Real Confidence is Trusting Life

Quote: “There is this beautiful softness I feel in surrendering my quest to be self-confident and just deeply acknowledging the reality of my character’s imaginary nature.”


Estimated 8-minute read

This letter on “real confidence and trust” is about self-inquiry, looking beyond the illusion of who we think we are, and connecting with a Self that is inseparable from Life as a whole.

In the examination of my life, the suffering I experience is a direct reflection of… forgetting my “real” Self. I end up lost in the illusion of a self that is not only imaginary, but is also perceived/imagined to be separate from everything around me.

This topic of self-inquiry might be the most fascinating of topics for me. I wonder if it is for you as well.

It’s like asking, “Wait, who or what am I really, though?” And also realizing that suffering, in every case, can be traced back to this false assumption (innocent misunderstanding) about who or what I am.

There are, what we might call, certain degrees of readiness to see this. Meaning, not everyone is ready or currently capable of discerning the difference between this imaginary self and a self that is ineffably more real.

  • Ineffably” means something that is too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.

The magnitude of this discovery has completely altered the course of my life that I appear to be living. Once, I was unknowingly living in total service to the character I imagined myself to be. And now… this life seems to be in a state of devotion to a miracle (divinity) that is so beyond this character called “me.”

I was once looking for “self” confidence. Now, I’m constantly opening myself up to an unshakable confidence in Life as a whole.

Real Confidence

The word “confidence” can be broken down into two parts: “con-” and “fidence”. The prefix “con-” means “with” or “together,” while “fidence” comes from the Latin word “fidere,” which means “to trust.” Therefore, the word “confidence” can be understood as “together trusting” or “having trust in someone or something.”

What I feel to be the misunderstanding about confidence is to assume that it means to trust alone in one’s self or in one’s desired abilities. Furthermore, this self we desire to have confidence in is not really there; it is not a real self but only an idea, an imaginary something. So, we are looking to trust in something that’s not really there.

Such confusion, at least to me, explains a lot about the struggle for self-confidence.

  • We are attempting to trust in something that’s not really there.

Is that too much of a stretch for you?

I wonder if it is because I can imagine how confusing that might be. Then again, I can imagine how incredibly clear that might be for others (or you).

There is this beautiful softness I feel in surrendering my quest to be self-confident and just deeply acknowledging the reality of my character’s imaginary nature. This acknowledgment, again, is like realizing…

“Wait, this life thing isn’t about me, it’s not about who I think I am, it’s not about what I think I want. This life thing is about the whole-thing, the every-thing, the miracle of Life itself.”

To speak in spiritual or religious language, without getting lost in the pointer, we could say… “It’s about the Love of God.” Or, “It’s about the opportunity to merge with God, to come home, and see that we are not separate from God.”

The Illusion of Confidence

It’s not uncommon that I get messages from people, and they share their assumptions about how confident I seem to be, and they also want that same confidence. Yes, I can understand how it can look that way, but then again, I see that my confidence is not in myself. In fact, the character of Tiger is quite insecure and sometimes socially anxious.

Maybe it can be said this way…

  • It’s the acknowledgment of my complete lack of self-confidence that opens me up to have confidence in something more real than who I imagine myself to be.

There is also the playful trap of believing our stories about having self-confidence, which, in a totally innocent and adorable way, leads us to a form of pretending to be confident. This would be similar to clinging to an outcome and convincing yourself it’s going to happen. You start trusting that the outcome will save you, and that can feel good for a while.

Here we are back at this word of: trust.

The illusion of confidence is to trust in illusions. Playfully speaking, we could also say that the fall of man is in his worshiping of images. (Same thing).

What is an “illusion”? Well, it’s simply something that seems to be there, but it’s not.

Everything the mind produces is an illusion. The mind tells a story, paints a picture, creates an image, and it can look like those things are “in reality,” but they are only in the mind; in the imagination.

Just like the character of who you are thought to be, it looks like that character is really here right now, but that character is just a story, an image in the mind, and it’s not really here in reality – outside of the mind’s imagination of it.

The same is said about all things past and future, for the past and future only exist in the mind. Yet, we trust in things past and future, we believe in things past and future as if they are real; which is also like saying we want them to be real. That would be a form of worshiping the mind’s images.

  • If it’s not here right now, it’s not real.

There is the reality of thoughts happening right now, but thoughts are not reality.

There is the reality of what I am right now, but my thoughts about it are not the reality of what I am right now. Those thoughts are like paintings, they are ways of interpreting, ways of telling a story, ways of expressing how it can be seen, but not what it truly is.

Having Trust, in Life

Trusting in Life is simply trusting in what’s real. Maybe better stated as… releasing our trust in the unreal.

Easy? No, not at all. But what’s the alternative? Keep trusting in illusions, which continues the cycle of suffering and disappointment?

You see, the more clearly you can see the illusions being trusted in, the more clearly you see just how futile it is; it’s not going to work, it’s never going to work. Now, if you can’t see that, then keep on trying to trust in illusions. You’ll gain enough experience, eventually, if your eyes and heart are open, and realize the futility of it all. Then, you can trust the reality of your direct experience, rather than trust what you think I’m saying.

Gosh, that’s such an important point as well. Don’t trust me, who you think I am, and what you think I’m saying. Trust the sincerity of your direct experience, trust what Life is showing you.

Trusting Life is the surrendering of trust in our illusions. Not because we are told to, or because it’s the spiritual thing to do, but because… It’s the only option.

No one surrenders when there’s another way out. Surrender happens when it’s seen that there is no way out.

Just as in the play of human relationships, trust isn’t automatic. Trust is discovered or built over time; trust… blooms. It’s a process of opening up to see that it’s okay to trust. However, importantly, trusting Life is very different from the way humans tend to trust other humans. Different in the way that Life cannot fail. Life cannot do something that does not serve the truth of what you are. This is seen over time.

The confusion of trust assumes that trust is about getting what you want in the future. This is to trust the mind’s imagination, again about images of tomorrow. We say we are trusting others, but really we are trusting what we think we want in the future.

  • Confusion: “I will trust you if I get what I want.”

Naturally, we bring this confusion into the ways we trust life. We invariably ask…

“How can I trust that Life will bring me what I -think- I want, or what I -think- I need?”

What are you trusting here? Life, or what you “think”?

Real Trust isn’t about getting something in the future. Real trust is about knowing you are okay regardless of whether you get what you -think- you want.

This form of real trust is a disaster for the ego because the ego is defined by past and future wants. The ego is survived by thoughts and images, and real trust is the surrender of such thoughts and images.

HeartBased Conclusion

What’s more important? I guess that’s the real question here. Naturally, as we live out our journey, we discover new depths about what’s really important. At some point, early on, we assume that what’s essential is who we think we are and what we think we want, and that’s perfectly fine. Then, later on, as the mystery of life begins to reveal itself, we say…

“holy shit, this life thing is not what I thought it was.”

That’s funny… “Not what I THOUGHT it was.”

Yes, exactly that, “Life, Yourself, Others,” are not what you “think” they are. There is something ineffably more real going on here. Something much more sacred, something much more deep and profound, something much more in alignment with what you’re searching for.

Are you ready to open up to it? Mmm, that’s a super sweet question.

I understand how terrifying that might be, or how much we might want to find more ways to run away from that invitation; convincing ourselves there is something more important “out there” in the imagination of this, that, and the other.

Sure, maybe you feel completely lost about how to even move forward or what the next steps might be. I get that. But perhaps we can surrender all those for a moment and… Trust that Life knows what it’s doing with us.

Can you relax into that? Even if just for right now?

  • Can you take a breath, be still, and discover an openness within you that invites more confidence in Life?

How can I/we support you?

That’s the question I’m always asking myself…

  • How can I better support people in seeing themselves, life, and others more clearly, so they can connect more deeply with the truth of what they are and the truth of what they crave?

It leads me to explore little experiments in how I can serve others.

What seems to have the greatest impact is, of course, directly supporting their journey for an extended period of time. Where we meet regularly and dive into what ‘appears’ to be happening in life, and, together, see it more clearly.

It’s a journey of unfolding, not a one-time fix. As one thing becomes more clear, it leads to other things that are still unclear.

Next, I’m going on a three-month journey with a small group of people. Being in small groups like this provides valuable support at a lower cost compared to working with me one-on-one, making it more affordable for some.

The intention is to have regular online group meetups where I share lessons and answer questions, taking the group through a specific process of discovery and teaching how to apply those discoveries to our everyday lives.

The intentional result:

  • See yourself, others, and life more clearly
  • Learn to trust more in what Life is doing through you
  • Dramatically reduce relationship drama and conflict
  • Forgive the past, let go of the future, and be alive now
  • Remember deeply the miracle you’re swimming in
  • Open up, fear less**, and… love more**

I’m thinking this will take place in October, November, and January (with a month break in December).

Would you be interested in being a part of something like this? Want to learn more?

Click Here to let me know, and I’ll be in touch soon.



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