Change is real but it doesn't have to mean you change who you are. It means you change.. the way you are. And the way you are is the way you've become. What's the difference?
There's a big difference.
Who you are is who you were born to be. It's your animus - your dispositions and intentions. It's your spirit-self. The one that says: hey, be an artist! Or hey, go save lives in the Middle East! Or hey go do some scary shit that will make your journey so breath taking you won't know where you began. And all that changes with time because change is real and being a glorified soul whether you paint or save lives can be a real struggle, and a lot of people don't survive the fray of being duty bound in constant creation mode. Because to be a prodigy is to be a survivor of your own fear and doubts and those inflicted. Ergo, we adjust our perspectives thus changing our dispositions and intentions - our views. I don't want to save the world, we tell ourselves. My art doesn't matter. Nobody cares. Blah blah blah. Our policies and standards all change, with time. Some for the better, some for the worse. Some for the worse and hardly ever for the better. Cue the alcoholism and/or drugs, or depression, or pure mediocrity and a lack of inspiration. Boredom.
But even that doesn't change who you are because who you are is who you will always be. Minus the booze. Minus a revolving door that closes more often then it opens. Minus our views and standards. Minus the boredom and the mundane. You've got to subtract the shit that makes you who you think you are first. Like your car for instance. Or your bank account. You might think it makes you who you are, but those things do not define you.
The way you are is the way you react to people who cut you off while you drive your nice car, or your old ugly car. It's who you are at events. It's the way you react when faced with circumstances, confrontations, hardships etc.... It's the way you carry yourself and speak to an audience. It's the way you are when relaxed, or when you refuse to relax. It's the way you work or don't work. It's the way you think and over think, and then think some more, and then some more. And all of that... can change. Because it's not who you are.
When I was young, my mother would lecture me in parking lots and on sidewalks. Anne-Marie. Why do you walk with your head down? She would ask me in a tone I didn't prefer. I would stare at the ground when I walked. I had no confidence and well, my mother was.... impetuously brash. Still is. But was it the way I was born? No. It was the way I became. It's the way I started to think.
No child of mine walks with their head down. Lift your head up. Pull your shoulders back. Be confident. She would say... on every sidewalk. At every dance rehearsal. It wasn't who I was. I wasn't confident. I was broken. Too much divorce and instability will do that to a child. Confident is what I became, but it took time. After another handful of years surviving my mother's life, I started surviving my own and I did it with confidence. But I don't just survive. I enjoy life too. And that's who I am.
It's not the way I am though. My ways can be quite reckless. But I'm working on changing that to better myself. Because the way I am is OCD as fuck, schedule bound, restless, always in need of creating something, fitness fitness fitness, being something, thinking I'm not anything.... migraines, stressed, happy and excited. Up then down. That's the way I am. It's not who I am.
I am quite grateful for my mother's sidewalk sermons, now relics. Confidence is a keepsake and it's the reason I even bother being an artist, because without faith in one's self, an artist is nothing more than a crazy person. It's harsh but true. Artists are tortured, in a beautiful way. And I'll admit... I have my crazy person days - those days when I can't get my heart out of my head, and those two fight like a couple on the verge of a nasty ass divorce. My heart and my head rarely get along much less work well together. Why? Because the head (aka) the mind is a thought machine and the heart is not a machine at all. Rather, the heart is ethereal - self sacrificing, dream aligned. Not afraid. And that is who we are and nothing can change that unless, well, you think it can. The key to being who you really are and not who you think you are is knowing how to control your mind, because when you don't how to do that, it does in fact get out of control...and waaaaay out of control. And guess what? You turn into a crazy person! And you didn't even need a paint brush to do it either.
You see, the way you are is a perspective. It's all in your mind. It's who you think you are. It's how you think you should respond because it's the way you're hard wired and conditioned. You are the way you are because you learned how to be that way. But who you are isn't learned.
Who you are is who you'll always be and who you've always been. It's who you know you are, it's not who you think you are. It's not what mom told you to be, or what dad told you not to be.
It's freedom... from all of those things. Who you are is... free, and that's sacred. This life is sacred because we have no clue when it ends or why it even began. We didn't ask to be here but we are here, just trying to be who we think we should be.
So, whether you've got confidence or not, remember your freedom. You can be totally, utterly and completely free from who you think you should be and, instead.... just be who you are.