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The Dance of Confidence

1 March 2018

Key Themes: Confidence; self-belief; personal power; personal growth; vulnerability; self-care; Soul Loss.

You know the one I mean. Oh yes, you know it all too well. You are oh-so familiar with these steps by now. You can sense when you’re moving in, ready to whirl around the dance floor of life, like you are dancing a Waltz with confidence, intent and energy. And, you can equally sense when you need to sit quietly, be alone and create some safety around you as you definitely do not want to dance right now.

This dance that I am referring to is the in-and-out interplay with our sense of confidence in ourselves. I have found that this is a lifelong dance. And, no matter how much “success” you’ve had, all that you’ve accomplished and all the growth you’ve undertaken, every now and again we ALL take part in this dance once more. Some more than others, if for example we had an unsupportive childhood where those around us didn’t see us as we truly were and didn’t encourage us to pursue that which we loved and enjoyed.

Equally, at traumatic times in our life parts of us can leave, what Shamans understand as “Soul Loss”. The part of us which was so humiliated, afraid or hurt leaves and we are left incomplete and with vital parts of our self, absent, taking with them their skills, talents, confidence and emotions about the incident or time. When we are experiencing Soul Loss, and most people are including multiple loss of parts, we lack confidence, self-belief, and crucially, personal power.

This dance begins once again at significant moments in our life: Each profound loss, crisis, significant life changing event, new relationship, or even as simple as embarking on a new training course, brings us to a new threshold where we must, once again, face our vulnerabilities and find new layers of inner-strength. It is at this threshold where we have to decide whether to push through or not, depending on how we are feeling.

This is the dance we do: You move in feeling strong, capable, energetic; confident. You move out when you feel unsure of yourself; of your strengths to endure yet more growth and your insecurities raise their heads once more vying for your attention.

Our dreams reflect this duality, showing us even in the space of a single dream the times when we find our voice and our immediately accessible true confidence, this is where we don’t have to even think about something; we just DO. Versus those times and situations when we feel shy, uncertain, lacking a voice, or even full of ego-led bravado; what I refer to as false-confidence.

I believe this dance is one we all do throughout all of our life, as I said above, no matter what you’ve achieved. Thinks of very famous actors, musicians or artists who so often at the end of their lives- and many which are cut short due to crippling self-doubt or loathing - tell the same tale: That of lacking in self-confidence at times. We are astonished when an accomplished actor or performer who reveals how shy they can be sometimes or doubt the credibility or power of their work. It turns out they are human and vulnerable just like us, after all…

Becoming familiar with the fact that this IS a dance is vital for our true growth. As this acceptance and familiarity ensures we can undertake appropriate self-care when lacking in confidence and be careful of what decisions we make at these times, as we can easily over-face ourselves in order to appear more confident or ready, when in, fact we are not.

We must also become more conscious of the times when our confidence IS flowing effortlessly as we glide around the dance floor of life, engaging others easily with joy and passion. These are times to be celebrated and cherished, BUT, not to be clung-to, as they too shall pass. Then we need to be gently ready to welcome in our need to sit the next one-out, take a break or retreat from life and be ever-so kind to ourselves. As when we do this we will be ready, stronger and more authentic for when the next opportunity arises to dance our confident-self into life once more.

This is the dance and it’s one we all need to learn the steps to in order to avoid getting bogged down and stuck through prolonged periods of lacking confidence, or feel we are riding high all the time; because no one ever really is. As with everything it is all about balance. Recognising the dance for what it is and your current place in it is key to knowing what your next best move might or might not be.

©Angela Dunning, 3rd June 2018

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