The Confidence Game

The Confidence Game

While on an art retreat with my friends recently, we came up with a new game we called “The Confidence Game.” Here’s how you play:

Think of a couple of things about yourself that you like or that you’re proud of. Maybe you make a mean grilled cheese sandwich, or you’re wearing cute shoes today, or you have great taste in wine, or you can pick out a good melon every time, or you have very expressive eyes…. You get the idea!

The next time someone gives you a compliment (or when someone who’s playing the game with you compliments you), pause and then say, “Thanks! And… I make a mean grilled cheese sandwich!” (or whatever attribute you want to share). Be sure to notice your reaction (don’t worry about the other person’s reaction—this is about inner work).

We didn’t sit around playing this formally; we played it while cooking brunch and having a dance party. The conversation went something like,

    “Catalina, your shirt is so pretty!”
    “Thank you! Have you seen my dance moves?”

    “Hey Pam! You have a gorgeous scarf on!”
    “Oh, thanks! And look at the cute shoes that I’m wearing!”

    “Alicia, you take really good photos!”
    “Yea! And did you know I’m also a really good artist?”

The genesis of this game was a conversation I had during an acupuncture session recently. The practitioner said, “You’ve been such a prolific painter lately!” I was in a completely relaxed, blissed-out state, so there was no inhibition to stop me from blurting out, “AND… I’m a WRITER!” We both giggled, but it got me thinking.

So many of us spend our lives apologizing and deflecting compliments. We have a hard time taking them in at all. Plus, we are taught to never boast about ourselves—but I honestly think we need to be singing our own praises, in a healthy, confident way.

This isn’t about egomania, but about leaning away from lack of confidence and into strong self-confidence as a community—as an empathic, heart-centered, of service, wanting to create beauty and peace in the world community—if all of us could stand up for our self-worth and self-love, what a world we could create!

I challenge you to play the confidence game this week, in a special way. I want you to OWN your art, that you’re a _______, “I’m a painter,” “I’m a photographer,” “I’m an artist.” When someone compliments you on something, say, “Thanks…. And I’m a printmaker.”

Talk yourself up! Own it. Talk about yourself as if you are a great artist—because you are one.

Annamieka Davidson