“That’s the funny thing about confidence: the incorrect amount of it and nothing will ever happen.” —Robert Downey Jr.
True confidence requires humility. Humility is the ability to see ourselves objectively, as we are, and to accept and embrace what we see, the good and the bad. Humility keeps us from straying too far into the extremes of over or under confidence.
To be humble is to be right-sized in our knowledge of ourselves and the way that we present that to the world. Real confidence is the positive mental attitude that comes with humility. It is quit, sincere, and self assured.
Humility gives us room to move, room to grow, room to be wrong, or even right, and the ability to make adjustments as we learn more about ourselves and the way that we fit, or do not fit, into the world around us. It keeps us moving forward, unburdened by the necessity to maintain false appearances.
Humility guides us and keeps us in check, so that we can carry ourselves with the kind of confidence that is neither confrontational nor diffident, neither rigid nor fragile. Humility allows us to be strong in the same way that water is strong. It allows us to yield and adapt without ever giving up.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu