How do you measure your confidence?

Who buys your dress and shoes?
Who picks your college and university?
Who decides your major in college?
Who approves your dating partner?
And when you are in bathroom who do you see in the mirror?
If you answer the top four questions sincerely, you encounter either one or two persons in the bathroom mirror. The conflict between these two personalities generally dictates your level of confidence.
Why do we need permission or approval from others in everything?
We have to live our life, and we are solely responsible for this life. Parents did their part whatever they could, no matter what they always encourage and wish success for us, now it’s our turn to make this life epic. Parents and other family members cannot have our dreams because these dreams belong to us and make us unique. We have to own our dreams.

Most of us grew up in the society where we need approval or permission all the time. Seeking approval is not bad thing but completely honor it without understanding ourself indicates lack of confidence. It doesn’t mean we should be arrogant and never take advice from others. We have to show humility and respect to others but should not hesitate to make our own decision based on choices. Arrogance and ignorance are two different things, but both eat up our confidence.

Confidence is not a state of mind or knowing some particular thing better, it is a skill that we develop and nurture every single day. A well-groomed confident person doesn’t need approval all the time but seeks advice from others to align his or her intuition, thoughts and ideas to his or her core values and principles.

As a rule of nature, we develop different traits and characters mainly from family and society. Our raising standards and practices make us more vulnerable at some point. Among various vulnerabilities, not able to recognize our confidence is one.

Our inner desire to do more and to be more is leading the world in technology. It seems nothing is impossible, and every single problem is simply new opportunity. Many innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors are confident people who are a major driving force behind our unparalleled growth and success. They have created extraordinary technologies, products and services which are job sources for us. But if we go deeper in their lives, they are confident practitioners at first hand.

We all are born with the power of confidence. Mother nature has given us this tool when we were born. But in our development process over the time, we also grew doubts, fears and worries which eroded our confidence gradually.

We often have no idea what other billions of people are planning in their mind. Many PhDs and MBAs were doing business plans, strategies, charts, maps and statistics in conference when Jeff Bezos was driving the packages to the post office himself in his Chevy Blazer when he first started Amazon. He sold books from his garage and now he is launching rockets in space. He worked every single day that sharpened his confidence. Practice flows to confidence and confidence still flows to greater ideas and thoughts like water.

We don’t know what was coming in Muhammad Ali’s mind when he decided to be the best boxing player, but he was laser focused on his goals and played boxing every single day no matter what. The real everyday practice brought confidence in him every single moment. He always said, “I am the greatest.”

Confidence is a triangular combination of our wishes, doubts and continuous practice on our doubtful wishes.

Research shows that people who create massive success don’t rely much on past activities or results. They know that every situation from past to present to future are very different. Their pure confidence comes from practice and only practice.

There is a trend that majority of people stop learning when they get out from college or universities. Academic curriculum is designed to create a clear map or definite path for life. Full of instructions in life. Nothing more, nothing less. If somebody wants to become a brain surgeon or lawyer or accountant, we all know what the track is, everybody can follow. But if anybody want to invent a washing machine that doesn’t require any detergent, then where is the track or any curriculum?
The one way to enrich massive confidence is to get involved in something which doesn’t have clear track or path. There is only dark and fear. Try to create something from nothing with imagination. Try to win the fear. This is basically nonlinear thinking, nonobvious.

Education means acquire information and do practice at the same time. But our education system is designed to focus more on information but less on practice. Academic books don’t teach much about past, present or future situations of life and many educated people have one particular way of analyzing things because they have been trained to do so. Relatively, present school system still helps us to be famous theoretician but not practitioner, no matter which school we attended, what degrees we earned, or how great our IQ is. Once we become academically sound, we encounter cognitive dissonance meaning we think our ideas are sound but when applied on the real ground they are actually not.

I used to think why Nobel laureate in economics couldn’t beat Warren Buffett’s investment strategy. They know more research, economic data, market and statistics. But after studying Warren Buffett, I also revealed that competence in life requires intense knowledge of our real game that we practice everyday than anything else. The constant study of our own game reveals who we are and how we are doing. Standing apart from the crowd, flow against the tide, and practice the hard stuff every day is Buffett’s message. Dominate the game by learning and practicing every single ingredient in it. This is the only way to gain confidence and achieve the desire goal. It is difficult to find the key to success in life but it’s easy to find the key to failure if we try to follow everybody without going in depth of our own game.

Warren Buffett was eleven years old when he first started to practice investment and he is still very active on the game at the age of eighty-nine. The biggest lesson we can learn from him: confidence doesn’t teach us how to compete, but it teaches us how to create. If we become confident on our task, our potential expands, and we start to realize that we are more capable then the current version. Confidence breeds obsession to achieve more and to be more than the current reality.

I started my alphabet in fourth grade and could not write my name in English in fifth grade. I couldn’t count numbers up to one hundred in grade five. My maternal uncle taught me every single day how to read and write. The one lesson I learned from my uncle is do something over and over and over again so that it becomes natural. I have filled numerous notebooks writing just my name in grade five. My personal story tells me that the only single way to develop self-confidence is repetition, repetition and only repetition.

Confidence is not a place where we reach but we grow it every single day by practice. It can be excellent and is as much of a practice than anything else.
We all have to-do lists, we all have moments to cherish and moments to regret but if we keep waiting for the right time to practice our game, we will lose the game of life.
Confidence is a stepping-stone to get the color in life but if we keep going, we get the full rainbow which is a collective bundle of health, family, love and wealth.
Confidence is not the opposite of fear but the opposite of inaction.
-Yam Timsina