The Karma of Confidence


On a recent gray Monday, I felt unmotivated, dumpy, and otherwise disheveled. Despite my mood, I greeted the yoga instructor and classmates with genuinely warm hellos indicating that I was happy we all were there, especially after a long year of not seeing these gym friends.

A couple entered late and crowded my area which added to the already negative space in my head. At the end of the class, the latecomer woman said to me, “We obviously haven’t been here in a really long time. Whatever you are doing, you really look terrific!” That unsolicited compliment from a total stranger elevated my confidence more than anything I could posture.

Call it karma. I call it recycled confidence.

Kinda like the other day – I was a gas goofball when I pulled up to the wrong side of the pump. I moved my car to the opposite side while another car parked at the previous pump. Only after she drove away did I realize I hadn’t fully canceled the original app connection. I wound up paying for both my own and her gas.  I was miffed – not just because I felt the app shouldn’t enable 2 pumps at the same time, but that the other lady didn’t even notice!  Did she think it was ‘free gas day’?  The nerve!

Standing in the store next to the ATM, I called customer service. I told a friendly young woman named Sarah what happened, and I was carefully polite and patient – after all, my debacle wasn’t her fault. As I was explaining, a tall and handsome man dressed in construction gear getting money from the ATM, was insistent that I take $20 from him to pay for my gas.  I refused and thanked him for renewing my faith in humans which was much more valuable than the gas it cost me. And yes, my long-time fav brand Cumberland Farms immediately made good on it, too.  Not all corporate entities are the devil, either.

Call it Cumbie karma? I call it the confidence key because it magically opens up life-enriching doors – even when you feel like you’re on the wrong side of the gym, pump, or whole world.

Give someone confidence just because you can – even when you aren’t feeling confident yourself. It’s a superpower we forget we all have. Just say or do something nice for someone, even a stranger, and don’t be surprised another time when someone is there to pick things up for you – whether it be a few bucks for gas or an invaluable sense of self-worth.


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