Question: Sir, how to get confidence that is not based on knowledge?
Speaker: (Laughingly) Just say that even if knowledge is not there, no harm will be done. Simple!
How did you associate confidence with knowledge? You did that, right? By unnecessarily saying a few things to yourself, over and over, again and again. You repeated falseness like a mantra. You repeated lies like a mantra and it came to a point where you started believing in your own lies. That is the simple story.
All that you are carrying in your head, you were not carrying it 15 years back. You acquired it during the journey and you kept acquiring and kept acquiring and you kept preserving it, you kept safe-guarding it, with the result that now you feel that it is really something precious.
Just as you repeated to yourself that “Oh my God, if I do not know, something bad will happen!” Repeat to yourself, “Even if I do not know, whatever will happen, will be alright.” Whatever will happen will be alright, there is no problem. Are you getting this?
You see, when confidence depends on knowledge, essentially you are trying to safe-guard yourself against some bad happening in the future. If you are already assured that existence is taking care of you, that you are alright if you win and you are alright even if you lose, then there will be no situation in which your inner confidence will be dented.
It is the eve of an examination, and you are nervous, you are trembling. Are you really trembling because you are not prepared? No, you are trembling because you are thinking of how many marks you will get, what will be the result, what will be the result of the result.
(Everyone nods in agreement)
Tell yourself, “Whatever will happen, I am okay with that”. Once you declare this boldly, honestly, this declaration has a great power. But you have to declare it. You need to have the guts to declare this to yourself. “I will not cry, I will not worry, I will not shake in my pants, I will not run around for cover and security, I will not go and hide somewhere. I will stand up to life”!
I will stand up to life, like a young man, like an intelligent man, like a living man!
Once you make this declaration, just see what happens. Just see. But you have to be honest. You have to declare it and you have to declare it openly. You cannot play safe on both sides. That “You know, I am going to try for a win, but suppose I lose then I will say ‘Oh, no no no, it’s alright’.” Then it is a case of sour grapes. You know that story, right?
“I have been trying desperately for something and when I didn’t get that, what did I say? Oh, I never really wanted it.” No, it is instead a case where you try for the grapes and if you do not get them you say ‘It’s alright’ and you say ‘It’s alright’, even if you get them!
I am not saying that you should remain untouched by defeat. I am saying that you should remain untouched by both victory and defeat. Mind is very cunning, it tries to play clever. You may try to play clever by saying, “You know, this kind of a declaration is just an insurance against failing”. Many people do that; when they fail they say “Oh, I never wanted it, I didn’t even try. It was useless, even if I’d succeeded, it was no big deal.” I am not talking of that shrewdness. I am talking of real bold honesty. I am running and I do not win the race; I would be found smiling. I am running and I win the race; I would still be found just smiling. Neither would defeat matter too much to me, nor would victory matter too much to me.
If I am victorious I will not go mad. Have you seen people go mad on victory? Have you seen people do that? You had a hockey match recently between the teams of India and Pakistan and the Pakistani team was victorious, by a slender margin, and they went mad. And the Indian public also went mad. Madness was on both sides. One side is mad because it has won and the other side is mad because it has been defeated.
You have to be madness-proof.
I win. I’m okay, no big deal. I lose. I’m still okay, no big deal. This is that inner confidence. That does not depend on knowledge of this and that, thoughts of future.
Listener: Sir, what about inferiority complex?
Speaker: Same. See, confidence is usually just a cover for a sense of inferiority. The more inferior you feel, the more you want to feel confident.
There are all these grooming courses and classes where you are specially taught on how to act and behave confidently, how to impress people with your mannerisms, language, etiquette. Who would you find enrolled there? If you go to their classes, who would have enrolled there?
All Listeners: People who are suffering from inferiority complexes.
Speaker: The people who are suffering from the deepest inferiority complexes. Otherwise, why would somebody want to wear a make-up of confidence? Whosoever is obsessed with make-up is a person who terribly and deeply believes in his or her ugliness. If you did not have such belief in your ugliness, why would you want to wear so much make-up? Are you getting it? The next time you find somebody well made-up, this and that and all kinds of things, just tell her, but you are not so ugly. You didn’t need to do this. You are alright. Go and wash your face.
Listener: Sir, one needs to accept this?
Speaker: You cannot accept yourself without accepting the totality of existence. When you are complaining against everything, how can you be alright with yourself? When you are offended and hurt by everything, how can you be alright with yourself? People talk about accepting themselves, but accepting themselves is never in isolation. It has to come with an acceptance of everything and acceptance does not mean compromise. Acceptance means “Whatever there is, in the middle of all of it, I am okay. There might be disease all around, but in the middle of diseases, I am healthy. Disease can never touch my core, my essence. It might even touch my body, but it can never touch my soul”. This is that inner confidence. Now you do not need to wear make-up.
~ Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at : Prashant Tripathi: A confidence independent of knowledge
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: How do I get confidence?
Article 2: You do not need confidence
Article 3: Confidence- an illusion in duality