How to have confidence in oneself?

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You want confidence in yourself only when you are in doubt. When things are just flowing smoothly, when there is no fear, is there need for confidence?

Confidence is a medicine; it is not your natural state. Just as medicine is not health. When you feel sick, then you ask for medicine and the role of medicine should be to make itself unnecessary. You do not want to have a medicine that you will perpetually need. What you must rather perpetually have, is a normal and ordinary state of health. What you must normally have is a state of fearlessness, in which confidence is not needed at all. If you are requiring confidence, it means that something has already gone wrong.

Now, do you want to cover up or you wish to directly address what has gone wrong? Because if the wrong stays wrong, then you will keep on needing confidence more and more, and more frequently.

When you are addressing your friends, do you require confidence? No! But when you are making a public presentation, then you require confidence. When you are with your family members, do you require confidence? Hardly ever! But when you are in front of an interviewer, then you say that you require confidence.

Don’t you see that confidence has a lot to do with expectations, with greed, with fear? Why don’t we address the root itself?

Confidence is a word, relevant only when there is something bothering you, bugging you, weighing down upon you. If you are just alright, confidence is not needed. Confidence is a subtly violent response to fear. When you say that you are confident, don’t you see, what your situation is like? You are mildly, subtly, aggressive. And you require that aggression because you are shivering inside.

“Justness”, “Just Being”, “Sahajtaa” — that is a much much higher, empowering, and healthy state of being compared to a confident state of being.

When you are not confident, then you think about your state. Your state makes itself felt. And when you are confident, again your state makes itself felt. In both the situations, there is something that is in your mind, weighing upon your mind. You need ‘clarity’, not ‘confidence.’

Just be so fully sure that you do not even need to think about yourself. The ones who are healthy, do they keep thinking that they are healthy? The mark of health is, that health becomes absent. It does not occur to the mind. If there is no pain in your knee, do you keep thinking that your knee is not paining? But when your knee pains, then you start thinking, there is a pain in my knee. When the pain disappears, then the thought of disease disappears. That does not mean that now the thought of health comes. No, thought itself disappears. Similarly, when fear goes away, then confidence too goes away.

And if you walk around all puffed up and confident, then please pause and look at your state. There is fear lurking behind ‘your’ confidence. Confidence is a superficial treatment that you give to your fear. ‘Ease’ is the word; not confidence. “Be easy, not confident”. And there is a great difference between being easy and being confident. If you say that you want confidence, then you are just asking for an ointment. Ointments won’t help. It would make the disease worse rather.

Better it is to face your fear. And facing your fear does not require confidence; it requires faith; it requires devotion. One has to say, that come what may, there is something that needs to be done. And ‘that something’ that needs to be done is bigger than preserving my current state. I will be bold enough, young enough, strong enough to face my fear. I will not give them a cloak. I will not deceive myself. I will ask myself, firstly, why am I afraid? What am I going to lose? What is so precious that I am destroying my peace, my life for it?

When you address fear and when you are able to uproot fear, after that you find that not only has fear vaporized, confidence too has gone away. Fear and confidence are two sides of the same coin.

Go for the total, holistic, and right treatment. Don’t just shy away. You are intelligent, you are young, you have a life to live. You cannot just keep pushing things under the carpet. Be bold enough to challenge that which terrifies you. Talk face to face with it.

Say, come on! We will talk. I won’t pretend that all is alright. I am ready to accept that there is dis-ease. And then there would be just ‘ease’. You see, how closely the words ‘dis-ease’ and ‘ease’ are linked.

The answer to ‘dis-ease’ is ‘ease’.

All fear rests upon the assumption that you will lose something valuable. Be with yourself. Be silent and ask yourself — “What is really valuable?” And can that be lost? And if that cannot be lost, why do I live in fear? But before you can challenge your fear, before you can see the falseness of your fear, you will have to sit with yourself, you will have to give time to yourself, you will have to consider yourself important.

It is very strange but we do not love ourselves enough to give time to ourselves. We are involved in all kinds of activities outside but we do not look at that which is going on inside. We consider that unimportant, just because our education has not taught us that we are important. Our education has taught us that the phone is important, all kind of technology is important, the rules of the Universe are important, but no emphasis has been laid on ‘me’, ‘my life’ and ‘my mind’. So we don’t give it time.

Give this time. It deserves time. You are important. You must have a certain respect, love and regard for yourself. And then you will not need superficial remedies like ‘confidence.’

Acharya Prashant regularly writes at prashantadvait.com and to connect closely with his teachings watch his YouTube videos at Official YouTube Channel or visit his website.

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