In the summer of 1979, President Carter gave an address to the American people about a fundamental threat to their democracy. It wasn’t the economy or other world powers but what he termed as “a crisis of confidence”. This crisis was manifested in the growing doubt about the meaning of American lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for their Nation.
Many years later I feel like the term coined from Carter’s speech encapsulates the situation I’m in. As an artist, man and emotional being, confidence is like professor’s chemical X. Without it we would not have the powerful trio of the PPG.
You can always tell someone who is confident. Whether it’s a confident belief in themselves, their art, friends, lifestyle, fashion etc etc. They have great a conviction in themselves and this is seen by how they chose to express themselves.
In the words of Marcus Garvey, “if you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” Confidence is the fine line between Superman and Clark Kent. Self doubt is his kryptonite.
Self doubt grows like weeds in the garden of one’s mind. If not checked and handled, it grows, spreads and festers. It clouds the beholder from seeing the beauty that grows within them. This in turn makes one unappreciative of the good that comes to you and from you.
My dear Abi, the challenge I face is a battle to ward off these elements of doubt that seem to hang over my head. When everyone around sees something that you fail to see in yourself then the solution has to come from the person staring in the mirror.
If only it were that easy.
Rome was not built in a day and I don’t expect to win this battle today. It’s a process and like all process you need to lay down the best support structures. This is where we fault as men. Especially those of us struggling with mental health issues. Whatever you ask, you receive. As men, we need to seek out help or support.
A close friend is working on a mental health support group and I hope more people sign up for it. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.