Throughout the years I have done many things that require a certain amount of confidence. It never occurred to me, in all this time, that faith might have been involved. I guess I always took it for granted that you'd have to believe in yourself to have confidence.
I have been going through some rough times recently and my newfound talent for clothing design (tho always latent) had given me a confidence I felt I lacked. Too many times in the last few years I turned down opportunities because I didn't think I could do it, and didn't even try. Not all of those opportunities were exceptionally interesting, but interest is linked to confidence, so... Anyways, I have realized that to get confidence, you have to believe in yourself; now this may seem like a simple thing; at the very least, its easy to say. To me, it sounded obvious. I never questioned my self-belief. At the very least, I believed in myself far more than I believed in any sort of external manifestation. My belief was based on my intellectual capacities and mental strength. That base was immovable as far as I knew. My confidence unshakable.
How foolish I was.
Over a period of over a year, my mental capacities have been waning. Its not that I was getting stupid, its that I didn't seem to have the strength, the focus I thought I always had. The more time passed, the less I remembered and the less intellectual progress took place. My creativity went down dramatically and with it, my self confidence. With each passing day, I lost a little more of myself. It wasn't a single, terrible blow that took it all away; no, it was the dulldrum of everyday routine, the ho-hum of the common man's way of life. Live to work, work to live. And not because I had a goal in mind, which required me to pull in extra hours; not because my work was mentally involving; no, the whole system sneaked up on me and slowly wore me out.
By the time I stopped, I couldn't deal with non-work issues. To this day, I cant read a book, watch a movie, or even just take a walk for the sake of taking a walk. I have no attention span ( I zone out in conversations) , I am liable to make basic mistakes while cooking (like cutting my finger open while chopping up a small block of cheese) and I cant even pick up the phone 9 out of 10 times it rings. I live in a constant haze of passive aggression and, no sir, I don't like it. Its one thing to be angry all the time; chances are, you know what you're angry at; no, I'm just under constant aggression, my fuse is so short I cant get out of the house and the slightest excuse for blowing up is just around the next stare, the next comment, the next inflexion.
I started sewing and did it well. It made me happy that I did something that had a tangible result. Then I had a day of screw-ups. Now, they aren't major screw-ups, they aren't catastrophic, but it sure did take the wind right out of my sails. Next thing I know I started obsessing over my capabilities, questioning whether I was good enough to do this professionally, basically, I lost faith in myself. Thats when I started asking myself, what had happened. I don't yet have all the answers, but at the least, I might have a pretty good handle on the questions.
And once you know what to ask, how far can the answers be?