“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…
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.