It was a bizarre situation: two men sitting in a cafeteria taking turns watching a spoon dipped in a half glass of water.
– “I see it broken,” said one.
– “Well, from this angle, I see it whole,” said the other.
Then they touched the dipped spoon in its entirety, to verify that in reality it was not broken at all.
– “In fact, I feel it whole”
– “Well… me too”.
Those who were close to them already knew them, and it was definitely not the weirdest thing they had seen them do.
It was the eighteenth century and Immanuel Kant and Johann Herder discussed one of the approaches that the Irish philosopher George Berkeley had proposed some years before: That nothing exists beyond what we perceive.
And each one of them perceived that spoon differently.
Berkeley’s approach implied a somewhat odd reality: If something was not perceived, then materially it could not exist. Like that Zen dilemma: “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make noise?”
That’s why Berkeley had determined that the only thing you could be absolutely sure of, was your own existence.
The nice thing is that the perception of your own existence resembles that spoon dipped in the half glass of water.
You see: we have a bad habit of measuring our value and even our own identity, depending on how ‘successful’ we are daily.
If our day was a failure, we feel like a failure; We measure our worth by the results we have obtained.
It is like seeing the spoon broken by refraction and thinking that it is really broken.
But when you reach out and touch the spoon dipping your fingers in the water, you see that it has always been intact.
Just like you, your identity and your worth.
I fully understand that sometimes it’s difficult for you to assume a body language of confidence even in those moments when the world comes upon you.
Let me propose a change of perception: remember that your senses (and the refractive properties of water) can deceive you.
It’s like in the movie “Matrix”, but the other way around: your inner teaspoon never bends, much less split.
Of course, just as you exercise to keep your heart in shape, you should exercise your body language to make it easier for you to present yourself with complete confidence even in borderline situations.