What is that significant difference between a contended, happy, successful person and a person who is restless, dissatisfied and defeated? Most of the times, it is one trait: Selfconfidence. It is the one trait which makes a difference in how people view themselves, how they view the world around and how the world views them. How vital is the difference! While self-confident people value themselves without being narcissistic, the ones with low confidence neither respect themselves nor others. A self-confident person loves to explore,learn and contribute. A person lacking confidence is scared of change and tries to run away from life. A self-confident person evolves into a solution to the situations in the life. The self-doubting ones become a part of the problem.
“I can shape my own destiny”, a self-confident person believes. He believes in his intrinsic self-worth. His past failures do not deter him; he is unfazed by the uncertainties of the future. The opinions of the world do not rule him; the demanding situations kindle his latent enthusiasm. Self-confident people travel in uncharted paths, they toil hard with patience and discover new destinations.
How can we be self-confident in our day to day lives? While there are many factors influencing the magnitude of our self-confidence, we will consider one factor which is far more significant than others. Building a ‘vision’ for ourselves enhances our self confidence. This self-confidence in turn enables us to strive for the ‘vision’.
When we prepare a vision statement for ourselves with due care, our mind is attracted to it. Once in a while we start thinking about our vision, we dream about it and gradually become rooted in it. The vision makes us stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone. It brings out from us qualities like strength, courage, steadfastness. We become more self-aware. We become more confident that we can strive for the goals to attain the vision. Self-confidence germinates from deep with-in! With this new-born self-confidence, we roar in our own minds, “Come what might, I
shall strive and succeed!” All the while, the ‘vision’ soothes us when we are tired of struggles and failures. It guides us in our day to day lives. The ‘vision’ stands in-front of us, luring us to quickly reach for it! Our self-confidence helps us to overcome insurmountable problems. It makes us work unceasingly to face the challenges. It helps us mastering our weaknesses and transcend our mental blocks. Our self-confidence gives us grit to tread paths as sharp as sword’s edge, in our day to day lives. With such self-confidence born out of our vision, we march ahead without wavering and reach new destinations every day!
In our day to day life, failures are very common. Only a self-confident person can swim through those failures and taste the success. There are instances where we do not attain the desired objectives. We think we have failed. Our self-confidence is shattered. We tend to think that we will never be like before. The need of the day is to learn handling these downward spirals of failures and the loss of confidence. Keeping he mind sa:thvic helps us to focus on solutions instead of getting drowned into a depression. A tamasic mind or a ra:jasic mind does not help us. A ta:masic mind is dull, destructive, irresponsible and ignorant. A ra:jasic mind is in agitated state. It is inordinately proud of itself and is ostentatious. On the other hand, a sa:thvic mind is calm, energetic and focussed. Creating a sa:thvic ambience in our minds and day to day life will help us cope up difficult situations. Also useful is to have a mentor who knows us well and can guide us when we are perplexed.
One more way to handle failure is to have a ‘broader vision’. For example, a person may have a vision: “I will earn lots of money.” It may so happen that despite his abilities and repeated attempts, he may not be successful in earning the money he desired. That is the nature of the effort– results are never guaranteed. The person will consider himself a failure and would lose all his self-confidence. Another person may have a vision statement as “I will earn lot of money and contribute to the well-being of people around me.” Even this person may eventually fail to make money. But the extra breadth in his vision statement gives him the necessary fuel to strive in creative ways. His
confidence remains intact. This person would find ways to contribute for the well-being of people and after repeated attempts may attain it. Broader the vision, greater is the self confidence–in intensity as well as longevity!
From our own history, we will take examples of two immortal personalities who shine with self confidence born out of their broad vision. Bhagat Singh is the first personality. Bhagat Singh was born in the year 1907, in pre-independent India. Born in a family of patriots, Bhagat Singh was anti-British even as a boy. As he grew up, he became a socialist revolutionary. He believed that British was to be expelled from India. In one of his letters, he writes, “My life has been dedicated to the noblest cause, that of the freedom of the country. Therefore, there is no rest or worldly desire that can lure me now.” Thus committed to his purpose, Bhagat Singh wanted to propagate the aims of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA). He envisaged a dramatic plan which he executed along with his associate Batukeshwar Dutt. They threw two bombs in the Assembly chamber and then threw leaflets. During this they chanted revolutionary slogans and got themselves arrested. They used the court trial to give massive publicity regarding the objectives of HSRA. Bhagat Singh was sentenced to death along with Rajguru and Sukhdev. On 23rd March 1931, they went smiling to the gallows. Bhagat Singh became a hero of our freedom struggle. To this day millions of people are inspired by his courage, clarity of thought and commitment to the purpose.
The second personality whom we will reverently remember is Anantha:lva:n. It so happened that Ra:ma:nuja:cha:rya was teaching his students at Sri:rangam. The a:cha:rya recollected that the service with flowers for Lord Ve:nkate:swara was not being done satisfactorily. The a:cha:rya asked his students, “Who among you would go to Thirumala for pushpakainkaryam (service with flowers) of the Lord?” There was a silence. A thousand years ago, Thirumala was not an easy place to access or live at. There were dense forests and carnivores were all over the area. However Anantha:lva:n was moved by his a:cha:rya’s appeal. He volunteered to go.
He left to Thirumala along with his wife. After enduring great difficulties, he reached to the top of the hill and worshipped the Lord. He was pained to observe that very few flowers were available for the service of the Lord. In order to fulfil his a:cha:rya’s desire, he wanted to grow flower gardens. He decided to dig a pond and use the accumulated water to grow the gardens. With determination, he started digging the pond all by himself. His pregnant wife would help him in the work. Lord Ve:nkate:swara was deeply touched by the gesture of his devotee. In disguise, he appeared before Anantha:lva:n and offered his help in digging the pond. Anantha:lva:n considered the digging work as an assignment given to him by his a:cha:rya. He would not receive other’s help in work. So he refused the help that was offered to him. However, God is all merciful! He became a lad and offered to help Anantha:lva:n’s wife. When Anantha:lva:n realised what was happening, he chased God disguised as lad. When the lad escaped fast, Anantha:lva:n threw the digging bar at him which hit him on the chin. Blood began flowing from the chin of Lord Ve:nkate:swara! The priests in the temple applied camphor to stop the bleeding. Such was the firm commitment of Anantha:lva:n. He single-handedly created a pond and later grew gardens which supplied many flowers for the service of God. To this day there are gardens named after him.
People with self-confidence create a positive impact on the society. Self-confidence helps them to attain success. Not just that – their confidence helps them to redefine success for themselves! Let us pray to or a:cha:rya to bestow such self-confidence on us which we may use for serving God, our a:cha:rya and the devotees!