Self-Confidence Wears Rede

How to Acquire Self-Confidence at Ahava Raba
By Michal Levi-Aur

Try to think to yourself: How many times did you almost touch happiness? Almost did it, almost got there, almost?

How many times have you decided that now you’ll take the courageous step? That you’ll quit the unfulfilling job, end the relationship that long since lost its magic, tell certain people what you’ve wanted to say for a long time, that you’ll change, do it differently?

And then, when it came to the moment of truth that you planned and played out in your head detail by detail – it never came to pass.

 We convince ourselves with rational reasons of one sort or another that now is not the right time. It will be right only after our son’s bar mitzvah, or after we move to a new home, or next month.

But year after year, we are stuck in the same place and the same situation, with the same promises to ourselves, whose balance and logic we explain to ourselves with lots of “good” reasons.

Many times we don’t do things we wanted to do for reasons that appear to us extremely logical, but some of us are already aware enough to be able to identify the array of fears that bubbles up from those “very logical” considerations of ours.

 The fear of change, the fear of what people will say, the fear of being free – much has already been said and written about these fear.

Beyond the fears, however, hides another layer that keeps us stuck in the same safe place of not moving, and that is self-confidence – or to be more accurate, its absence.

The presence or absence of self-confidence has a significant effect on our ability to carry out (or not) the changes that we so desire and long for.

Most people perceive self-confidence to be a gift, something that people are born with, that is nurtured in our childhood homes or acquired after an undeniable string of successes.

We are talking about a self-confidence that is a bit different: In the Language of Ahava Raba, it is called Red Self-Confidence.

Red Self-Confidence is not the confidence needed to stand up and give a rousing speech in front of an audience or the kind of confidence to make all sorts of deals. Yes, it is also, but not only, this.

Red Self-Confidence is the absolute inner knowledge that whispers within a person: “I don’t want to go on this way; I deserve more!”

And following this appears the deep knowledge that asserts: Despite the fact that I don’t yet have a new job (to replace the one I want to leave), that I don’t know how my life will take shape (after years in a difficult relationship), and even if I still don’t have any direction – despite all of this: “I will not remain in a place that’s bad for me.”

This is the inner knowledge that I’ll work things out and find a way – because it exists, even if I don’t see it yet.

And this is the absolute knowledge that I am not powerless, that I trust myself, my sensitivity, my intelligence, my inner strength. I trust myself in the clear knowledge that my life is more precious to me than the power and dread of the fear.

I believe in myself and my right to live differently and that I will do everything in my power to achieve that!!!

This is the Red Self-Confidence of Ahava Raba.

I trust myself that I will find the way that is right for me, that I will work things out, because I’m not willing to suffer any more.

The root of this Red Self-Confidence can be found within every one of us, but over the years it gets covered with so much dust that it becomes almost invisible.

Life has taught us to compromise, to give in, and most of all, to fear. Where, then, will we find the emotional power to return to our authentic selves? The answer to this question springs from the simple understanding that we know what’s good and right for us, even if during our lives we have grown distanced from ourselves, matured and lived “as we should” and “by the book.” In our heart of hearts, we know what we’re good at and what we’re not good at, what suits us and what doesn’t so much anymore, what gives us pleasure and what doesn’t, what is beautiful in our eyes and what’s less so.

The courage to look that inner place straight in the eye and to pull out our truth was called by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung “internalization” – the looking inward into that same “storage room” into which we stuffed all the wishes and hidden desires that did not suit our everyday lives, or the expectations of others, or even our own expectations of ourselves. Uncovering these treasures will lead us to a process of individuation, which is another word for authenticity. During this wondrous process, we find our expanding individual inner self – and that is a tremendous relief.

And what’s the connection between all of this and self-confidence?

As a person deeply examines his inner self, he will uncover, in their full power, old fears (some of which he is not aware of) and all of which are “true” in the sense that he was educated according to them – how life “is supposed” to look. In the Ahava Raba Method, we isolate what in these revelations is right for us – and let go of what may have been right in the past but is no longer right for today.

This revelation of “what I am and what I am not” naturally strengthens and stabilizes “self-confidence.”

And what are the clear signs of this?

When all of my virtues and faults, strengths and weaknesses are bright and clear to me. When I have no need to hide, to conceal or to camouflage these traits so that “outside people will not discover or know about them.”

When I know with sure inner knowledge what place I come from and toward what place I am going, I am strong.

This knowledge strengthens me from within.

It becomes my inner guide and with its help, I become the director and leader of my own life.

And if that’s not self-confidence, then what is?