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Real Confidence

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Real Confidence

Several years ago, when my son was a teenager, he worked in my company warehouse. I received the benefit of his insights about the company as well as his suggestions for improvements. Fairly often he would suggest that I take him to lunch, and though this meant spending more money then I normally would, the opportunity made me happy.

During one of our many lunch discussions he asked me, “Do you think of yourself as a confident person?” This was the day before I was scheduled to give a lecture at Green Gulch Farm (part of the San Francisco Zen Center, where about 200 people attend lecture each Sunday morning). He went on to say that he was trying to understand how I could be giving lectures, teaching, and running a company.

He saw me as somewhat quiet and shy and had a difficult time seeing me as a teacher. “After all, you’ve never taught me anything,” he blurted out. After my initial surprise at hearing these words, I teased him by responding that I had been planning a lecture series for him, which was scheduled to begin the following week.

I went on to explain that as a Zen teacher and as a businessman — and as a human being — my confidence, real confidence lies in the knowledge that I am certain of nothing. I have no idea where I came from or where I am going. I have no idea what will happen to my business in the future.

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Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is CEO of ZBA Associates LLC, a company providing executive coaching, leadership development consulting, and keynote speaking services to businesses and non-profits. He is a developer and instructor of Google’s Search Inside Yourself program. Marc is a Zen teacher with an MBA degree and a former resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. He is the author of Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration.


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11:50PM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

It takes a lot of self reflection and acceptance to build confidence. A lot.

4:48PM PST on Dec 12, 2010


11:33AM PST on Nov 20, 2010


9:35AM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

Thank you for an interesting article. I believe confidence is shown by what we do, not by what we say.

5:23PM PDT on Sep 29, 2010

Confidence comes with having right attittude and Values??

3:33PM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

My confidence lies is that what ever is meant to happen will happen. That does not mean that I don't wish for a specific turn out sometimes but still I know that if it doesn't come out that way it's for the best... something greater will come

10:46AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

This is a different way to think about life. Thanks, good post.

7:57AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

good post.

5:49AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

"Where does your confidence lie? How do you cultivate confidence?"

healing unresolved fear, anger, worry (preferably with lots of expert help from a loving intuitive trustworthy person) - this can be helped by emotional freedom technique / meridian tapping.

If you like, see it has free resources to help anyone (its truly free resource for anyone). Use your intuition to see if its right for you.

5:41AM PDT on Sep 27, 2010

Great article! Thanks a lot.

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