Saturday, August 08, 2009 by Mariskova
Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem. -Woody Allen
I found this saying above by Woody Allen a few months back and I giggled. I liked what he said and couldn't help myself agree with him. At that time, I didn't realize I would meet a situation so true like the saying.
Just a few days ago, the staff and I were in the middle of a panicky-and-chaotic situation. We were going to hold a big event, but something went unexpectedly wrong: nobody seemed to be interested in signing up. The staff were having butterflies in their stomach. I didn't have butterflies. I had bees.
To tell you the truth, the event was actually not our project. We were not even a committee. At least, I know I wasn't. Our name was not on any paper or proposal, except for flyers (*blaming the boss*). The event suddenly became our project only because it was held in our office. What a nice modus operandi! We became so emotionally-physically-mentally attached to the event because of our feeling of responsibility. If things screwed up, our office would take the blame. Nobody out there would even bother to read the proposal to find out who is the committee and who is not. So, there we were. Doing the job of other people. Couldn't even complain about it.
It was rather funny (in a sillier way) actually when I remember how confident most of us were in the beginning. And one person was even more confident than the rest of us. He-who-must-not-be-named was everything but humble. He thought he had orchestrated a very beautiful symphony with players eager to do what he commanded. He was so proud about it and couldn't let us have peace without him telling us how great his performance was. I was bored to death but people say murder is a crime so I restrained myself from the urge to kill him. Trust me, I was that close.
Then things started to fall apart. He found himself confronted with the ugly situation. He understood... and soon enough his confidence dropped.
I learned something about people that very second. When people are confronted with an ugly situation, they usually would react in two predictable ways: blame others or deny. He-who-must-not-be-named was rather outstanding. He did both: He blamed others for not playing the role he put upon them and then denied that there was a problem. Rather contradictory, don't you think?
At the end of the day, I think we have to do it the other way around. Instead of being confident at first and comprehending later, we might want to understand all the facts first then build our confidence step by step. It is a safer journey.