Rules–what are they, who made them, who gets to decide and should you follow any or all of them. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and in fact, talked in a graduation speech about how we should not be intimidated by others people’s rules. Of course, there are some we can’t get out of–getting a ticket for going over the speed limit, stealing from a store. In essence, laws to which we will be held responsible no matter are thinking. Then there are rules and ways of being that others establish but are made up by them based on there sense of what is right and what is wrong. How does one decide if those ways of being are justifiable, make sense, and if you should follow them. At times, others will decide you should follow them lest you hurt their feelings, or step outside of the bounds that they have established are “correct.”
I would like to offer this. At times, you will hurt others feelings by not following their rules. This does not mean that you have violated any code of conduct. You will at times play games by different rules, so your boundary lines will be different but I can think of a lot of games that people play with different rules; none of which are harmful to others (spades or what fun is, for example)
My suggestion: decide for yourself what the rules are, your way of being and where the lines are drawn for you. Authenticity is the name of the game–whatever that means for you. You simply have to be willing to endure any consequences of your way. You might find at times this will cost you loss of friendship, frustration, and even grief. And yet, you might also find that it will bring you new friendships, excitement, and enlightenment.
Self-Confidence: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities
Calvin and Hobbes always seem to get it right 🙂
If you don’t belief in yourself, your abilities, and your capacity to learn, you probably aren’t going to get very far. I am not talkng about the kind of confidence where one says they believe they can fly a plane and then goes out to fly one with no training. This would most likely lead to disaster. I would call that person arrogant, delusional, and irrational. However, the better question is do you believe you can learn how to fly a plane, or better yet, do you really want to learn how to fly a plane.
We must, however, be realistic about our capabilities. For instance, I am today 47, I would love to be a back up dancer for Madonna and Lady Gaga. Certainly I believe I can learn dance steps and even learn an entire dance performance. After all, I took ballet, tap and jazz for 11 years from the ages of 4-11, was successful at that time and even thought I was pretty good. And yet, I don’t think I would make the cut. Some might say, “how do you know?, did you try? go realize your dreams?, Be confident!” But alas, this isn’t what I am talking about.
I am also not talking about the confidence that says, “my way or the highway!” This also is arrogant. If we have learned anything, I hope one of them is that there are mulitple ways to get to the end of the rainbow.
What does it mean to feel like you have a voice?
When i was 25 (some 23 years ago now) i was sitting at Ham’s restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina with a good friend. I was stuck in this mental state of believing that no one cared what I had to say-even though my friends, co-workers and family would ask me what I thought. I lead myself to believe that they asked me what I thought because that was the “nice” thing to do, but that they didn’t really care. All of a sudden, and I don’t know why, I realized that it was me who needed to decide whether I had a voice or not and if my voice mattered. In essence, it was an internal thing – not an external thing. I don’t know what I was hoping for; that Oprah would call me to tell me I was brilliant and the whole world would want to know what I had to say.— Probably not going to happen!
Some people think that the indicator of voice heard is only when things go your way. This is wrong! – And since I said you are wrong if you believe that, does it mean I didn’t hear your voice. No it does not. In a world where there are multiple voices and multiple opinions, if you believe that the only way your voice is important and matters is when things go your way, you will live a very unhappy life.
There are also those that will say I like to listen. This is a good thing – but not at the expense of not sharing your voice. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s unfair if you only listen and do not share. There needs to be a balance of sharing and listening for all of us.
So Sing Your Life! The rest of us would like to hear it! And, yes, listen every now and then too!