During my years in theater, we would put up plays that required a short performance between major segments. Our resident saxophonist had just graduated, leaving behind a huge hole to fill in our act. I was always enamored by the instrument so I decided to pick it up and learn it myself. I had about three months to practice my short piece.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought.
A few weeks before my debut performance and I was still unprepared for my part. The pressure of filling such a vital role in our play was getting to me. I went to our managing director’s office to ask if we could do something else instead.
What he told me that day changed my life.
After I finished sharing about my anxiety, he took a deep breath and spoke words that would resonate in me for many years to come.
“Miggy, I believe in you.”
Mr. Pagsanghan (or more affectionately known as Mr. Pagsi) is one of the most legendary teachers in the country. He has received numerous awards for his work in the theater arts, education, and leadership. He has also taught and mentored thousands of people throughout his decades in the profession. And as for me? I was a scrawny, insecure, pimply-faced teenager who was scared shitless to play an instrument I had just picked up. For him to tell me that absolutely meant the world to me.
After that day, I would end up absolutely crushing the performance and playing dozens of other shows after. I reflected on our meeting a while back and realized that Mr. Pagsi taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned.
Life is a game of confidence.
How many times have we sabotaged a project or performance because of insecurity and doubt? Confidence is the currency of success. You’ll need a hell lot if you want to move forward with anything that you do. Yes, skill and a work ethic is absolutely important. But these are the parts of your engine and drive. What ignites the whole thing is confidence. It’s what separates the good from the great. However, there is another aspect of confidence that not a lot of other people know about — and that is confidence is best shared with others.
The confidence I was given a decade ago would serve as the foundation of my confidence today. It grew exponentially throughout the years and spilled out to other aspects of my life. It was an empowering moment, one that would allow me to take step after step to heights I never thought was possible. I have the confidence to do the things I do today all because Mr. Pagsi took the time to say that he believed in me.
We are all social creatures. We can generate confidence for ourselves all we want but we will always need some sort of validation from others. It’s simply how we are wired to function. I have seen firsthand how confidence can transform a life, how simple words can turn a scrawny, insecure, pimply-faced teenager to a leader of his own company. That is why I never pass on a chance to reassure a teammate, student, or friend. Words of encouragement, no matter how short or long, can mean the difference between good and great, between quitting and trying again.
We can only stay strong by ourselves for so long. There will be times when we need to lean on others for strength. I am where I am now because many other people along the way have given me the confidence to take another step or give it another go. This has made a profound difference in me, so much so that I have made it a point to be as encouraging to others as I can. When you ever get the chance, take a moment to build up the people around you. You really never know how far this confidence can take another person.