Friday, March 11, 2011

Confidence is a Performing Art

Last week I had a life revelation.

I seem to always have at least one within a month of my birthday. Every year. Sometimes they're painful; last year, it was like that, and I swore the reason I teared up about my birthday during the two weeks leading up to it was because I was allergic to it. Like onions. But the truth was that I didn't feel like an adult, yet my age and everything else in my life were telling me to act more like one.

And finally, last week, I discovered what it takes to be a grown-up and to act like one.

The secret is confidence.

The funny thing is, I used to be a performer. And performing is all about confidence. It shows in your posture, it's audible in the strength of your voice.

I decided that if I could muster up the confidence to sing in front of hundreds of people, I could dig down to find it again for my everyday, grown-up hurdles. See, the scary part, at least for me anyway, about being an adult is the notion that you are in control. And at my last birthday, I didn't feel in control. I wanted to be, but didn't know how.

One of my favorite books is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She says that sometimes you have to act the way you want to feel. As in, if you want to feel happy, you have to act happy. And I figured that if I want to feel confident, I have to act confident. Fake-it-till-you-make-it type of philosophy.

So I'm giving it a shot. And it's totally working. Boosting my confidence has also improved my happiness. And I think it's done more too. It's changing the way I take pictures. Instead of worrying that what I'm going to take is going to turn out bad, I pick up my camera and tell myself that I can take an amazing picture. I fall asleep at night believing in my ability to take interesting pictures and thinking about how I can make my pictures look like I want them to, instead of worrying that they'll turn out badly.

So here's to all the amazing pictures and things that I know that I can do. And just for fun, here's a picture from my last birthday...

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