Confidence isn’t the Absence of Fear, it’s How You Act in Spite of Fear

“Emotional courage is what we’re all striving for in the end.  The courage to tell the truth is something people need to be proud of, as is the courage to be yourself, to trust love and the healing process.

Robert Frost wrote, “The only way out is through.”  Turning into the wind, the struggle, the challenge, is the only way to get through difficult times.  It is what’s supposed to happen.  The challenge exists for a reason.  I don’t think anything is an accident.  If you try to sidestep something, it’s just going to get you ten miles down the road.  There comes a point when a situation is scary, but the alternative is even more frightening, maybe not on the surface but in terms of your soul, in terms of the health of your being.  Sometimes the fear of staying where you are gets worse than the fear of taking the leap.

Sometimes, that leap is a free fall into the unknown.  I call it living in the inbetween—that invisible world that’s so powerful to women—and it takes tremendous courage to be there because we identify ourselves so strongly with the physical world.  To not know, to lack certainty, to lack structure, is scary, but, it’s essential at times.  There has to be breakdown before there is breakthrough.  There has to be a death before there is a rebirth.  Many of us don’t have the courage needed, so we don’t grow.  We hang on to stagnant toxic relationships, with family, with friends, with our lovers, because it is something solid.  We’re afraid to trust that invisible world.  We’re so at home with it, yet we turn our back on it and let the other world speak for us.

Often, when I’m working only with women, I’ll ask my audience, “How many of you have been divorced or in a bad…?” and they don’t even wait for me to finish.  They all raised their hands.  and I’ll ask, “How many of you knew in the beginning?”  and they all raise their hands again.  We talk ourselves into ignoring our inner voice because it’s not honored by the male world.  It takes a lot of courage to listen to that voice.  It takes a lot of courage to make other people hear it.

If more women let themselves be on the outside what they are on the inside, they would experience the wholeness they’re seeking.  I think our deep inherent fear of abandonment has made us entirely too dependent, holding onto things we really need to let go of.  It pains me to see a woman afraid to be alone or afraid to leave a relationship because she’ll lose the abusive person she’s been with.  This is how we tarnish our beauty and hide our power.  We forget who we are and masquerade as impotent creatures who are content to accept a little scrap from somebody and pretend it’s a great piece of cake.  I’ve done it.  I did it for years.  So I’m not saying these things in judgment, I’m saying them in compassion.  I know what it’s like to sit curled up, crying hysterically, while your husband is in the next room with the door locked, and not say to him, “If you don’t come out and talk to me, get out of the house.”  I know what it’s like to plead, “Honey could you talk to me?”  I’ve done it in past relationships.

We have to stick together.  I wish women would empower each other and be loyal to each other.  I wish more women on each level would be courageous: women in the public eye, women not in the public eye.  I wish more celebrities would use the responsibility that comes with being well-known—I call it a spiritual responsibility.  I wish more women would be honest about their process so that other women could see how much is attainable.  The big myth about powerful people is that they’re so together, so confident.  The closet secret is that inside each woman is a scared little girl, and it’s just a question of who’s running the show–the scared child or the clear, centered, stable adult.  So many women don’t have confidence, or at least they don’t think they have confidence.  But, confidence isn’t the absence of fear, it’s how you act in spite of fear.  Confidence isn’t waiting until you feel totally ready to do something.  If you’re waiting for that feeling, you’ll never do anything.

Life is always uncertain.  Nature is constantly in flux.  If we’re not living on the edge, to the fullest degree, it’s usually because we’re trying to control something that’s not really controllable.  We sleep on the same side of the bed.  We park in the same space.  We put lots of controls on our lives to keep things stable.  But, the truth is, anything can happen at any moment.  When we stop pretending that’s not so and trust change, invite it in instead of hoping it’ll go past our door today, when we let go and surrender—then life becomes magical.”

–Barbara DeAngelis–

 It takes a lot of courage to be the same person on the outside that you are on the inside

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