Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.
– Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
There is an inextricable link between confidence and minimalism.
You don’t have to be a minimalist to be confident, although you do have to be confident to be a minimalist. But it’s not something that has to happen all at once. As I began to rid myself of four college years worth of junk, I started to feel more confident and comfortable with myself. Like a block of marble that’s slowly being reduced and shaped into its final form. I was getting there.
The confidence grew, and the conviction to live simply grew alongside it.
Then recently (and quite suddenly), my confidence left the building and went to wallow somewhere without me – leaving me frequently frustrated and complaining. I began cooking less, cleaning less and buying more. I started to feel that without the proper duvet cover I would somehow lose my place in society (I did get a duvet cover and it actually is wonderful, although the time I spent worrying – yes, worrying about a duvet cover – I will never get back).
I felt the need to start “keeping up with the Joneses” and looked at my unpolished fingernails and old couch with disdain. I bought a coffeemaker (which, okay, I don’t entirely regret) and a new dress or two. And believe it or not, the more I started to purchase and whine over things I didn’t have, the less I felt in control. I felt less like myself.
But a few good conversations about goals started getting me back on the right path. Introducing structure back into my life and beginning again on simplifying has cleared my head. A minimalist lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but I do know that this feeling of confidence and fulfillment has grown for me and my loved ones who have even slightly simplified their lives.
Owning a large and ever-growing quantity of stuff doesn’t necessarily make you confident – and it certainly doesn’t make you a minimalist. It’s owning only the right things you need to get by in your lifestyle at its simplest. There’s more “you” and less clutter to distract you from yourself and your goals.
As I’ve become more confident throughout the recent months, I’m seeing that I have less fear of public speaking, of one-on-one meetings with my manager or clients, of engaging strangers in a friendly conversation. And if there’s one thing I love doing, it’s being friendly. So never be afraid to get in touch with me socially. I love hearing from you all – your experiences bring me so much joy and motivation to move forward with confidence.
Hopefully you’ve seen the confidence grow in yourself as you’ve simplified as well. And, where there’s confidence, there’s happiness. Check out this great story by Joshua Fields Millburn meeting a man who was unapologetically himself, and share your experiences in the comments below.