Spiders Are Not The Solution To Increasing Confidence
How do you become more confident?
I smile when I overhear someone say, ‘You just need to be more confident.’
A suggestion that a magic switch exists. One that takes you from demo mode to a full on confidence machine.
It reminds me of Miss Havisham, from Great Expectations, demanding that Pip ‘Just play!’
Pip becomes confused.
Playing was not something he thought about or was conscious of, he just did it.
I want to give you a solution to increasing confidence.
There may be no magic switch but you can create the illusion.
When we lack confidence we go through a whole range of emotions. We doubt our ability and often decide to play it safe.
A lack of confidence is often why we give ourselves permission to fail.
We try something, it feels clunky, we get frustrated and we give up.
You want to present a polished version of yourself to the world. The only problem is this is not Facebook, it is real life.
We don’t like the feeling of getting uncomfortable. We definitely don’t like the idea of having to be patient. We want it now.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ he discusses the 10,000 hour rule, a study led by Anders Ericsson.
Gladwell provides examples (The Beatles and Bill Gates among others) who spent a huge amount of time on specific tasks.
On average this equated to 10,000 hours. Continual practice led to Yoda like mastery of their art. It also generated enough confidence to create a musical/technological legacy.
Whilst it will not take you 10,000 hours to improve your confidence it shows what can be achieved. If you are prepared to put in the hours, refine what you do and continually improve you can make it happen.
So, how can you achieve a higher state of confidence?
Think back to a situation where you felt confident.
I would wager your behaviour was automatic – almost like a reflex. You were not thinking about what you were saying, how it was being said or how you looked – you just got on with it.
How did you get to this point?
In almost every instance I guarantee there will have been a feeling of being uncomfortable.
This, my friends, is the key to becoming more confident – getting uncomfortable.
This is not the blog you were looking for, huh?
It sounds counter intuitive, I know, but think for a moment. Name something that results in a small sweat breaking out…
What’s that at the back? Public speaking? Great example!
Imagine you are stood on a stage in front of 1000 people.
Each person has come to hear you, your ideas and beliefs.
They are waiting for you to say something interesting/funny/inspirational.
How are you feeling?
What’s that? You have vomited?
Then you have an opportunity to create confidence!
For those that say public speaking is a piece of cake – how did you get to this point?
You did not have an instant solution to increasing confidence. There is no magic button or switch, remember?
The first time you spoke you reflected on what could have been better. This was then refined making the next speech better.
This method led to better public speaking and improved confidence.
You repeated this cycle until you were the ‘go to person’ for public speaking.
Attaining confidence did not happen overnight. It took time, exposure to being uncomfortable and understanding what you would do next time.
Time For Work
Make a list of the things you want to achieve, both personally and professionally.
Write down anything causing you to doubt the achievement of the goal.
Write down what you would do if you had no obstacles or barriers in the way.
How would you think, feel, speak?
Take one action from the obstacles/barriers list and try it out today.
Remember, it may not go to plan the first time you try it.
Review it, refine and go again.
The single most important thing is you take action. You will be surprised by what you achieve!
This way of thinking can be applied to everything, not just public speaking.
It gives you a framework and a solution to increasing confidence.
It will help you to achieve your goals and be the person you want to be – the person with more confidence.
Spiders are the exception to this rule.
Only deep, deep, discomfort will ever come from spiders.
Believe and take action.