I thought I heard this girl scream a name as she flung the ball at the bowling pins. On my recent bowling game, I was very intently watching a few teenage girls play on the neighbouring lane; reminding me of my teenage years. They were dancing after every shot and were cheering for the others noisily even if it meant a humble score of five. I had just hit two gutters in a frame and would try anything to get back in the game, so I followed suit. I scooped the ball up and said someone’s name, who I believed in, under my breath. Gutter again! So the second attempt I picked it up and said my name “C’mon Sneha!”. It knocked off eight pins.
Its hard to be confident sometimes, forget about believing in yourself. Some people fear getting over-confident and under-play it. Some have an unhealthy image about themselves. Some fear not being accepted if they be themselves. A few over-think it and miss the bus. Why do we develop these notions and things that make us want to second guess our own abilities? Retrospection is good, but can it lead to over thinking? When do you know is the right time to jump into the rabbit hole and are you ever going to be ready? Alice wasn’t ready, but she was curious.
Curiosity is like this tiny spark which pushes us into trying new things out and gives us the courage to go beyond our doubts. Without curiosity firing the minds of Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers and Einstein, do you think they would overcome any of their insecurities and doubts? No. Curiosity is the key to getting out of the web of low self-esteem. Curiosity leads us to making an attempt and even when we fail, the curiosity sits like a spike on your chair; not letting you sit till you have an answer. It leads to inventions, revelation of ideas, and might lead to huge shifts in market. On a personal level it changes you to believe in yourself. Once you learn from your mistakes by feeding your curiosity, you get the knowledge of how not to do things. This knowledge feeds the curiosity— “How else then?”
Believing in yourself doesn’t come naturally if you’ve not explored all your qualms and made some mistakes. Getting a few bad cakes, the first few times you bake, will make you a good chef; Getting a whole lot of bad batches, before you hit it off, will make you excellent. For baking the bad ones, you only have to go out there and attempt it. Fall and learn.
Have you read about the man who gave up trying to go to the moon or who gave up trying a new recipe? There are no ballads about people who stopped trying. Even if you don’t want a song about you, you do want to live a meaningful life. So how do we end up unhappy sometimes with our situations? — we stop being curious. We have a split and we just roll the bowling ball down the lane hoping it hits at least one pin. We don’t ask “how do I get both?” Somewhere in our minds we shut ourselves from experiencing the answers, confrontations or any discomfort and don’t let our curiosity be expressed.
Other times you have enough knowledge to back up your faith and you go ahead with feigning it. Affirmations is the ability to program your mind into believing. This is because the mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real or fantasy. You can make-believe yourself into thinking you’ve got this. That’s how people who lift three times their body weight, do it. Envisioning things mentally prepares you to have it; then when you work for it, it doesn’t seem like work. Of course back it up with knowledge, I don’t suggest you envision wings and try foolish things.
What’s even more foolish is to think we know it all; that’s a place you don’t want to be in. Curiosity doesn’t live there and you might be proudly getting average scores and dying of insecurity inside. Get down, keep engaging in the same thing over and over till you’ve learnt. Then our scores will do the talking.
We are programmed to see life through a certain filter. Through the influence of social media, news and politics, we like to see life through those pretty lenses. Sometimes our curiosity can become very clouded with questions that bring us in loop to the same answers. May be we keep asking the same question. If you keep testing a blue litmus with an acidic solution it will keep turning red. We have to use other tests. De-clutter, speak to people, get some air, travel, workout the creative side of your mind and see if you’re asking better questions.
Confidence is then just an over coat that people see, and you don’t even realize. You only have the knowledge of having been there, done that; and that becomes a part of you that no one can take away: self belief. Knowledge is the only handle we need to pull and curiosity is the key. Even after all this you will have moments you won’t believe in yourself, because there is always scope for more learning, there is no end. Learning is the only curve we need to care about in our lives. So jump right in, scream your name out loud and throw the ball, watch it roll.