Everything, it seems, is a confidence game.
Not just as in a swindle. Let’s leave that meaning aside and look at the role of confidence in what we do in our everyday lives.
I could never drive a bus. I don’t have the confidence. I could never fly an airplane, do heart surgery, or drive a locomotive. Same thing.
And those are just the external things.
The internal things? Same thing again. A lack of confidence invites fear, dread, terror, horror and stops me from doing or succeeding.
I know for a fact that, when I lack confidence in myself, very little I do succeeds. When I have confidence, what I do more often succeeds.
I had a brilliant example the other day. A man was acting suspiciously in our lobby and altogether didn’t look like he belonged here. Management has asked us to question any suspicious-looking person. This was the first time I’d ever done it.
I asked him if he lived in the building and he answered me in a weird way. I asked him what suite he was in and he blew up at me.
Not only did he blow up at me but he came within inches of my face, removed his two sets of glasses (yes), and yelled at me from that proximity.
Well, you know my history with being yelled at nose-to-nose. (1) And you know I’ve forsworn hostility for harmony. (2) So how did I do, the newest pacifist on the block?
I simply said to him, at various stages of the unfoldment: “Don’t talk to me that way.” “Don’t yell at me.” “Don’t threaten me.”
That’s all I needed to do: Name it and forbid it. And he finally walked away, muttering to himself.
Simple boundary management provided the solution.
Even this instance of refraining from a violent solution shows the transformation in a person when they learn self-defence/a martial art. I knew I could handle myself and so I didn’t need to act … prematurely. I could if I felt it was needed. I felt confident in myself.
It’s the same everywhere. If I lack confidence in making a quiche, I do a lackluster job. If I lack confidence in clearing the thief vault, I bang my leg. If I lack confidence in getting a complicated mathematical calculation wrong, watch me do it wrong.
How to boost our confidence? The answer is so darn simple. I just keep forgetting to do it.
But if I just blurt it out, it’ll look too obvious and may be dismissed. So let me work up to it, if you would.
We have the ability to compartmentalize our consciousness. We have the ability to imagine people talking to us. We have the ability to reparent ourselves.
Any number of psychological and spiritual traditions discuss this in a matter-of-fact way. They might say: Talk to yourself; take yourself aside and have a good, mature conversation with yourself. Etc.
And that’s it exactly, ladies and gentlemen: Talk to yourself. Talk to yourself kindly, compassionately. Lend yourself an ear. Express your understanding and your encouragement. It’ll move you to tears.
I like Transactional Analysis’s model of a Parent, Adult, and Child ego state.
Using their terms: Get into your Adult ego state. Congratulate your inner Child for the job you just did. Express confidence in yourself.
Take your Child aside, tell them what the future looks like and let them know you have their back.
Then go out and do the same for ten other people this week.
Your confidence in yourself will grow and grow.
This is not a boost-your-sales pitch. This is not about what-a-good-boy-am-i. If you emerge feeling arrogant, you missed a turn somewhere.
You now have the confidence to serve. That’s the point of the exercise. To get bigger, get bolder, and get moving in our service of the Mother.
That’s why we’re here.
When you need inspiration and encouragement to get moving, play this: In the Name of Queen.
(1) See “What Changes Can Be Seen?” “From the Humpty Dumpty Man to Here: Completing the Fear of Being Wrong,” June 5, 2019, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2019/06/05/300939/