The book Letters to a young artist by Anna Deavere Smith is a collection of letters and advice on “making a life in the arts.” This particular letter I read was about Confidence and how we choose to go about it. To exemplify her idea she shared the perception of confidence made by a competitive bull rider named Brent Williams.
Brent highlighted that we should value determination over confidence, although confidence is never a bad thing to possess. Determination requires more than confidence because it involves trying and putting action to your confidence.
My favorite part of this letter and the piece that really stuck out to me was Brent’s mention that having determination also means having doubt and humility. To me this means that we allow ourselves to put our best food forward, with just enough doubt to help us think critically and move with intention. I take this advice with me and hope to apply it to my work, remembering to keep humility and always keeping my eye open to new things to learn.