I've been thinking and writing a lot about this lately. I'm working on a new free guide to replace the current somewhat lame one you get when you subscribe to my newsletter, The Abundant Writer. The new guide is going to detail, in seven simple steps, how to write a book. Pretty cool, no? My thesis is that the most successful writers and people in general are the ones who are most gloriously themselves. We are drawn to them because they radiate an energy, a joy, a life force that is irresistible.
And yet, when it comes to expressing our own deepest truths and desires, we hold back. Well, maybe you don't, but I do. How often do you refrain from talking about your love of WWII fighter planes because you worry people will think it weird? I often cringe a little when I mention my love of knitting because for some people it still invokes images of granny sitting in the rocking chair, knitting away. Or someone asks you how your evening was and instead of telling the full glorious story of the crazy adventure that you experienced you just say, "fine," because you think they won't want to hear the truth.
The worry about what other people will think has killed more dreams, visions and great ideas than anything else. Why do we care so much what other people think? I believe it is linked to a deep-seated fear of being alone. We think that if we express who we are, nobody will like us and we'll end up alone and lonely. When actually the opposite is true–the more we express who we are, the more people we will attract to us.
I find that lately I have been growing more confident in not only my writing but who I am in general. How, you might ask, am I growing more confident in my writing? Two ways:
1. I'm finding a way to regularly connect. In my Writing Abundance system I emphasize the practice of connection as the single most vital thing that a writer can do to improve his or her writing. By this I mean some sort of regular practice of meditation, prayer, relaxation,body movement whatever. You need to find a way to connect yourself to something larger than yourself, to the universe, the divine, Source, God, the goddess, Allah–whatever you prefer to call it.
2. I'm writing regularly. Putting yourself on the page breeds confidence. Period. It breeds confidence in your writing and who you are. Because the more you get to know yourself, the easier it is to share that with the world. And the more you write, the better you'll get to know yourself.
So there you have it, my thoughts on being who you are . Oh, and by the way, that photo at the top of this post? It is a house in Nashville that I drove past yesterday with my friend Sue and the picture doesn't even begin to do justice to the wonders of it. The house is laden with crocheted spider webs and other wonderfully complex chains and pillars wrapped with more knitted and crocheted pieces. This is the home of someone who is wonderfully, amazingly herself, and wants the world to know it. (If anybody happens to know who this person is, please let me know!)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on being yourself. When do feel most confident in who you are? When do you feel the least confident? When you feel unconfident, how do you get over it?