Audacity: dare to strut your stuff

Image by: Skeev

Image by: Skeev

Once upon a time, long before I dared to think highly of myself, I let a stranger’s opinion of me dictate nearly 1/3 of my life. It’s funny really, it took this long to realize that one deep-seated negative belief has been behind so many days of grief, but that’s soul searching for ya! Once you’re ready to become aware you start piecing memories, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors together, the end result– enlightenment fast as lightning!

Nearly a decade ago and I still remember her voice, her tone, her smirk, “Raimy, do you think you’re conceited, do you even know what that word means?”

Con•ceit•ed:

Conceited: having an excessively favorable opinion of one’s abilities, appearance, etc. I’m not sure what made her think this way of me. Perhaps she saw something of herself reflected in me, as most judgement dished is really judgement of one’s own projected self, or

perhaps I was being a little bit of a showoff. All I wanted those days was to improve my English and learn how to fit in, it’s not easy when you’re the foreign kid fresh-off-the-boat with a heavy Cuban accent.

So I learned that saying nice things about ourselves can seem conceited. From that day forward I hid anything good, beautiful, creative, or worthwhile about myself. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be accepted so I dared not show pride in my accomplishments, in my abilities, nor in my intelligence, I dared not come off as arrogant. Then I went a step further and actually started to believe that I had no talents, no abilities, nothing to be proud of.

Hoping to discover and recover the creative self that I had put away, I embarked upon The Artist’s Way, a creative self-discovery course. The first week in the journey to reclaiming our creativity starts by assessing the negative core beliefs we hold about ourselves. The book offers a myriad of exercises, all of which will make you face the enemy within.

Affirmation Exercise:

The exercise that led to greatest self-awareness for me was one in which you come up with an affirmation, a positive statement about yourself, and then write it 10 times in a row. While you write, you listen to your negative inner censor, the internal critic that blurts out undermining remarks about your affirmation.

For my affirmation I came up with I, Raimy, am a beautiful, multi-talented, creative soul. I got down to the 5th line, and suddenly I started to hear my censor’s voice saying “wow, can she get any more conceited, she thinks she’s all that, you overestimate yourself, if you have to gloat about how good you are then you’re probably not that great at all.”

All the things my censor blurted started to feel so real, then I got to the part in the course where it said that your censor’s negative opinions are not the truth. Phew, what a relief!

Our censor’s negative blurts are really our own personal negative core beliefs, deeply seated somewhere, somehow, by someone. Finding out who, what, when, where, how, will grant you freedom beyond belief.

I started thinking back, trying to figure out where I got this idea that I shouldn’t act or feel like I’m all that and almost instantly that memory came to mind. Pre-teen queen bee stung me with her words of doubt.

That particular moment did more to cloud over my self-worth and confidence than all my embarrassing years of puberty and weird body changes put together. While she probably has not thought about that day ever since, her voice has been my censor all these years.

Take time for a little soul searching:

I think if I hadn’t taken the time to do a little soul searching, as painful as it was dragging this old cat out of the bag, I wouldn’t have been able to take the next step forward in my life, getting a degree in communication arts. Recognizing that I do have talents that need attention and care in order to bloom and recognizing that I do have accomplishments to be  proud of has given me audacity! Audacity to strut all the wonderful stuff that I was blessed with. Audacity to go out there and make my dreams a reality. Audacity to live a life with purpose.

Try the affirmation exercise, figure out what negativity lurks within, then proceed to identify where it comes from. Once the censor is identified, you can start working with it and the next time you hear it you can tell it to shut its big, mistaken, opinionated trap. I let ill thinking rule my life subconsciously, please don’t make the same mistakes as me, it can make for a very frustrated, unhappy, dull life.

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Categories: Life, Positive Psychology, The Arts, Truth Moment

Author:raimyd

My name is Raimy, I’m a soul-searching writer and amateur photographer. Creative-guru is a by-product of a deep creative passion for personal and spiritual growth.

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11 Comments on “Audacity: dare to strut your stuff”

  1. March 26, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    love this for a few reasons.

    i am nobody
    nobody is perfect.
    Therefore… 🙂

    soul searching is always important.
    it helps us realise our ‘imperfections’ or/and qualities; and whether we want to change them or not 🙂
    But to be perfect is impossible, even Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Srila Prabhupada and the Dalai Lama have there tests.

    (i might have gone off tangent lol)

    • March 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      Hahaa little bit off tangent, but that’s quite alright. I love this comment, if even the great ones among us have their tests and faults who am I to expect perfection. 🙂

  2. March 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    What a great story Raimy-D. I bet there are a lot of others with a similar tale. I am sure, mine was very similar because I know I tried to keep my head down and not stand out in any way. I am not sure what those voices came from, (I have to remember a lot further back) I think that I need to find the origin of my negative blurbs. They are probably not that difficult to find, but I love the thought of defeating them forever. or at least for today! Another great post my friend! Your turn to be super awesome! 🙂

    • March 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks Jonathan. Yes, finding the origin of the negative blurbs defeats them, it robs them of their power so the deeper you dig the better. 🙂

  3. March 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I’m so glad The Artist’s Way is speaking to you. It’s amazing but I too faced the “conceited” comment in middle school. I came home and asked my mom what it meant because I was too young to even know yet. Like you, I always took to stopping saying (or thinking) anything positive about myself. It’s amazing how one word can be so powerful. I now realize that those girls who said that to us were simply jealous. They saw our light and couldn’t handle its brilliance. Thank goodness we’re both now starting to let it shine!

    • March 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      I have to say thanks again for introducing me to The Artist’s Way, I’ve been keeping up with the morning pages for 2 weeks in a row and I’m doing the artist dates also, I’m taking little trips alone and taking photographs. Yes, I’m so very glad we are letting our light shine this world needs all the enlightened souls it can get.

  4. March 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    I can distinctly remember being insulted in the fourth grade and I carry that around with me. That was a looooong time ago! I am definitely going to check out The Artist’s Way. So ready to be done believing the inner critic.

    • March 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Words are powerful, imagine what they can do to a young child. Now we have to the ability to take away their power. Definitely recommend the artist’s way, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me 🙂 Kiss that inner critic goodbye.

  5. March 28, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    It’s amazing that what we consider as being confident, others consider conceited. I do think we can be “conceited” at times, but so what? If you know your talents, why shouldn’t your brag about them? Another person’s opinion of you does not define you. Be your beautiful, creative, amazing self. Your shine will reach others, which will encourage them to find their own brilliance, and repeat. Thanks for sharing this!

    • March 30, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks Ashley for this lovely comment, your words are an inspiration to me. I hope your also out there blinding people with your brilliance. 🙂

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