Confidence is a drug. It’s the adrenaline of the soul. You can see its effects when staring into the eyes of someone who has confidence pumping through their veins.
We were lucky enough to have made it down to Florida with the kids over spring break. Travelling with 3 kids under 10 is a job in itself, and when you get back, you kind of feel like you need a vacation from the vacation. But it is the most fun parents can have with their kids. All day together. 24 hours a day, for as long as you’re lucky enough to do it.
Anyone with kids knows vacation starts and ends at the swimming pool. In fact, it’s not a vacation unless there’s a swimming pool. You could be at Disneyland or on a cruise, and the kids won’t think they’re on vacation until they’re in the the pool. However big or small, there has to be a pool.
The last time we were in Florida, our eldest learned how to swim. This time around, several years later, it was our second kid’s turn to clear this hurdle. And it was over the course of the few days we spent in the pool, me holding from her armpits and letting her swim for longer and longer stretches without support, that I saw the effects of confidence in her eyes. On her soul. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Confidence transforms. And I saw the transformation, as gradual but as definite as sure as the rising sun.
Confidence is a weird thing. It’s intangible. It’s weightless. It doesn’t exist except in the mind of the subject. Yet it changes everything. Perspective. Attitude. Posture. Confidence can change outcome.
Confidence is a drug. It’s the adrenaline of the soul. But it doesn’t produce itself. It doesn’t get triggered by trauma or freight. It comes with effort, practice and results. It comes with the evidence that only you prove to yourself. Which translates into the faith you have in yourself to prove it to others.
And it is no different in children than adults. My decision to transition out of law into marketing, viral videography and content creation brought with it predictable insecurity – financial and spiritual. As a lawyer, you know who you are. You know what you are. You know what you do. You have social standing (and relatively consistent income! lol). But redefining yourself halfway through life is not obvious. And while you recognize that it’s all internal, you feel that people might look down on you. You feel a constant insecurity of referring to yourself in an entirely new way. It’s all internal. And it all stems from insecurity.
And then the confidence that comes with actually proving what you can do. Proving not to others, but only to yourself. A few key developments in an otherwise reckless (and borderline irresponsible) career move, and the drug kicks in. Once you know that you can swim in the deep end of the pool, it changes everything. Perspective. Attitude. Posture. Outcome. Fear turns to the desire to try. You have faith, but not in some abstract concept. You have faith in yourself. Everything is possible if you give it a try. And if you don’t succeed the first time, try and try again. Learn from failure. Try until you succeed. That’s how confidence is born.
Did I mention that we saved a pelican while on vacation? Hands down the highlight of our trip.