During one of my many epiphanies lately, I was talking with Sifu about what I can do to improve my Chi Sao game. One of the things he said was, "Move with conviction." In my mind, I translated that to mean, "Be confident that your tools will strike." Here's something else I realized though: even if they don't strike, then you need to be able to say to yourself, "Okay, well...that didn't work. Try something else." After all, aren't there several memes floating around the internet that say things like, "It's not how many times you get knocked down; it's how many times you get back up?" I do feel this is true though. When a confident person "fails" at something, they say, "What can work next time?" A non-confident person says, "I failed. I suck. I'll never amount to anything." What the non-confident person doesn't realize is that, in life, we will actually fail more than we succeed. How many times were Edison's experiments a bust before he invented the lightbulb? But once he got it right...well, that was it! He was done! However, if you play the numbers game, then it SEEMS like he was a failure because he failed a bunch of times, but succeeded only once. So at first I said to myself, "Well, I need to do chi sao more often. Then I will be more confident in my ability and start to realize that I DO know what I'm doing. I mean, Sifu already tells me I do have good hands and good skill." That's when it hit me: Sifu is not the first person to tell me I have good skill. But it doesn't matter. By that I don't mean I don't care what he says. What I mean is: the whole flippin' WORLD could tell me I am good at chi sao and it wouldn't matter. I need to know it INSIDE. Those of you who have read other threads of mine may know this, but I am going to restate it here: this is a common issue throughout all parts of my life, not just chi sao. Self-esteem. Self-confidence. Whatever you want to call it, I've always had a problem with it. But now I am working on it. Slowly but surely. And I can't explain why, but for some reason I feel there is a breakthrough on the horizon. So the truth is not "doing more chi sao will make me more confident." Rather, it's that being more confident will make me better at chi sao, not to mention countless other things. Hehe...maybe I should have posted this in Philosophy or Health, but oh well. It's something worth sharing no matter which board it technically belongs on. And I can say that...with confidence.