Our lack of confidence doesn’t choke us as much as our overconfidence in our hypercritical mind
When we get an opportunity to do something challenging – something that can help develop our God-given talents – we often shrink back in apprehension. Something within us says, “If you try this, you will only make a fool out of yourself.” Believing that voice, we don’t try at all. Or if we try, we try only diffidently and end up doing poorly. Then, that voice jeers, “See, I had warned you. Remember: you will never amount to much.”
That disheartening voice comes from our mind. The Bhagavad-gita (06.06) explains that the mind often acts as our enemy. Its inimicality sometimes manifests through its minimizing monologues. By demoralizing whispers and deriding shouts, it chokes us. We start believing that we lack the ability, and especially the confidence, to do anything worthwhile.
However, what cripples us is not diffidence but overconfidence – overconfidence in our mind’s hypercriticality. After all, is the mind a prophet to know for sure that we will never amount to much? It isn’t; it’s simply bluffing to keep us unresistingly in its clutches.
Gita wisdom explains that we all are precious parts of Krishna. He loves us and has given us various abilities that he wants us to develop. By using those abilities in a mood of service to him, we all can make constructive contributions.
Suppose someone mocked us on our face, saying that we were good-for-nothing and would always remain good-for-nothing. We would feel affronted and driven to do our best to prove them wrong. To counter our inner mocker, we need a similar fighting spirit. We can determinedly neglect the mind and courageously put our confidence in Krishna. When we practice bhakti-yoga diligently, we become divinely empowered, break the mind’s chokehold, and take small but strong steps towards actualizing our potentials.
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