Friday, May 27, 2016


Pic.: Shreeshay Patel

Austin Coutinho
Former Sr. Manager (CRM), RCF; cricketer;
sports administrator; cricket, football and mental toughness coach;
author, sports writer and caricaturist

My confidence comes from my intense faith in the universe. I try and be good to others, and therefore believe that the universe will not allow bad things to happen to me.

Do I have self-doubts? Almost every moment of my being! That is the reason I put more than a hundred percent effort into everything that I undertake. And when I succeed, that boosts my confidence further.

I have been a scatter-brain: from graduating in science and law to post graduation in journalism, marketing, advertising, and lastly, public relations. It’s been a journey of discovering new things on a daily basis. I played cricket to banish my childhood asthma, but ended up in the Mumbai Ranji squad. I took up football coaching to help my company perform better and was asked to lead the city association, as its President.

The elders in my family, most of whom were in the civil services, laughed at my language. Konkani was my mother-tongue, not English. I responded by writing six books, the last of them being a history of RCF’s 50-year history. My friends and fans say that my caricatures give them a daily reason to smile. Of late, I have begun setting crosswords for Mid-day. I have coached some of the best cricketers and footballers in the city. At 62, I am looking forward to new challenges that are in store for me.

What do I do differently? Nothing! I keep my eyes and ears open and try to learn something new every day. Creative thoughts, I believe, come out of the information stored in one’s sub-conscious.

When you are well-informed, you feel confident!

- Hardeep Banga
(College lecturer and mentor)

The mantra followed by me, throughout the years, is: ‘Empowerment through communication’. Yes, I am a complete believer that, people, all around the world, can empower themselves when they learn to communicate well, authentically. I have, always, come across as a confident person to my friends, colleagues, family et al.

To me, confidence is a feeling that comes when I am able to ‘express’ myself clearly, fully and from my heart. When I am able to put across my all ideas, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, moods, etc. with clarity and with all my heart – I feel confident. I can vouch, that, this comes to me naturally… It is an inborn talent – a God’s gift. This is one of the reasons for being in the profession of teaching, where, day in – day out, one is required to communicate.

After my MBA, having worked in the corporate sector, I could have easily stuck with it; but, there was something missing! Right from the school days, I had fascination for languages I admired teachers who could teach well and put across their ideas nicely i.e. communicate well. I was the reader of the class for all four languages – Hindi, Marathi, English and my mother tongue Punjabi (Gurmukhi). When I came to college, I developed interest for the subject of Accountancy which I studied under Gerry sir, who, later on, introduced me to the world of Public Speaking… 

Wow, I had hit a Jack pot… It sounds Great!

What else did I want - Money?

Yeah, earning was, also, required; otherwise, learning would not have helped. I entered the profession of teaching. Slowly, I had achieved the satiety of communicating well. But, one important principle of communicating well is to communicate ‘right’. That is, having the knowledge of the subject – now that made me more confident as I had complete command over my subject.

However, I apply the same principles in my relationships, where I put across my feelings to the other person clearly… be it anyone – a friend, family member, colleague, student… everyone. I express clearly my disappointments, expectations, likings, preferences, etc. That way, I am a confident person. Over the years, my relationships have improved a lot because of this. I feel I am a better person inside. Again, I feel confident.

Gratitude is another way which makes me confident. Showing gratitude to the taxiwala by saying ‘Thank you’! Every day, after dinner, I thank my mother for giving me food. Saying thanks for small gestures to my colleagues (for which they mock me). But, still I’m confident.

So, you are confident when no one can change YOU.

-Vedika Anand (Age 15)
I believe, confidence is a result of the following:
KNOWLEDGE – Having in-depth information, facts and figures regarding any subject/topic gives me the confidence to discuss it with anyone. To gain this knowledge, the first step is Preparation. Reading about the subject is how I prepare. If I’m prepared, then it gives me the confidence to take on any challenge.

SHARING – Discussing stuff with others gives me different views and sharing my knowledge regarding a subject that I know a great deal about, makes me confident.

APPRECIATION – When I present stuff I know, it reflects in my body language and if it is well appreciated by others, it increases my confidence.
Lastly, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Life is a long-term game… There are times when you are strong, and there are times when you will fall. But, getting up and facing life after a fall is confidence.

- Vishesh Kukreja (Age  13 )

Until last year, I never used to be confident during my exams.
So, I thought I needed help and I joined a tuition class.
My tuition teacher was very supportive. She taught me everything nicely… 
I started enjoying studies. I was well- prepared before the exams.
I felt confident in my exam and scored well in my exams.

I was, also, shy to go on stage and speak in front of audience,
as I felt my English was not so appropriate.
After joining the P. D. course, I found a great change in myself.
Even though I may not speak perfectly, I have found the confidence
to speak before an audience without hesitation.

*Blake Lively

(P.S.: These are the impromptu speeches made by our on-going PD-course students on the topic: ‘WHAT MAKES ME CONFIDENT’. I shall be sharing them here on my blog for some days, and they will be published in a book by the same title on 12th June, 2016, the day of the certification.)


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