Name, can find strength and confidence in unlikely experiences.
The thing about confidence is that it’s not about finally reaching a point where you feel great about ALL of yourself. True confidence is having compassion for yourself and the ability to recognize that you are ok, just as you are…that you can create connection from exactly where you are.
Sure you can still choose to grow, deepen, expand or change, but from a place of relaxing into your unique challenges, rather than fighting them. I promise it’s a lot more enjoyable that way!