BMJ: Day 53 – Look ‘Em in the Eyes

Today, the guided recommendation from Beautiful You, is focused on building confidence by practicing looking someone in the eyes when interacting with them. I find this to be a amazing for two reasons. One reason is that I have always felt this to be the case – confident people look people in the eyes. It’s a shedding of fear that allows someone to look in the face of another person with confidence and a stance of emotional fortitude.  The second reason is because just last week I was making the realization that somewhere along the line I stopped looking people in the eyes when I spoke with them.

I haven’t denied that I lost my confidence a long time ago and it’s something I’m trying to rebuild. And truthfully, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I struggle to be honest with myself and there is some subconscious thought of my grandmother saying “I know you’re lying by your eyes” – something she used to tell us kids when we were little. I don’t now all of the reasons why I lost confidence, but I did. I know I lack the emotional fortitude to be honest with myself – I lie about my sexuality, I lie about my self-loathing (I’m always “doing well” when people ask), and I can’t ever tell if I’m actually an alcoholic, I lie about my relationship (I tell everyone that everything is wonderful), I lie about my financial well-being (As far as anyone knows, I’m doing well), and so on and so forth.

Of course, looking at all of this, I can easily see why I don’t feel good about myself. I have standards for myself that I’m not meeting. I fear the repercussions of the truth. I worry about what I would lose in terms of relationships, friends, success and so on and so forth. I worry about what the person I’m speaking to thinks of me. But, to enhance the pain of the sting, I can remember when I felt good about myself. I remember when I assumed I was straight, I remember when I didn’t have the burden of temptation to drink beer, I remember when I felt healthy, I remember when I felt like I could stand-up for myself in a relationship, I remember when I had a plan for financial success and was achieving it. During these times, I was able to look people in the eye and feel confident in who I was.

Those times have changed, as I indicated, but I also want to feel good about myself again. I want to feel like I can be emotionally strong in the face of any adversity. I want to feel like I’m not lying to myself. But, I also know that some things simply take practice. Some thins just need to be done because that’s the only way to establish self-respect.

So, I’ll begin practicing looking people in the eye and I’ll continue to address those things that make me feel a lack of confidence.

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