This week’s prompt is: Confidence
Noun: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
From the Latin confidere ‘have full trust’.
“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Earlier this week in Share Your World, I mentioned that I wanted to be the Editor in Chief of the Los Angeles Times. No one doubted my skills in writing. I used to love writing and was fairly eloquent at it. My early teen years were in the 1970s and John Boy Walton was one of my heroes. I would keep a journal and write about my life and dreams. Mainly dreams back then because my childhood home was anything but loving and fun. Every once in awhile John Boy would announce he writes so much a day, I would make sure I mimicked his efforts.
Anyhow, in junior high and high school I took journalism and creative writing courses and was a teacher aide to one of the hardest English teachers in school. I even took a couple of college courses.
By the age of 21 and living on my own in Denver, I was speaking in front of hundreds of people about my story of incest and helped many adult survivors speak their truth for the first time. What a privilege that was. I worked with doctors and psychologists to form incest survivor groups for both children and adults.
So what happened to me? I got Lyme disease in my mid-twenties and had no idea I had it for next three decades. On top of having Lyme disease I am an introvert. As I got sicker, I withdrew from life more and more. I met Chris shortly before I quit all my outside activities. She was able to see me speak in public a couple of times. I remember she was amazed how good I was, once I started to speak.
I’ve learned over that span of time not to trust my own ability to speak or write. I can really relate to Notes from the Fog words from her IBQ writing.
Sometimes I can’t even think of the word for something, let alone spell it and use it properly in a sentence. And being able to put my knowledge into words when I need to…it’s a big concern of mine.
There were many times I just didn’t remember a word or words and would remain quiet. Remaining quiet really fed into my introvert self. My life, and in turn Chris’s life, became lonely.
This past year my Qigong Master has really worked on reconnecting my brain and getting rid of that mental fog. I can actually think and most of the time get words out of my mouth and in a timely fashion. I am no longer embarrassed to speak with people. Okay I’m learning I don’t have to be embarrassed anymore when I speak with people.
Chris mentioned Malcolm Gladwell who wrote “Outliers: The Story of Success”. In his book Malcolm talks about 10,000 hours of practice makes a person an expert in that specific area. Where writing is concerned, I specifically devoted a lot of hours when I was younger. I wonder if some of those hours are still usable hours and will help me rebuild my confidence in writing and speaking again.
A couple areas I do have confidence in my photography and composition. Over the past years, I have studied composition and analyzed countless photos and graphics. I spent the last twenty years developing my eye for a style I like or dislike. Over the past decade, I have studied photography and practiced taking photos. Now I have a lot of confidence I can take beautiful photos.
Now I need only to learn how to put the proper words together to teach photography and composition. That is partly why I am writing my Tips and Tricks for photographers. Once I get my writing skills back watch out world.
Qi (energy) hugs
I write Photography Tips and Tricks posts for the everyday photographers without all the technical mumbo jumbo. If you ever want electronic copies of my photographs, please contact me. Check out my left side bar for menu options.