Confidence isn’t just about being certain that you’re going to be successful. It’s about knowing you’re going to make mistakes but doing it anyway.

I went to Warwick Castle a couple of weeks ago as a parent helper with my boys’ classes.

There was about 20 minutes in between activities where we were just sitting on the grass and the teachers asked the kids to draw the castle.

I figured I’d join in the fun and discovered that I really like sketching!

Confident mark making

My wife is an art teacher who regularly talks about ‘confident mark making’.

Because I was drawing in pen there was no way to erase any mistakes, which meant accepting that it probably wasn’t going to be perfect.

The only way to avoid mistakes would have been to have not started.

People might have laughed at it, or worse expected me to have been better (nothing worse than not meeting other peoples’ expectations, right?)

Knowing it’s not going to be perfect

I wrote earlier in the year about The Beginner’s Mind as it applied to Jiu Jitsu.

Going into a new sport that I had no experience of, knowing that the only way to learn would be to willingly make mistakes.

I’m learning that the same concept applies to anything you try for the first time. Removing expectations of perfection or meeting what you believe to be other peoples’ expectations, and dare to make mistakes.


I drew my castle.

The perspective is a little off, the shading could do with a bit of work and I’ve not quite got the texture of the bushes.

But you can tell it’s a castle.

With a bit more time and a bit more practice I’m confident that I could turn some of those mistakes into more meaningful marks.

Confidence isn’t just about being certain that you’ll succeed.

It’s about being certain you’re going to make mistakes and doing it anyway.