I remember when, as a 9 year old, while participating in an elementary group class sing along, I was ridiculed and felt extremely small for singing the harmony of a song instead of the melody like everyone else. In that embarrassing moment I decided that I was never going to sing in public again. That decision made me not sing in public, but also not speak or allow myself to share my feelings and thoughts with anyone for years to come. I wanted to share and contribute my thoughts to conversations going on around me, but did not dare for fear of being put in that same position again: rejection.
During my elementary and high school years I did not dare answer the questions that the teachers were asking, even though I knew the answers. And I did not even have the courage to let people know, when asked to do so, that the idea that I was sharing was my own.
I learned through the years that my perception of myself was keeping me in a prison of my own design. Not circumstances, not other people, just me.
I realized that I was in a place that Anais Nin described so eloquently when she said, “and then the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud became more painful than the risk to bloom.” So I made a decision that I was going to change and in order to do that, I had to change my frame of reference.
I had always believed that I could not and was unable to do the things I wanted to do or go to the places that I wanted to go to; so I started to believe that I could. This made all the difference in my world.
Building confidence: I had to read books and believe what the people in the books said I could do, and even that was difficult to do because my perception of my self was so warped. But, I kept reminding myself that if my old way of thinking was keeping me captive, then if I adopted a new way of thinking, I could be free. I stepped out of my comfort zone and made a decision to live there because like Neale Donald Walsch said, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
I have come to a place in my life where the very things that use to scare the living daylights out of me are the very things I thrive in. I am now a professional singer, teacher, and speaker. I have faced my fears and realized that the things I was afraid of were things that, left unchallenged, would never have gone away. I had to look my fears straight in the eyes to see that they could never be bigger than I was, did not have the power to defeat me, and after adopting the right perspective and developing the correct self-image of myself, realized that those experiences made me stronger.
I now go boldly in the direction of my dreams and share daily who I have become with everyone I meet. Wayne Dyer said, “Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery”
Today I have the confidence to believe in myself and from this starting place, anything is possible. Confidence is the foundation for success and happiness. Once you’ve mastered confidence, you’ve mastered yourself.
Roxanne is a passionate and dedicated author, musical artist, teacher, and speaker. Check here how to build your confidence. You can do it too!!