When we have a feeling that life is worthwhile and we are worthwhile, from that, a sense of softness or gentleness begins to develop. It is like watering the seeds in a garden. In this case, the gentleness that develops is like the moisture that helps a seed to grow so that the greenery will unfold and flowers will blossom. Then, beyond that, you develop confidence. The ordinary sense of confidence is confidence in something, which is conditional or qualified. But in this case, gentleness and softness give rise to an unconditional feeling that is awake, brilliant, and warm. When we have both moisture and warmth, we know that the plant will definitely grow. That confidence is the seed that we should share with the rest of the world.
From "Unconditional Confidence," page 94 in Smile at Fear: Awakening the True Heart of Bravery, now available from Shambhala Publications.