I’ve spent time practicing thinking in accord with “degrees of confidence”, rather than right or wrong, true or false. When we use our analytical mind, not only does “lack of proof” not disprove anything, the presence of evidence can’t conclusively prove anything either. We can only establish levels of confidence, degrees, in accord with the evidence (or lack thereof) of our senses.

This takes us to the next issue: I don’t care what you believe in, I care what you have confidence in, and to what degree. Possibly I might also mean “degrees of belief”, depending how you use the word. The scale below should clear things up, on a scale from -10 (strong confidence against) to 10 (strong confidence for). Here’s just the top 10:

10. Urgency – high confidence level drives behavior even when inconvenient (directs your world), and inspires storytelling of abundant experience.

8. Relatively high confidence level drives behavior when convenient (influences your world), and inspires advice and story from some limited personal experience.

5. Present confidence level drives advising and storytelling without personal experience (drives your conversations).

3. Confidence level drives discussion and questioning of one’s present paradigm (influences your conversations).

1. Barest hint of confidence bubbles up in private thoughts, dreams, and maybe in a conversation on a rare occasion.

When someone says they “believe” in something, rather than taking them at their word, try interviewing them, and finding where they land on this scale. Even better, when you claim to believe in something, discover for yourself how much confidence you have in that belief. And then ask “why?”

I hope you enjoy this. Use this as a tool to play with your perceptions, please don’t use it as a lens with which to judge or abuse yourself. Drive your inquiry with it!

Photo Credit: mohammadali via Compfight cc

Written by Willem