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Confidence is Not Always a Virtue

SPIRITUAL:

Ma Prem Naina

Confidence can either be a great quality or just the opposite to some. Confidence is not something peripheral. Even when we think we are confident, we are hiding something from ourselves. If we are really confident the word itself is meaningless. When we are only pretending to be confident, not only to others, but to our own selves by repeating that we are confident, then we are creating an auto-hypnosis. If we repeat it long enough we may start feeling that we are confident; but that feeling will have no inner energy in it. If the confidence that we talk about is really there, then there is no need to say anything about it. A really confident man is not even aware of his confidence levels. When something is real, we simply forget it. It is like “when the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten”; when we are really confident, confidence is forgotten.
Foolish people are always more confident than intelligent people. Stupidity has a certain confidence to it.Foolish people are stubborn because they are blind, because they can’t see and rush anywhere.
A man who is intelligent is bound to have a little hesitancy in him. Intelligence is hesitant.
That simply shows that there are millions of opportunities, millions of alternatives, and one has to choose. Every choice is arbitrary so a certain lack of confidence is bound to be there.The more intelligent one is, the more he will feel it.
Osho points out, “Ninety-nine percent of confidence is foolish. Only one percent is good, and that one percent is never absolute.That one percent is always hesitant because there are really so many alternatives.You are always standing on the cross-roads, not knowing which road will really be the right one.How can you be confident? Why do you expect to be confident?All roads look almost the same but one has to choose. It is a gambler’s choice.But that’s how life is and it is good that it is that way.If everything was clean-cut, preplanned, prefabricated, and you were just given instructions – ‘Move right and left and do this and that’ – there would be confidence but of what use would it be? The thrill would be lost. There would be no light in life then. It would be a dead routine.”
Life is always thrilling because each step brings us to another crossroad.
We start trembling.Will the choice be right or not? How to be rightly confident then? To he rightly confident is to think about all the alternatives and whatsoever we feel is a little better than the others without asking for the absolutely good or bad.In life there is nothing like that. It is only percentage; one is only a little better than the other, that’s all. Life is not divided like two polarities, good and bad.There are a thousand and one situations between good and bad. To just look around objectively, silently, feelingly, see every possibility, unworried, and whatsoever feels a little bit better than others and move on it.
Once we decide to move, forget about other alternatives, because they don’t matter now. Then wecan move confidently.
Osho explains, “This is really intelligent confidence. It does not destroy hesitation completely. It uses hesitation. It does not destroy alternatives. Alternatives are there. It consciously broods and contemplates over all the alternatives as silently as humanly possible.Intelligence never demands anything inhuman.”
The only important thing is not to be stuck somewhere and stand on the crossroad hesitating. We should not make hesitation a habit. We should use it because it is a good device. But one should also not move blindfolded as if no other road exists. That is why stupid people are more confident because of their limited vision but some of them become great leaders. That confidence of such a leader helps him gather a great following because people lack in courage and confidence. People follow such leaders because they are themselves not confident and do not know where to go; they wait for some messiah to show them the path with certainty so that their fears are dissipated. They need somebody who can become a torch and who is so confident that their own fear and lack of confidence does not trouble them. The leader’s confidence becomes a substitute for them. That’s why confidence is not always a virtue.
Osho says, “Intelligence is always a virtue. So insist on intelligence. Sometimes, it will make you very hesitant and nervous; it has to be so, it is natural. Life is so complex and one is moving in the unknown continuously, how can one be confident? The very demand is absurd. So, make intelligence your goal and then hesitation, nervousness, everything can be used in a creative way.”
Man is not aware of what he is capable unless he comes to realize it. It is just like a birdchick watching other birds fly and delighting in their flight. But he is not aware that he is capable of the same flight and the same delight. He is not even aware that he has wings. It takes a little time for the mother to persuade him and a certain methodology to persuade. The mother may sit just a little higher on another branch and call out to the chick. The chick tries to fly but is afraid he may fall. But the mother goes on calling him; that gives him confidence. There is fear, he is nervous, but one thing is certain: for the first time he knows he has wings. He flutters his wings, flies and becomes an individual on his own.
To accumulate knowledge is not too difficult, certainly not in the present age of information. To earn wisdom is to have an existential understanding. Wisdom and understanding bring a spontaneous response which manifests the inner strength, confidence and independence of a person.
[Ma Prem Naina (Naina Rajkumari) is a Master’s in Business Administration and also holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She was initiated into Osho’s Neo Sanyas in 2003 and has been heading the publications and media relations at Osho World Foundation before moving on to join Solidaridad Network Asia as Head of Communications. She lives in New Delhi.]

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