Confidence and the cat

“Confidence is the preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as Parklife,” said Phil Daniels. Meh, say I.

Forget the voyeur bit, I am on about a particular beef I have about the nature of CONFIDENCE itself and how it’s used to describe. By the way the quote was the first one I could think of with the word ‘confidence’ in it. Yes, it’s another turgid post about the meaning of life…

Someone told me recently that they consider me a confident person. This was a bloody revelation.

Obviously (and for those expecting the cliche here it is) my first thought was of my many tiny neuroses and the inevitable feelings of inadequacy and shame I harbour – blah blah – and how that woman couldn’t have been more wrong if she’d up and told me her arse was blue. Which it probably wasn’t.

Then I thought, hang on. Is confidence the sort of aspect you either have or you don’t or are there degrees? And if there are, and we all have a 1-100 scale rating for our confidence level, at what magic number do you go from timid to confident? Or another synonym of your preference here, of course. A ziggurat of confidence, perhaps?

Or is confidence like a dominant gene? If you have a little bit of it, would you then be labelled (as surely you would be) confident? The questions are as inevitable as your disgust when you accidentally glance at a cats sphincter as it puckers. Ponder upon that image for a moment. Got it? Sorry…

I have stood upon a stage and played my arse off in front of a crowd going badger crazy, I have even sung and done my own unconvincing version of ‘cool-as-fuck’ at the front of a band to a (admittedly small) crowd, but likewise I have sat in meetings completely bereft of confidence, battered down by the very idea that I would even THINK of speaking. And I am the sum of both of these diametrically opposed states, and every planck length of level of difference in-between. I can read what I write and love it or cringe in shame at the sheer inadequacy of it all. All aspects of life are covered. Insert your own analogy.

So feel free to say someone is doing something confidently; that he sang that song like he meant it, or say that someone is doing something without confidence; like that meeting in which he contributed sweet FA. But please do not decide that he is either one or the other, because you are generalising and probably wrong. You may as well say nothing. Have some fucking respect for his complexities or lack thereof.

How’s that for confidence?

A bit harsh, perhaps, but I am feeling bullish.

By the way, I am very aware that my posts have become somewhat weird and off-topic lately, but you’ll look back fondly on these when I’m telling you about my daily word-count.




  1. It seems to me that this could quickly be resolved by asking the woman in question IF her arse is blue or not…that would require some confidence! 😉 I agree with you. I don’t think there is a scale rating for confidence, nor do I think there is a gene factor. I think confidence is present or absent for most everyone depending upon the situation. You can easily perform on a stage. I couldn’t do that, but I can be gutsy/feisty in other situations. Sometimes people confuse being gutsy or opinionated, decisive, practical, etc. with being confident. You may have projected confidence in some situation with this woman, where you don’t feel/show it in another. I guess it would all depend on the woman, now that I think about it…so many factors involved in deciphering what women mean by what they say.


  2. I certainly didn’t find this post turgid at all. It reminds me of the complexity of confidence – at a time when I need to be reminded that ups and downs are okay. I am currently hiking in north wales on my own, and sometimes confidence is at an all time low – like when I’m faced with quite a fast rushing river that I somehow need to get across. (I’m having a day off today, having cycled to civilisation and a library!) Next time I’m out in the hills, I am going to have that awesome image of that cat – what guts! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Thanks be to all commenters. To chalkdustfairy I say “At last, we disagree”, and to Gabrielablandy I say, “Enjoy Wales, and the next time you see a cat you will think of this.” I will mark this my SECOND most self-indulgent post in my world.


  4. While you’re working on that font and your kingdoms, could you take a minute to post something with a lot of big words in it? I’m in the mood to spend some quality time with the dictionary. 😉


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