Tuesday, 1 April 2014
How often does some apparently poised, decisive, suave public figure confess that actually they don't feel that poised inside, they often feel nervous and stupid, or they feel like an undeserving impostor?
Deep down, however successful and happy people seem to be, I think there are always niggling doubts and fears - that our supposedly solid lives aren't as solid as they look, that our good fortune might not last, that an unlucky turn of events could unravel it all.
Deep down we crave reassurance, comforting words, signs that everything will continue, signs that we're truly loved and cherished, signs that the intricate scaffolding of our lives isn't about to collapse.
Of course we have to act confident to get things done, to keep other people's respect, to get what we want in life. But this air of confidence is something we learn, a cultivated show of strength that hides the vulnerability we don't want to display.
And we don't want to display it in case it's abused; in case we're seen as weak and submissive and ready to bow to someone else's will. So it's only sensible to keep it out of sight. But the vulnerability's still there, even if you can't see it. It doesn't magically disappear as we grow up. It hovers inside us like a chilly breeze, curtailing the sunshine.
Beware the seamless show of confidence. It might just be a confidence trick.