I listen to myself complain, trapped in negative, neurotic thinking despite coming repeatedly to the conclusion that it is a dead-end in terms of all that I desire. So I have decided that I am going to do a self-confidence experiment/trial that will last for one month, beginning October 17 and ending on November 17.
Self-Confidence as Acting/Action
Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” I believe that the world is comprised of many stages, scenes, actors, characters, stories, etc. We take on infinite roles in a lifetime – roles we’re not aware of, and a few that we are. I want to be conscious of this particular role so as to become less self-conscious. For this trial, I am going to take on the role of self-confidence and a spokesperson for self-confidence. Because it’s just a role, I don’t have to believe it. I don’t have to believe in myself, in the things I say and do. I just have to act, and put myself out there. But I do have to work on my acting skills, and I do have to imagine the world from the perspective of a self-confident person. It will require creativity and abandon, and it will allow me to let go of a lot that has been holding me back.
I don’t remember how old I was when I first had a desire for acting (in the conventional/literal sense), but I really enjoyed taking on some pretty awesome characters in 5th and 6th grade performances (Beulah in Hank the Cowdog and Queen Guinevere in Kids from Camelot). I did not end up pursuing it, mostly because I chose band and could not do both – in retrospect, I think I made the wrong decision. It’s funny because I criticized my older brother for doing band instead of theatre in middle school. Even when I got to college I still had this unfulfilled desire and took a couple of theatre classes that turned out to be unhelpful. I yearned for the creative focus of theatre, which ended up getting more expression in creative writing throughout middle school and high school. But I was also quite shy and lacking in spontaneity, and as I got older I only became more and more self-conscious. In college, it was more the idea of using theatre to work on myself that called to me than the idea of creating new worlds. Now I think these two are intimately connected – that I could use acting as a means of changing my life, creating new selves and new worlds, without ever stepping foot onto a literal stage.
Setting the Stage
I have been watching a lot of vlogs lately and developing a desire to try it myself, so the plan is to film myself a few times during this month, promoting self-confidence or just speaking in the role of self-confidence. In case I have trouble with getting that online (and upload will more than likely be delayed), I am also planning to type it all out in written word for this blog. I require myself to post something publicly so that I have an audience, lest all of this ring hollow. It should also boost my commitment. I am already feeling more committed just thinking about this whole trial as publicly-oriented than I would if I were considering myself as the only direct audience.
Similarly, I often find it easier to meditate in loud, public places than in the quiet of my room because, as a self-conscious being who also thrives on interacting with strangers, those public places keep my mind alert. When I am just with the universe and myself, I become my own distraction. I don’t stick to the script I want because I’m still following some other script I’m not conscious of. Of course, I am planning to implement self-confidence in private as well, and I expect it to affect my meditation and everything else. Indeed, I may bring up some of these more private scenes on the public stage during this trial as I see fit.
Unlike when I am only accountable to this amorphous, philosophical abstraction of the Universe, I will be held accountable to a clear audience on this stage. And I know, on the broader set beyond blogs and vlogs, there’s a whole cast and crew waiting for me to finally give an awesome audition for the part!
Just know that in the upcoming posts, I may say things that are more representative of the role I am taking than of the actor before you, in spite of appearances!