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Striking the right chord with compassionate confidence

Updated: 4 days ago

Close-up of piano keys. "Stephanie Edward" in bottom left corner of image.

In my last newsletter, I introduced you to the concept of compassionate confidence.


Compassionate confidence is a tremendously important concept that applies to all aspects of our lives.


It’s easier to understand this idea with a clear-cut example like learning to play a musical instrument. If you never played the piano before, you wouldn’t sit down at one and expect to deliver a flawless rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. That would be absurd!


No, you’d likely have a sense of, “Okay, I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know anything about this. But that’s okay. I’m going to learn how. I believe I can do it.” That statement contains compassion (“That’s okay.”) and confidence (“I believe I can do it.”)


What would matter most in your piano-playing journey is what you did after the first few lessons, when the glow of optimistic enthusiasm starts to fade and you are faced with the fact that it’s a little harder than you expected. Would the inevitable ongoing mistakes make you question whether you can do it? Would you give up after two weeks of lessons? Would you berate yourself over every mistake? Would you think, “This is simple. This shouldn’t be so hard. I should be able to do this. What is wrong with me?” Or, would you bash your head against the keys like Rowlf from The Muppets and exclaim, “I’LL NEVER LEARN TO PLAY THE PIANO!!”?

Rowlf from The Muppets sitting at a piano.

You can see the imbalance in confidence and compassion with those reactions. In some examples, neither is present. In others, there’s only harsh confidence with no compassion.


You might be thinking, “Well, not everyone is meant to be able to play the piano, even with a lot of practice!” I agree. And none of us can possibly know that until we at least try it out.


Compassionate confidence has a place in this endeavour no matter the outcome.


You need it when you start out. If you approached your first piano lesson with all confidence and no compassion, you’d likely end up frustrated by the process of learning. But if you approached it with all compassion and no confidence, you’d likely let yourself quit before truly giving it a try. You wouldn’t push yourself past the discomfort of not knowing how to do something new.


But compassionate confidence runs deeper than this. It goes well beyond the beginning stages.


As you go through your learning journey, you will experience moments of rapid growth as well as moments where your progress will seem to stall. While this is a normal part of any learning curve (for piano or otherwise), it will test your resolve.


Compassionate confidence is required to sustain you through this process.


Without it, those plateaus of learning could lead you to give up. It is so easy at those times to focus only on the current lack of progress and forget all the learning that preceded it. Compassionate confidence compels us look back and celebrate all that we’ve achieved up to this point and allows that to fuel us through the next challenges.


There are sometimes situations where you discover that, as it turns out, you don’t like playing the piano or that, try as you might, you just aren’t good at it. Compassionate confidence is just as indispensable to the decision to put aside your quest to learn to play as it is to continuing your pursuit. Quitting in a huff or giving up in a haze of despair where you think you’re a dud for not being able to do it are signs of an absence of compassionate confidence.


With compassionate confidence, you keep it real but you give yourself grace.


With compassionate confidence, you allow yourself to feel what you feel (disappointed, angry, embarrassed) but then you acknowledge that this may simply not be the right time for you. Or maybe you acknowledge that playing the piano just isn’t right for you at all. You remind yourself that not being able to or wanting to play the piano does not make you any less valuable as a human. You celebrate the fact that you tried and the things you learned along the way. You also remember that you have many other talents and gifts to offer the world, many of which you haven’t even discovered yet!


In what endeavour in your life right now could you use a bit more compassionate confidence? Hit reply and let me know!

With gratitude,



LORA Concepts Inc.

compassionate confidence

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p.s. The information, insight, and advice I share through my work is meant to exist alongside whatever else you may be doing to bolster your mental health, manage stress, or improve your well-being. Nothing I share is meant to replace directives or treatment plans provided by your doctor, therapist, or other healthcare professional


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