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如何变得自信 – 译学馆
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如何变得自信

How To Be Confident

在人们试图提高我们的信心以应对挑战时
In well-meaning attempts to boost our confidence ahead of challenging moments,
人们常常试图引导我们关注自己的优点
people often try to draw our attention to our strengths:
如我们的智力 能力和经验
our intelligence, our competence, our experience.
但奇怪的是 结果往往很莫名其妙
But this can – curiously – have some awkward consequences.
当我们过于在乎自己的尊严
There’s a type of under-confidence that arises
并因一些有损尊严的事而焦虑时
specifically when we grow too attached to our own dignity
就会出现自信不足的状况
and become anxious around any situation that might seem to threaten it.
当有一丁点可能会挑战失败的风险时我们便会毫无理由的退缩
We hold back from challenges in which there is any risk of ending up looking ridiculous
当然 这也包括几乎所有可笑的情况
which comprises, of course, almost all the most interesting situations.
如当身处陌生的城市时 我们不太愿意去麻烦别人告诉我们那些不错的酒吧
In a foreign city, we might grow reluctant to ask anyone to guide us to the nice bars,
因为这样他们可能会觉得我们是无知可怜而又迷茫的游客
because they might think us an ignorant, pitiable, lost tourist.
又或者当我们想亲吻某人时
We might long to kiss someone
但又害怕他们会把我们看作色狼从而拒绝我们 从而只好作罢
but never let on out of a fear that they could dismiss us as a predatory loser.
或在工作中 我们不申请晋升
Or at work, we don’t apply for a promotion,
以免上司会觉得这只是我们自大的妄想
in case the senior management deems us delusionally arrogant.
在拍卖会上 为了避免出丑 我们不太敢冒险
In a concerted bid never to look foolish, we don’t venture very far from our cocoon,
所以 我们一次又一次地错过了那些绝佳机会
and thereby – from time to time at least – miss out on the best opportunities of our lives.
我们之所以自卑 根本上是因为我们扭曲地将“正常”看得太高贵了
At the heart of our under-confidence is a skewed picture of how dignified it is normal for a person to be.
我们设想 在某个年龄之后 我们可以不受旁人的嘲笑
We imagine that it might be possible, after a certain age, to place ourselves beyond mockery.
我们相信自己不必出任何洋相 也能过上好生活
We trust that it’s an option to lead a good life without regularly making a complete idiot of ourselves.
欧洲早期现代史上出现了本很有趣的书
One of the most charming books ever written in early modern Europe
名叫《愚人颂》
is called ‘In Praise of Folly’
由荷兰学者和哲学家 伊拉斯谟所著
by the Dutch scholar and philosopher, Erasmus.
在书中 伊拉斯谟提出了一个十分开放的观点
In its pages, Erasmus advances a hugely liberating argument.
他用一种温和的语调告诉我们 每个人无论他们多么重要多么博学 都是愚人
In a warm tone, he reminds us that everyone, however important and learned they might be, is a fool.
没有人是例外的 包括他自己
No one is spared, not even the author.
即使他受到过高等的教育
However well-schooled he himself was,
伊拉斯谟认为自己和其它人一样愚笨
Erasmus remained – he insists – as much of a nitwit as anyone else:
因为他的观点总是有所疏漏
his judgement is faulty,
他常让冲动占据上风
his passions get the better of him,
他受制于迷信和莫名的恐惧
he is prey to superstition and irrational fear,
遇到新朋友时他总是害羞
he is shy whenever he has to meet new people,
他会在高雅的宴会上打翻东西
he drops things at elegant dinners.
这是大声的欢呼
This is deeply cheering,
因为这表明我们的朋友并没有因我们再三的白痴行为而排斥我们
for it means that our own repeated idiocies don’t have to exclude us from the best company.
看上去像个傻瓜
Looking like a prick,
犯错 在晚上做怪事 这些表现不会让我们与社会格格不入
making blunders and doing bizarre things in the night doesn’t render us unfit for society;
只是让我们变得更像北欧文艺复兴时期的伟大学者
it just makes us a bit more like the greatest scholar of the northern European Renaissance.
在彼得•勃鲁盖尔的画作中 我们也能看出相似的观点
There’s a similarly uplifting message to be pulled from the work of Pieter Brueghel.
他的著名画作《荷兰箴言》诙谐地表达了他对于人性的一个令人幻灭的看法
His central work, ‘The Dutch Proverbs,’ presents a comically disenchanted view of human nature.
他认为 每一个人都很疯狂
Everyone, he suggests, is pretty much deranged:
(在他的画中)这里有个男人把他的钱扔进河里
here’s a man throwing his money into the river;
那里有个士兵蹲在火上烤他的裤子
there’s a soldier squatting on the fire and burning his trousers;
有些人专心致志的用头猛撞砖墙
someone is intently bashing his head against a brick wall;
还有其它一些人在啃咬柱子
someone else is biting a pillar.
重要的是 这幅画并不只是抨击少数不寻常的人
Importantly, the painting is not an attack on just a few unusually awful people–
它是我们所有人的一部分
it’s a picture of parts of all of us.
勃鲁盖尔和伊拉斯谟的著作提出 要增强自信
Brueghel’s and Erasmus’s work proposes that the way to greater confidence
并不意味着维护自己的尊严
isn’t to reassure ourselves of our own dignity–
而是让我们不可避免的带着荒唐天性去平静成长
it’s to grow at peace with the inevitable nature of our ridiculousness.
我们现在是愚人
We are idiots now,
我们过去也是愚人
we have been idiots in the past,
我们将来还会是愚人……
and we will be idiots again in the future…
而且这样挺好
and that’s OK.
对于人类来说没有其它可选项了
There aren’t any other available options for human beings to be.
一旦我们学会把自己视作天生的笨蛋
Once we learn to see ourselves as already, and by nature, foolish,
你就不会太在意我们是不是又做了一件让自己看起来有点蠢的事情了
it really doesn’t matter so much if we do one more thing that might make us look a bit stupid.
我们试图亲吻的人可能认为我们确实可笑
The person we try to kiss could indeed think us ridiculous.
我们在陌生城市问路的那个人可能轻视我们
The individual we asked directions from in a foreign city might regard us with contempt.
如果这些人真这么做了 那又怎样呢
But if these people did so, it wouldn’t be news to us–
他们不过是再次确认了我们内心长久以来已欣然接受之事
they would only be confirming what we had already gracefully accepted in our hearts long ago:
我们跟他们 还有这世界其他人一样都是傻瓜
that we, like them – and every other person on the earth – are a nitwit.
害怕尝试和失败的恐惧将不复存在
The risk of trying and failing would have its sting substantially removed.
害怕丢脸的想法将不再根植于我们内心深处
A fear of humiliation would no longer stalk us in the shadows of our minds.
我们会变得自由淡然 勇于尝试 因为我们学会了接纳失败
We would grow free to give things a go by accepting that failure was the acceptable norm.
而时不时地 在我们意料之中的失败与被回绝中 我们的尝试或许会是有效的
And every so often, amidst the endless rebuffs we’d have factored in from the outset, it would work:
我们会得到一个吻 我们会交到一个朋友 我们也会加薪
we’d get a kiss, we’d make a friend, we’d get a raise.
通往更自信的道路始于一种仪式 即每天早上庄严地告诉自己
The road to greater confidence begins with a ritual of telling oneself solemnly every morning
在开始新的一天前
before heading out for the day,
对自己说 人本就是个笨蛋 白痴 一个蠢人 一个低能儿
that one is a muttonhead, a cretin, a dumbbell and an imbecile.
就算做了一两件蠢事 也没有关系
One or two more acts of folly should, thereafter, not matter very much at all.

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有时候不自信并不是因为我们没有能力,而是我们过于在乎他人的看法,不想让别人轻视自己。

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tk82hEHNnY

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