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Confidence Is Not a Trick

Articles

Confidence Is Not a Trick

Art Von Sy

We speak about confidence as if it were a thing. Something you have. Like I have confidence and you have a parking ticket. This is unfortunate on many levels.

Confidence is what is left when you remove everything else in its way. It’s your natural state of certainty. The question shouldn’t be, “How can I have more confidence?”, but, “How can I have less of the opposite?” The opposite is what inhibits your expression of natural confidence. 

You don’t need to earn it, you need to unlearn it.

Confidence has no object. Confidence is unconditional. The moment you make it about something you set up conditions. And these conditions will bite you hard. 

As humans, we have the tendency to think that the contents of our awareness are all that is. This means that the conditions you defined for confidence will eventually become the only way, in your mind, to achieve it.

This is the point where you lock yourself up under the tyranny of a stale equation. There is more than one way to cross a river. Once you think that the collapsed bridge is the only way, you will be blind to all the other ways.

The vessel is the obstacle.

Once you define something so impossible to grasp, you delimit your range of expressing it. You might think, “Once I have this and have achieved that and I have no dirt on my face I’m free to be confident.”

But this equation soon enough becomes a compulsion. And what was just one way to achieve confidence becomes THE way at the cost of all others. The way has become the obstacle.

What might have worked once, might possibly work twice. But when it doesn’t you will be at a loss. There is no five step procedure, or secret meditation technique, the impulse to seek them is the problem. 

Once you let go of the need to find the way, you become the way.

An answer is a good answer, THE answer is a lie. Always and forever. Your attempts to qualify yourself in order to give yourself permission to be confident is the very mechanism that prevents you from being it. 

Your quality of existence is fundamentally unconditional. Confidence is a state that emerges naturally when you let go of your concern for inadequacy. The moment you look for it you will find it. The moment you wonder about it, you are asking for it. 

It’s not real, but it is happening.

When you doubt whether you should be confident or not, you are subordinating your raw energy to mindless ‘official procedures’. And they will fool you. They will make you believe that you are doing something wrong because all the steps you can think of making are not preceded by the footprints of others. But are you yourself or are you others?

A big issue is the myth that we must first become good at something to be confident at it, such as, “She is a confident speaker.” That is a stifling belief, and once you believe that it will be your reality. Confidence is often confused and muddled with competence. You needn't do that. You adopt your beliefs at your own risk. A belief that doesn’t help you is useless, let it go.

Would you rather know a truth that puts you in a coma, or a lie that wakes you up?

True confidence has no object, true confidence has no equals. The equations are stale because they are not yours. They are fictitious relationships you learned, they are narratives you internalized from movies, novels, stories, and other people with no greater insight than you. 

The moment you make your confidence dependent on these factors, you subordinate its expression to pitiful standards. And if you are like most people, you will even suppress actual expressions of confidence when it doesn’t match with your repertoire of storylines.

There is not officially sanctioned confidence. You don’t need to check with yourself if this moment is right or not. There is nothing you can do in the moment to improve your odds of success other than not giving a fuck. He who doubts himself performs the worst. She who questions her greatness experiences the least of it.

Ask yourself: “Whose hoops am I jumping through? Who am I asking for permission? And once I have that permission, am I not the one who makes it happen?”

In the end it as simple as realizing that you set the conditions for your states of confidence. Need you be confident about anything at all? Isn’t the fact that you are here as a conscious agent enough to be confident about your existence?

That you exist is beyond question, so why question it? That you are the only you on this planet is beyond question, so why compare it to another? The only way to be your best is being at your best, and the only way to be at your best is beyond question.

Have you never taken the confidence you had about one thing and experienced it about or in another context? Try it, it works.

The certainty of your existence, is all you need. Once you allow it to leak into everything else and take that certainty of existence on the road, you will be beyond the approval of circumstance and conditions because you know that this is you. The only you could have and can ever be in this moment. And reaching beyond yourself is the only way you should ever question it.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t need to be confident to be confident.