There won’t be a dirty joke here. Instead, I want to argue that if you maintain a sensitive area for yourself, where you can let your guard down and be vulnerable, you can go out into the rest of the world with your shields up and weapon ready to do as you please. This can be a physical location or it can be somewhere mental. I won’t tell you mine, but I’ll tell you others’s.
Let’s start with the necessity for this.
From a professional perspective, you’re bound to get criticism from others, whether your manager or your colleagues, and if you consider their opinion more valuable than your own then you’ll be bound to feel less confident than you should with doing anything of value. You’ll be so scared about whether you’ve done something wrong that you won’t do anything right. It’s this fear of perfection that I think is stemmed in wanting to impress others. That could be because we’re insecure about ourselves, and if so, how do we become more secure?
We can build a physical space where we can be our biggest fans.
Let’s say you have a favorite chair. Go ahead and sit in it and recite all the positive things anyone’s ever said about you there. Maybe have a notebook next to it and write down everything positive about yourself there. Nothing negative. That is a no-negativity area. You can extend that to no negativity toward others, because the traits we don’t like in others typically can represent traits we don’t like about ourselves. If others appear too arrogant, that can be because we have a poor relationship with our own arrogance, or confidence.
In this area, you can be as arrogant as you want.
You’ve committed no flaws in this area. You are your own biggest advocate there. If there’s an argument, it’s not that you’re correct in that area. It’s more that you’re not wrong for having had your perspective. Once you’ve rode out the wave of anxieties in that area associated with having your self-confidence feeling weak outside that area, you can venture out anew. You might even build up the confidence to take on the other person’s perspective and decide if there’s any merit to it.
It’s OK to be wrong in that area, too.
That area is basically meant to be your safe space, so as long as you don’t take it too far. What I’ll then do is venture back out into the wild beyond of everything to seek new experiences. At least digitally, this is easier, because we can hide behind a name and an avatar. If we don’t like the environment we’re in, we can leave. If we do, we can change minor aspects of our behavior behind a new persona. Or we can meditate in our safe space about whether we should even let all that bother us, and if not, then we can ignore all of it.
I’ve recently got into the notion of blocking people.
The way I see it, there are too many bad people out there to give them much more consideration than a surface-level interpretation. If they do something shitty, I block them. If someone advocates their case, of course I’ll take it into consideration, but I won’t compel myself to listen to the arguments of others that strike me as offensive. More often, I don’t care, because the benefit of having such a safe space is that you tend to concern yourself less with the opinions of others.
If these people are not welcome in your safe space, where are they welcome?
I think we let into our imagination, our mind palaces, and our lifestyles too many people that are less than ideal. Why would I place respect, beyond that they are a human being, in anyone that has been disrespectful toward me? By placing respect, that means thinking about them, entertaining the notion of wanting to win them over by acting in new ways to impress them, and everything that is involved with breaking our backs for others.
I would rather live my life on my own than try to impress others to fit in with them.
That puts me in a potentially lonely lifestyle, but as long as I am comfortable with myself – whether through that physical or mental example of having a safe space, or just through knowing enough about myself to appreciate the choices I make – then I should be fine. Why do we worry so much about people other than for the praise they give us? What if we had our own praise that we developed internally? I don’t often need the praise from others because I have my own praise in the form of feeling good about the things I do in life.
When I don’t feel good, then that’s where I seek and thrive on external validation.
Otherwise, my internal validation guides my life into the path that should work best for me. It may take me in directions that, externally, might seem controversial, but as long as I trust myself and stay on my course, I should do well or even succeed. External validation aligning with that should only strengthen one’s resolve, whereas external doubt can be considered with a quick consideration. If that external doubt exists outside of our own logic and without any empathy or understanding of our perspective, why should we follow it?
What benefit does it do us to worry about the thoughts of everyone?
Let’s instead focus on the thoughts we carry ourselves. If we have myriad negative thoughts, explore them carefully and with patience. I still have many negative thoughts creep into my psyche frequently. Each thought represents some aspect of myself that I don’t like, and it’s sometimes difficult for me to calm those thoughts, but I do so because otherwise, I’ll be letting someone else control me and that’s the last thing I want.
See, there wasn’t a dirty joke at all here.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I took this photo and wanted to use it for an essay. This came to mind after having it sit around long enough.|
|Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Photo: This was on my first trip out after the COVID-19 lockdown became a thing.|
|Written On: 2020 May 02 [7:17pm to 7:44pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 02 [Second draft since I used inconsistent verbiage in the first draft.]|