I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence lately. Where does it come from? How does one get it? Why do some people seem to naturally have it, and others not so much? And where does it cross the line into just being cocky?
I’m fairly confident abut certain things. After traveling on my own for 6 months, I’m confident that I can take care of myself in almost any situation. I’m now confident enough that I can talk to almost anybody, anywhere, about anything. That DID NOT use to be the case! I used to be so shy when I was young that I could barely talk to anyone. I’m confident about my art in certain aspects. I’ve been to art school, I’ve visited most of the prominent art galleries in Europe and Canada and I think that I may have some natural talent, but I have a LONG way to go if I want to be truly great. I know what my strengths are, but I also know where my weakness lurks. That’s not a lack of confidence, that’s a dose of reality! But that’s what keeps me going, I think. It’s the drive and fire that’s lit under my butt to try and achieve greatness in whatever endeavor I choose.
For me it’s been a long road to feeling self-assured. I’ve had a lot of experiences, met a lot of people and had the realization that not everyone in the world is going to like me. And that’s OK. Maybe this is why the younger generation can come across as being over-confident (or even cocky.) They haven’t had enough life experience to know any better. They haven’t been told NO enough. They haven’t been kicked in the a*s yet. It happens to us all, I hate to say. Sometimes in big ways, but usually in small ways.
I remember my 20’s being really difficult for these reasons. I went to Emily Carr (Art School) at 19 years old and thought that the older people (like in their late 20’s-ha!) were really mean. They said I was too young be able to make art with any real substance because I didn’t have enough life experience to draw from. At the time I thought it was bullsh*t, but now I understand the point they were trying to make. I was in a good place to learn, but I hadn’t paid my dues yet to earn the right to be confident, if that makes sense. This isn’t true for all 19 year olds. I just happened to be a happy, sheltered suburban kid who hadn’t gotten out there in the world yet. Was I confident back then though? NO WAY! I only started to gain my confidence in my early to mid thirties. And now, at 40 my confidence still wavers from time to time, but I’m trying to hold on to it for dear life!