I have reasoned that there are two sorts of people in the world, and I fall into the inferior half. There are those of you who are content to exist within the internal universe of your own mind. A bit of pondering upon a subject, perhaps over your morning bowl of cereal or while sponging yourself off in the shower, and you’ve nutted it out in a logical manner. You feel no real need to rely on another’s opinion. You are less swayed by the tendencies of the masses.
I, on the the other hand, could be more accurately compared to a limpet. I am rarely able to straighten out my thoughts without saying them aloud to someone. My ideas are only validated if they are written or spoken, and more importantly, absorbed by another. I am an impermanent image created by the reflected reverberations of my own invisible voice. That is why I need to write everything down before I can learn it; why I spill my thoughts to strangers on the web; why I savour the feeling of translating a gingerly formulated concept into a crisp, clear sentence.
Most of the time, this is OK. We Type 2 limpets are happy to fill our notebooks/our friends’ ears with an interior monologue of woes, whilst you Type 1 people calmly and silently plot world domination, or whatever it is you do with all that extra brainpower.
But at times I feel like all the pieces of myself are being stretched out across space and time like long strings of fairy floss. When this happens, I know I need to draw those threads of thought back into me and knot it all securely together. Because it is possible to care too much what other people think. And the fear of rejection or being disliked can hold you back from achieving big things.
In order to have self-confidence–and by this don’t mean arrogance, domineering or even assertiveness, but rather a sort of quiet, self-contained, self-confidence–I think you need to know what ingredients make up you. Your strengths, weaknesses and beliefs. In which direction you want to steer your life. What things and people are important to you, and what obsessions just aren’t worth your time.
One thing I’ve struggled to do in recent months is to retain perspective: to remember that today is just one day. That all things are temporary, and in retrospect, all things seem smaller and clearer. Though we may feel old already, we are really only at the beginning of our lives. We have so many tomorrows, and so much to make of them. We don’t want to waste our energies on today’s worries.