True Confidence

 What Gifts Lie Hidden Within?

An Inspiring Story

It takes a lot of courage to go on stage. I remember the first time I did, I was frozen with fear. But what did it take for this Korean boy to go on national television and perform to millions.

An enormous amount of courage.

Sung Bong Choi Photo
Sung-bong Choi on Korean TV

And even more so when you learn about his story. An orphan who from 5 years old chose  to live on the streets rather than face the cruel treatment he faced in the orphanage, as many children do.

If you haven’t already seen this You Tube video, I recommend you do so. It brought me to tears, and many others including the judges, and the audience.

A Different Kind of Confidence

Did Sung-bong Choi have much confidence? He didn’t even think he was particularly good at singing.  He wasn’t a very impressive or dynamic performer if you compare him to the more usual images we see  – the confident pop and movie stars who are “putting it out there”.

And yet Sung-bong Choi had something than none of those stars have – he had vulnerability and vulnerability is very attractive to watch. It warmed the hearts of the judges. Watch the implacable face of the female judge as Choi’s singing melted her heart.

He had something else too. He loved to sing and as a result his voice was rock steady. He was nervous but it didn’t stop him from hitting those wonderful high notes that moved his audience so deeply.

That’s a very different kind of confidence. A confidence that comes from a deep place within him, it came from his soul. And when he sang from his soul something magic happened that swept through the whole audience. That was his true gift. He sang because he had to, because it burnt within him, a simple boy that most people would ignore if they passed him in the street.

Overcoming Obstacles

So how did Choi get on that stage. I imagine there were many times when he doubted himself, his abilities and that anything in his life could really change. I imagine that he was laughed at by other people who had little or no appreciation of his gift.

He didn’t let doubt stop him!

 He describes how he felt when he lived on the streets, sleeping in toilets. He felt he was nothing. And no doubt he looked around at other kids who had more advantages than he did – and believed he never stood a chance.

But these thoughts did not stop him. He no doubt encountered hundreds of obstacles. Something drove him on – his love of singing.

What obstacles are you facing to do what you really love? What talents live inside you that you don’t know you’ve got?

Following Your Bliss

Time and time again I see people who believe they have no creativity, no gifts, reveal that they have – but often not quite in the way they think. They discover that the thing they think they need to hide away is the very thing they need to show. And when they do that, when they discover their true essence, the soul in them that needs to be expressed, then a magic starts to happen.

Joseph Campbell says

“If you follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you….I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

Many people interpret this as – if you follow you’re bliss you’re going to madly successful, madly famous and have loads of money – and they give up because their life is not going quite the way they planned. They followed their bliss and it didn’t get them anywhere. No doors opened.

But this is not what Campbell means.

Sometimes people follow a path that is not really their path however much they want it to be. The don’t realise that the path is leading to their real path, their real bliss – they just haven’t found it yet.

I experienced this myself. At one time I wanted to be a successful actress but I struggled in the acting world and actually felt very uncomfortable there – but I listened to all those motivational authors and believed if I persisted long enough I would get there.

Close to a nervous breakdown, I then turned my hand to playwrighting – and discovered I had a great gift as a writer which took me some way towards this dream I had in my head. But after a while I had almost the same experience.

I was talented in both those areas, but I had another talent that I didn’t even know I had. I had a magical way of working with groups and enabling people to discover the real gifts that live inside them.

And when I found that path I felt a groundedness, a rightness – and it has lead to far more personal satisfaction than a wildly successful acting or writing career. I needed those other paths to lead me to this path. I could not have got where I am today without walking those so-called wrong paths.

Are You Walking Your True Path?

And so are you walking the right path for you right now or the path you “believe” is the right one for you?

Are your eyes and ears open to your true path.

Are you holding back from your path because you’re afraid you will fail, or look a fool, or you can’t afford it right now? Are you putting off what is right for you right now, because your situation needs to be different?

Be compassionate with yourself. Beating yourself up will only drive you further away from your path.

Sung bong Choi knew what was his path. His soul needed to sing, and in his singing his soul and his whole self could be free. This is what drove him on. All he had to do was to put one step in front of him – it was so strong in him, and it eventually lead him to a television studio.

What burns inside you that is so strong that you know you have to do it? Feel the power of it.

And if you can’t feel it, I’d like to suggest that it’s there – and probably too many other gifts that are waiting for you to discover them. Many parts of you that lie hidden deep within.

What can you take from Sung-bong Choi’s story? You may not have the same talent as him but you’ll have talents that are unique and special to you. And just as powerful.

What magic lies hidden within you, that your soul is calling you to express? Feel it in you and let it be with you today. Let it guide you as you go about your day and see what happens.

© Claire Schrader 2011

If this article has intrigued you, inspired you or if you have any questions, or there’s something you’d like to share please do leave a comment. Your comments may inspire others.

confidence - being too niceWant to find the kind of confidence that Sung-bong discovered lived within him?
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4 thoughts on “True Confidence

  • 17th May 2012 at 6:00 am

    I just posted sung bong’s video on my site and people wanted to know what ever happened to him. my search led me to this post. Thank you for articulating so perfectly, the feelings and the inspiration we got from watching him.

    • 17th May 2012 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Rivka. He is a remarkable young man and I’m glad my words inspired. I would love to know what happened to Sung Bong Choi too. I hope he is finding his true path, and he is finding not just success but love and support from people who really care about him.

  • 25th May 2012 at 11:17 am

    I read your blog and i must say it contains something different for which i was looking i.e.a positive attitude towards the life even after the bad face of life.One thing which i can conclude after reading this story is one should not give up in the life.Earlier i had not seen this video but as you have recommended and the background of the boy have encouraged me to see this.Thanks for sharing the information.

    • 25th May 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks. I’m glad you found it helpful. Absolutely don’t give up. The negative experiences we’ve had in life I believe are there for us to discover our own path. Read The Soul’s Code by James Hillman – you’ll find it under Resources/Books on my website. Sung Bong demonstrates this perfectly.


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