I struggled a bit to come up with a topic for this #guestfeature post. If I do this again, maybe I should ask for a prompt! I decided to just start writing… and this is the result.
hide and seek.
Where does one find courage? Or confidence? Or motivation? I’ve always thought these were innate qualities. Like being a musical genius. You can take all the lessons you want, but you’ll never have the talent of a person born with it. You just have it… or you don’t. I never thought courage or confidence were traits I could acquire. They’re not out there for the taking. They’re not for sale. I can’t just run down to the Courage & Confidence Market [you know, that store near Target] and grab a case off the shelf. It’s not there [not the courage or the confidence… and not the store I just made up].
You cannot buy it in a store… it will not come knocking on your door.
You won’t find it here or there… you won’t find it anywhere…
Sorry, I went all Dr. Seuss on you.
I know some will say I truly can learn these things. I can train myself to have them. I’m not sure I believe that. I think it’s chemistry… and biology. I honestly don’t think I have it in me. Certainly, I have developed a certain set of skills over the years. But they were all born from things I already had – things I was born with. Creativity, a natural aptitude for all things math, a mother’s nurturing instinct, humor. I have always had these traits. Confidence? Courage? Not so much.
It reminds me of my attempts to learn to play guitar. And I do mean attempts – I’ve tried many times at different points in my life. I even married a man who plays guitar, bass, drums, piano… [and I promise that’s not the only reason I married him]. I have always wanted to be a guitar player. For as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I am hopeless. I just don’t have it. Not for music. [Except for that simple piano piece I learned when I was six years old. So my musical ability is at kindergarten-to-first-grade level.]
But the truth is, I have had some courage and confidence and motivation at times in my life [though not recently]. Does that mean they truly are all inside me somewhere? Are they hibernating? Are they lost? Dormant? Or have they run screaming from my head and left me forever?
I have a theory. When I think of the times I did have these things, I was in specific places in my life with specific people in my life. And I got my courage, my confidence, my motivation from those people. Not from myself.
I had the courage to move out of my parents’ house because I wanted to live closer to my boyfriend. My courage came from him. Any trace of confidence I have in myself as a writer and an artist exists because I’ve received positive feedback and compliments on my work. My confidence came from those who enjoyed my art or my writing.
So… it seems I can have these lovely qualities… if someone else gives them to me.
What do you think? Courage, confidence, motivation – can they be learned? [And if you say yes, please point me to the instruction manual.]
I must leave you now. I have to go to the actual market. We’re out of milk.