Light in my Shadow

Increase Self-Confidence and Own Your Authenticity

It wasn’t until I was past 40, that I began to increase my self-confidence. Before then I had none. When I found it, I threw off some heavy shackles I’d worn since my teens. For the first time in my life I was able to stand in my own authenticity – regardless of whether people liked me or not.
This has been so liberating to me.
I spent my painful primary and high school years feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin. Like many kids, I felt an excruciating, angst-ridden pressure to conform, because if you were different, you’d be singled out and picked on.

I was very different, and I hated it. All I cared about was fitting in and hiding my ‘weirdness’, so I wore a mask that looked like everyone else’s. Not my fault – I had no idea how to be authentic. I didn’t know who the hell I was anyway.

This program always originates from somewhere.

I was born and raised in a sect where I was indoctrinated into controlling and damaging ideologies. Us kids weren’t allowed to have friends from ‘the world’, no sex education, no camps, no after school activities. We weren’t able to watch normal television or read books like other people read. We weren’t able to wear above the knee skirts or make up. I grew up being cut-off from ‘the world’ including from members of our family – like my Dad – who didn’t attend.  

Any expressions of individuality or originality, were shut down.

So I hid it. I tried my hardest to hide my ‘weirdness’ in school. I was always punished for ‘being me’. We had to be the way we were trained to be, and if we were didn’t conform or obey, then we copped it.
I left the cult when I was 15, and as I grew older, through my 20s and 30s, my social discomfort matured into full-blown, mostly well-hidden social anxiety. I just didn’t have any skills or confidence to socialise.
“Unless I am myself, I am nobody”

~ Virginia Woolf
What I did have, were core wounds of rejection issues, abandonment and lack of self love, which subconsciously said to me “why would people ever like me, because I was unlovable and rejected from my own family?” These thoughts don’t pop into your conscious mind in logical thought (that’s too easy). It’s a sneaky background program, constantly running in the subconscious mind.
You’re not aware of it, you just believe it. You FEEL IT. You create an outward life, based on these inner toxic programs. And it’s horrid.
So I drank a lot, but I didn’t drink like a normal person. I gulped red wine as fast as I could in social situations to get past my discomfort. My goal was to be so drunk I didn’t care.
The truth was, there was actually nothing wrong with me – people really DID like me.
But I never liked me, so it never rang true. I never believed it. You can’t create a belief when there are conflicting core beliefs operating in the subconscious. The core belief is the only belief that counts. It’s a bloody awful mental prison.
I also used a lot of drugs. Speed, and later meth were my preferred drugs – these sad, disgusting parts of my past were most ‘effective’ at masking my inner discomfort. I say ‘effective’, in the way that it is not a solution. Addiction never is. It costs you. It’s like devil pretends to hand you a gift, but in return you’re enslaved to him. He’ll take parts of your soul in exchange for the ‘illusion’ of a solution.
I fought hard to overcome addiction, and the fight was decades long but it’s over now. My prize was ME – my own fucking soul.

When I found mindful drawing, one of the many benefits I activated, was I began to increase my self-confidence.

Owning your authenticity and learning to increase self-confidence comes directly from cultivating self-love.
A few months into my consistent mindful drawing practice, I began to witness the change. As my self-love grew, I was able to stand in my truth far more. It became something really damn important to me to be authentic – to be me and not give two hoots about who liked me, or whether I was socially acceptable or not. This takes practice.
increase self confidence
Self-doubt still comes up from time to time but now I can observe it. I’m not stuck in it and I can see the program run. You can also see why the old program may kick in again – often it’s just residual old narratives that try to play the dusty broken record. But now, because you can see through it, it loses its power and you move through it with ease.

And the funny thing is, when you stop caring what others think of you, people want to be around you more.

Authenticity has a correlative frequency that is derived from self-love. Your energy is clearer and your light is brighter.
Anyway, what people think of us is none of our business.
That’s their business.

What becomes important is what WE think of ourselves.
Doing the inner work that leads us to increase self-confidence is important. Seeing through the program of fear is important. Transmuting the anxiety or trauma that may have been the root cause for the program from way back is important. Maybe we got laughed at, or shunned, or teased or talked about, or rejected, dumped, or disowned.
What’s important is realising it is NOT about us. IT NEVER WAS.
We’re not here to please people, we’re here to shine our light in the most authentic way possible. And this takes big, consistent work.

Learning to increase self-confidence and owning your authenticity doesn't happen overnight.

Like most of the 50 benefits of mindful drawing that I experienced, it happens gradually. We practice it consistently and as we grow, we move through the old story when it comes up again – we know it doesn’t apply to us anymore. And we come to the realisation we’d rather have 3 true friends than 30 fake friends who don’t support every single facet of this beautiful authentic you.

We realise it's okay if people don't agree with us.

In fact, the more you speak your truth, the more you are likely to come up against people who push back – people who do not embrace change. And that’s normal. Speak the truth and be you anyway. We’re not in school anymore. We’re not impressionable kids anymore. We can stand up, or walk away if we get singled out for being different. We can be PROUD of those differences.
Another benefit that gets activated is boundaries. Whack one in. Block that group or person from your life if they want to keep you small. Wave your weird and ‘unique’ flag proudly. This is how we forge our paths that are meant just for us.

We realise the biggest thing that matters is that we love ourselves.

After all, we’re the ones we’re going to be hanging out with, every moment for the rest of our lives. We are the ones creating our own reality with our choices. No one else gets to shape our lives unless we allow them to.
We express love for ourselves in confidence through action, and this action is deliciously potent when it’s woven from the foundation of authenticity. This is how we become brave and strong. This is where our true power lies.

We just have to peel off the layers of false programs that obscure our true authenticity….and there we are.