Self-confidence – आत्मविश्वास (August, 2015)

To achieve a commendable goal or acquire a worthy talent, be it at mental, physical or spiritual level, one needs to uninterruptedly practice for a long time. All three are must have ingredients for success: 1) practice, 2) without interruption, and 3) for long period. Absence of even one of them is bound to deprive the aspirant of the wished-for goal. While achievement is highly rewarding and enjoyable, path is seldom. During the long practice period, which is often strenuous, one is bound to come across several impediments: undue criticism, tempting but wrong choices, exhaustion, and self-doubt. Many fall prey to these obstructions and do not realize their full potential. Only rare persons with self-confidence can look in the eyes of all those hindrances and confidently walk past them to finally enjoy the fruits of their diligence. This month’s article is आत्मविश्वास (Self-confidence)
It is important to understand that being brazen or impudent is not being self-confident. Sometimes a person’s impolite behavior is considered to be sign of self-confidence; it is wrong. In reality, it is opposite: a self-confident person is confident yet respecting and highly knowledgeable yet humble. Self-confidence exudes pleasing aura from his/her personality.
To acquire self-confidence, the first step is to acquire true knowledge. The more we gain knowledge, the more confidence we build. With the true knowledge only, one is able to discriminate between right and wrong. The next key step is courage: after knowing right and wrong, one needs courage to put the knowledge in action. In the initial stage, however, one may not have the required courage to wholeheartedly adopt the right path when the wrong options, plentiful in nature, are highly appealing. At this stage, repeatedly following small steps in right direction boost confidence.
For instance, by returning extra change that a cashier might have given to a boy by mistake, the boy learns a practical lesson of discriminating between right and wrong and builds confidence to choose the right option. Repeatedly following such behavior early on will build his character in such profound ways that for the rest of his life, he will never flinch from choosing the right path no matter how alluring the alternatives are.
In the Riga Veda, there is a mantra for building Self Confidence:
अहमिन्द्रो परा जिग्ये।
(अहम्) मैं (इन्द्रः) समर्थशाली हूँ, ( परा जिग्ये) मैं कभी हार नहीं सकता।
It means, I am capable [of discriminating right from wrong]. I will never be defeated [in picking the right path and abandoning the wrong].
Prayer: O God, please give me discerning mind (विवेक बुद्धि), steadfast determination (विचलित ना होने वाले संकल्प) and courage to follow righteous path (आत्मविश्वास).
Let’s have kids share the interpretation and relevance of this topic in their lives.
Harsh Mendiratta