Monday Aphorism: Confidence

A nerve, a verve, a…willingness to do and be. A fear, a sense of fear kept in tow, if not exactly conquered. A question of why the issue of being confident should even arise.

A loss…of confidence? – more clearly the issue; the disappearance of nerve, of verve, of the fright of the willingness to do, leaves me almost breathless. Perhaps it is only a feeling, located somewhere in the depths of my bowels, but nonetheless a power in my life which determines much of what I will never think of doing…less of what I might actually do.

Confidence – that when I get up to play the violin (if I have prepared sufficiently), that when I perform or lecture, that I can depend on my knees not shaking so wildly that I will be forced to sit down or sit out; that my voice will not fail, that my mind will not blank, that my thinking will be fast enough, that words will be found in my thinking’s machinations; that whatever happens I will not lose my control, my coolness of mind…that I will be able to smooth over whatever anger or anguish may arise: others and my own.

Confidence in balance with wanting new experiences, to learn from and while doing, so I can move on toward new ideas. Confidence in some balance with the variety of fears which motivate and which obscure, which turn thinking aside, away from, toward the past and gaining ascendance over what I may do or will do in actuality.

  • Harvey, in these times of profound loss of continuity at times it feels like you could almost succumb to vertigo, a loss of balance amidst it all if there is lack of nerve and aplomb in how to approach life. What advice do you have about nerve and verve, or more to the point– what does it take to develop nerve & verve? It is just about practice? What about when you find yourself in new situations that you didn’t know you had to practice for? …What does it take?

  • Confidence: I “trust” myself, have trust in what I think and do – in many/most circumstances. Whenever a situation, ideas, thoughts, actions…arise in which find that what I do seems to require trust in myself, the nerve to do whatever it is – the question of confidence wanders in my very being.

    Teaching: each day is new – I try never to “over-prepare,” to be confident that I will be able to be “present” no matter who or what arises to question whatever is being discussed, to question me about what I know and think; even if I know or think about the problem at hand.

    So…confidence…that I will be able to “handle” who or what. I remain always “open,” at least a bit nervous. That is, I will remain “present” at all moments, my thoughts and being intact, ready for almost any question, even attacks.

    Every day that I practice the violin (most days, but not all), or whenever I work out at the YWCA, I wonder if I will be “up” for the kinds of play or strength and endurance which I have been. There is – almost every day – a suspicion that I can’t really play the fiddle: and then I do! My work outs – I try to do whatever I do very “mindfully” – to do and be and relate what I’m doing to a very active involvement of my fullest understanding of my body.

    Confidence – that I will be “present” in most situations where my confidence might be up for question.

    Confidence: a sense of (self)trust – always a sense of (slight) risk, but usually with a sense of presence, often of delight, in doing and being what I do and who I am. (It helps to be in a relationship with someone whose being is both critical and supportive!)