The Day I Learned About Confidence

Do you ever have the moment that change your life?

The moment when your inner-self said, “Yeah, this could be the sign, I should change.”

Well, I do. A moment that I could never forget.

Back to July 2015, I was a young unconfident boy. Kind of introvert type that won’t ignite a conversation until someone say hi to me. A month after that, I’m not the same people anymore. There is a moment between that time that transform my life.

Here comes the story.

On August 2015, I attended an event called, “Ideafest2015”. A seminar-like event that hosts many of great public speaker in Indonesia. The speakers are various, from startup CEOs until the vice president of Indonesia.

Ideafest 2015 is a paid event. For a college student like me, the event price is rather expensive. I had to use my savings to buy one ticket.

When I asked my friend to join me to the event, some of them said “Nah, why would you go to an event like that?” and the other would say “Man! I want to come! but, I don’t have the money.”

So as you would expect, I was there alone. Back there, I was still an unconfident young boy that attend a national seminar alone. I was feeling so lost. Being alone in a crowded place like that is a new experience for me.

You may think that hearing one of the public speaker’s topic is the moment that change my life, but it is not. It’s definitely not it.

The moment of truth is when I met a guy named Chandra. He is my one-day mentor. The guy who taught me about confidence.

I don’t know how old he was accurately. But according to his appearance, I thought he is 7–8 years older than me. You can imagine him as a typical “Indonesian Cool Guy”. A light beard around his face, pomade on his hair and wearing a black leather jacket. One thing I remember about him was he always carried a full-frame DSLR camera on his shoulder.

I met him before I went to the seminar room. I was standing in line, waiting for the seminar room’s door to open. I remember at that time I was reading the speaker’s list. Suddenly, someone poked my back and said:

“Hi! Could you please take a photo of me on that backdrop?”

“Sure, hmm, could you please take a photo of me too after that?” I said.

“Well, that’s fair.” he replied and gave his camera to me.

After we took our photos, he introduced himself. He told me that he works at a media as a journalist. So it makes sense that he was carrying a camera with him. He always seemed like he is on fire when he talked. His fast-talker and enthusiasm characteristics represent his confidence.

Not long after that, the door was open. We rushed to the seminar’s room together.

“At least, I know someone to talk to.” I muttered.

The seminar was quite enjoyable. The speakers were rising startup CEOs that talk about startup industry in Indonesia. They shared their experience, and of course, followed by a question and answer session.

After the seminar is over, there is a break session for eat and pray. Chandra asked me if I wanted to eat or not. Because I am hungry and have no other friend, I agree to eat with him. We go to a food stall outside the building.

While we waited for the food to come, he asked me why I want to go to this seminar event by using my savings. Well, I’ve never thought about that earlier. I came with this answer.

“Because I see this seminar as an investment for me to develop myself.”

He said, “Well, good for you! There are not many people around your age who realize the importance of self-development. When I’m at your age, I always thought about that too.”

“Yeah, I think so” I replied.

He was right, there are few people around my age who are going to this event. The majority of people that went to this event were businessmen that are more than 20 years old.

The food came. We were still talking about many stuff when we ate. He told me some stories about his failure before he became journalists. We shared our experiences, our present, and our future plans.

“I think I have a problem with my confidence,” I said.

“Why do you think you have that problem?” He asked back.

“I don’t know, I cannot speak in front of many people. I don’t have the courage to start a conversation with new people just like you did.” I replied.

“Well, you don’t have to be like that. No matter what your appearance looks like, no matter you think how bad you are,  just be confident.  No one will care if you wrong. You can just say sorry and everything will be alright. Damn, he’s right. That makes sense. Why do I have to feel unconfident all this time?

“I will give you an example, I will get the phone number of those CEO’s that talk in the last session,” He added.

“Oh really? But how?” asked me with doubts.

“Just look at me after we finished eat,” He said.

“By the way, I will treat you for the food. But, you have to promise me something. When you are at my age, you will find someone in your age now goes to the same event as you. When you see him, you have to treat him a food and taught him life lessons just like I do. Do you agree?”

“Well, that’s fair. I’ll do that.” We laughed and eventually left the place.

Before we went back to the seminar room, there was a crowded circle of people in front of the building. We discovered that there was crowd surrounding the CEO that give the talk from earlier. Without any sign, Chandra rushed into the crowd. After a while, I saw that he talked something to the CEO, and suddenly the CEO give his business card to him. Well, I’m impressed. He really got that CEO’s phone number. He walked towards me and said, “And that’s how confidence can get you a startup CEO’s phone number.”

After a while, the seminar’s room door was open and the next session started. This session was basically a pitching session for the finalists of idea competition. Chandra said to me that he wanted to go to the front row to get a better photos.

I said, “Okay, I will just wait here.”

Without any consciousness, that was the last word that I ever said to him.  He was not coming back to his seat. I waited for him until the event finished, but I still couldn’t find him. I searched around the room looking for him, but he was nowhere. He was gone before I said thank you.

I was confused. I couldn’t contact him because he hadn’t given me his number. He’s gone without saying anything.

Maybe he’s gone for a reason.

Maybe he’s gone because he wants this story to be magical for me.

Maybe the meeting with him will just be an ordinary meeting if he didn’t disappear.

Maybe it’s right.

Maybe this is the sign that I talk about earlier.The sign for me to change.

If someday Chandra read this post, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me the meaning of being more confident. Without his advice, I would still be a young unconfident boy. I may not be the most confident people in this world, but this confidence really helps my life a lot.

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