For those of you that read my guest post over at Writer Dad on having a sense of purpose, this is part two in a three part series on the Triple Crown of Self-Development. For those of you that didn’t read my guest post at Writer Dad, on having a sense of purpose, this is part two in a three part series on the Triple Crown of Self Development and part one is here.
I’ve probably done this the wrong way round because a sense of purpose is really that final piece of the jigsaw that ensures people with confidence and belief (amazingly enough that will be part 3) rise to the very top. The people that have all these available to them are the rule changers, the paradigm shifters and the difference makers in society. You could be one of them.
Before I go any further, I am aware that belief, confidence and a sense of purpose aren’t the only things necessary for success. It doesn’t matter how much of the aforementioned you have, it’s doubtful you’re going to be a pioneering neuro-surgeon if you’re a 60-year-old color blind welder that feels nauseous at the sight of blood. It could happen, but I’m not sure I like the odds very much.
Think of anybody that you admire and aspire to be like and my guess is that they the exude confidence in whatever it is they do. Confidence is not bravado, it’s not arrogance and it’s not self-importance. Can confident people have those characteristics too? Absolutely they can and some do, but there really is no correlation between the two.
A lot of clients come to me wanting help in building their confidence. The fact is though, they’re already confident people, they just don’t know it. You’re a confident person too. You’re maybe sat there thinking, “What the hell’s he talking about now, how can he possibly think that when he doesn’t even know me?”
It’s either because I am a genius or because I know everybody in the world possesses confidence and can prove it quite easily. If you want to believe it’s the former, you can skip the next paragraph and I thank you for your vote of confidence and urge you to tell all your friends. The rest of you read on.
If I asked you what your phone number is, would you know? Unless you’re a member of a sect that thinks phones are the Devils plaything (along with rabbits the use phones of course) and don’t own a phone, or maybe you’ve recently changed your number, I think you’d be able to tell me.
If I then said are you sure that’s your number? You’d probably look at me strangely and say “Of course I’m sure you Muppet” “So you’re confident about that then?” I would smugly follow up with ramming my point home with all the tact and alacrity of a very horny dog trying to hump the leg of his owner’s boss who’s round for dinner.
Trust me you have all the confidence you’ll ever need. A more pertinent question than ‘How can I be more confident?” would be ‘How can I tap into the confidence that I already possess and be more like Stuart Anderson?’
Stuart Anderson was a confident guy even after 20+ consecutive failures. He won a Superbowl ring playing for the Washington Redskins in 1982. However, prior to that he’d been a top high school basketball player. In his career he averaged 50% from the 3-point arc. Quite honestly, I know about as much about basketball as I do about Romanian Rabbit Wrestling, but I’m reliably informed that’s better than good.
In Stuart’s senior year his team made it to the Virginia State play offs and then the Championship final itself. Stuart chose that day to deliver the worst performance of his collegiate career. With 2 minutes to go he’d attempted over 20 3-point shots and missed every single one of them.
Fortunately, he had a good team round him and Virginia was still in the game with less than 30 seconds left. In fact, they were only down by 1 point and had one time out left.
They got the ball, called a time out and headed for the sidelines. The coach started to draw up a play with the final pass going to the other shooter. Stuart stops him. “Coach if you give me the ball I will make that play, I will hit that shot”. “I don’t know,” said the coach but Stuart insisted and the coach reluctantly re-drew the play.
They went back onto court and started to run the clock down. With time running out the ball was passed to Stuart and he stuck the shot to win the game.
At the resulting news conference a journalist asked ‘Stuart, how did you do that, how did you make that shot?’ Stuart looked puzzled ‘What do you mean?’ ‘How did you hit that shot after missing more than 20?’ ‘Well I’m a 50-50 shooter said Stuart, so do the math. If I’ve missed so many the odds were stacked in my favor, how could I miss?
The journalist thought for a second and said ‘Ok, so if you’d have hit every attempt then the math says no way could you hit, so would you have asked the coach to draw a different play? Are you nuts, said Stuart, if I’d not missed I’d be on fire, how could I have missed?’ ‘But you can’t have it both ways’ ‘Yes I can’ said Stuart ‘I can think any way I want to.’
That is having confidence exactly when you really need it. This is all well and good, but how does it help me, you may be thinking?
If you have confidence in one area then you have a map to follow. You’re not trying to invent the wheel here, you’re just trying to take the feelings from one event and transfer them to another. If you had a mountain bike and decided to buy a motorcycle, you wouldn’t be worrying about the balancing aspect of riding it. You already have that part cracked and you probably wouldn’t be asking your dad to fit stabilizers for you
Accepting that you have confidence means all you need to do is drag the little sucker to the surface whether it likes it or not.
One of the fastest ways to tap into confidence is to use anchoring techniques. There’s a more in depth explanation of how to set anchors and what they are here. It does require that you create the state of confidence by thinking about a situation in which you feel completely at ease and confident.
Another way is to use submodalities.
When you think of any given situation you create pictures and sounds in your mind, which for most people lead to feelings in your body. These happen very rapidly at an unconscious level, but they and they alone, are what dictate whether you feel nervous, confident, happy, sad or even
By paying attention to how you construct nervousness or timidity and then doing the same with confidence, you have the opportunity to map the positive submodalities over to the negative event. That may sound a bit vague because it is. A full explanation including the forms I use can be found in How To Be Rich and Happy.
I want to wrap up by saying this:
Like happiness, confidence is internal. Some people can feel confident doing something they’ve never encountered before, others don’t. Confidence doesn’t guarantee success it just increases its likelihood. Doing something over and over again and getting proficient at it will probably allow you to tap into confidence more easily, but it doesn’t create it and there is a subtle difference.