I was a skinny and very insecure teenager, and as a result, I needed to be someone I wasn’t. Someone great. I even started boxing at fifteen because of this, and tried to act like Muhammad Ali. With dedication and a boxing style I copied from Ali, I was able to win an amateur Golden Gloves championship at 16 years old, but my insecurities stayed with me as I grew older. Eventually, I found that a continual striving for personal and spiritual growth helped me become more self-confident, and a whole new world opened up to me. One where I would start to love myself and others, and help those in need. Today, I still try to be like Muhammad Ali. But when I stop and think about who I’ve become; who I am. Although I’m not famous or have achieved all the great things he has, I can say I am like Ali in some ways.
Know anyone who lives up to the idiom “Fly by the seat of one’s pants?” It’s basically a person who isn’t afraid to do something even though they don’t experience or training to do it. I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. I like to think of myself as someone who flies by the seat of my pants when it comes to facing different fears and insecurities in my life. However, at one time I was the type of person who flew by the seat of my emotions and know quite a few people who still do.
These people seem to always let whatever emotions they’re feeling at the time, whether it’s happiness, sadness, anger, worry, ect, affect their behaviors and sometimes their actions towards others. Usually this is because they’ve done this all their lives and never practiced restraint or felt a need to change the way they behave. Mostly these types live in the extremes of happiness or the negative emotions they feel over their immediate circumstances.
It took me a long time to stop “living” by the seat of my emotions and simply begin living life. But eventually, through practice and help from people who weren’t afraid to point out my erratic and sometimes hurtful behavior’s, I found an emotional balance that has served me quite well over the years.
It’s wonderful to finally feel good about yourself when for most of your life you lacked self-confidence, and at times, felt inferior to some people. Although I tried to cover up my insecurities by pretending to be something I wasn’t and drinking, inside I knew the truth, and as a result I was never happy with who I was.
It took a lot of different experiences throughout my sobriety to achieve the level of confidence I have today, and although there are some situations in which my insecurities still surface, I am able to use the inner strength I’ve built to tell myself that everything will be all right. I also remind myself how it was actually unwanted and adverse circumstances that helped me become a stronger person in the first place.
So where did this self-confidence I’m talking about come from? Well first let me say that true self-confidence doesn’t come from worldly achievements. Although people try to use things like job titles, fame, and wealth to give them a sense of self-confidence and self-worth, many still remain insecure in their lives and some have glaring self-esteem issues.
On the other hand, when someone tries to practice a few spiritual principles like love, kindness, understanding, and tolerance toward others, they end up feeling a confidence and satisfaction in themselves that they never felt before. Even people who have made strides in personal growth can be happier in life by giving spirituality a try.
Spirituality doesn’t mean we have to believe in God and religion. However, although I often failed at it, as I continued to practice love, kindness, understanding, and tolerance, it helped fuel an ever-growing belief that something rather than nothing created life and the universe for a reason.
This simple and basic belief is the foundation for the spiritual and personal growth I still strive for today, and these two types of growth combined give me confidence and satisfaction in myself. Today I don’t feel inferior to anyone, and I am finally happy with who I am.