A few weeks ago I was talking with a client and she made a statement that intrigued me.
Nothing she said was startling, earth shattering or particularly revealing. Nor, unfortunately, did her comment contain juicy, salacious and revealing new details about some recently dethroned demigod like Tiger, Jesse, Larry or other paragons of virtue whose wondrous lives of adventure so enthral us that our collective appetite for more remains insatiable.
In fact, what she said so captured my attention that I immediately began painstakingly detailed scientific research to determine the frequency with which others make similar statements.
I have tracked every conversation of which I have been a part and have kept meticulous records to support my observations.
I am stunned by how many of us say the same thing albeit in many different ways.
My research has led me to conclude that this phenomenon is so widespread that the outbreak of yet another pandemic is all but a certainty and, as a deeply patriotic citizen I have applied for a $12.00 government research grant to combat this plague as I believe no expense should be spared in thwarting its further spread.
Perhaps you are already inflicted?
Do you frequently hear these words come out of your mouth?
“I can’t do that.”
“I’m no good at …”
“What if I mess up?”
I’m not sure if I can …”
“I’m over qualified.”
I’m under qualified.” “I don’t know if I’m qualified.”
“I’ll never be able to …”
“I messed up last time.”
Perhaps these words never leave your mouth. Maybe you only hear them in your head?
That’s worse because not only have you developed this affliction but, by virtue of hearing voices in your head, you’re also nuts.
So what is this epidemic in the making?
It is the lack of confidence that seems to reside inside so many us that it truly has the potential to kill more of us than H1N1 ever will. It may not kill our bodies but it destroys our souls.
I can honestly say I have never been bitten by this bug.
I can honestly say the above sentence is a lie.
This confidence thing is a tricky little bugger as it uses many aliases to conceal itself; self-doubt, limiting beliefs, negative thinking to name just a few.
And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it affects women far more than men. Right?
Men deal with this in a rather different fashion than women. Men are trained from early childhood never to reveal weakness, never to appear uncertain.
We don’t discuss this with our buddies, spouses, bosses and co-workers. We even lie to our therapists about this.
And we have a secret weapon we use to conceal this from the world.
We call upon our tiny brains to release the three B hormones that are unique to the male species.
You know the one’s I mean? Bluster, Bravado and B.S.
And we even believe that others can’t see through them.
Fortunately in the course of my research I discovered a cure for this malady. I would like to say I invented the cure – as so many of my fellow coaches and consultants have claimed – but that would only serve as evidence of my addiction to the three B’s.
Actually there are two treatment methods. You will find the first at the bottom of my very first blog, #1 Life Sinks or Soars to the beat of our thoughts.
The second cure takes a little longer. It starts with the need to recognize absence of confidence for what it really is.
Confidence is nothing more than a belief we have chosen for ourselves and then converted into a feeling we experience.
A belief is nothing more than the meaning we have chosen to place on events or experiences that occur, or have occurred in our lives and/or on data/information that we have received.
As we have discussed previously. The events we have experienced and the feelings we have associated to them are completely separate from each other.
The event is the event. It occurred in our lives. It is what it is. It happened. Perhaps we had control over it, perhaps we didn’t.
The meaning we placed on it? That’s a whole different matter. This is something that we chose to connect to that experience and we have convinced ourselves that a) the meaning we chose is the true, factual meaning of the event and, b) the event and the meaning are one and the same and are inextricably connected.
They’re not. We chose the meaning (and all the feelings that go along with that meaning) and we can choose another.
Interestingly, if we really allow ourselves to select a different meaning to replace an existing one, we invariably experience the feelings associated with the new, more positive (hopefully) meaning.
So we can choose confidence. We can choose to feel confident.
And one of the fastest, easiest ways to do this is to go back to a time when we did feel confident and to allow that experience, and those feelings, to permeate through ourselves in the present. If we hold our bodies in the position that represents confidence and act as if we were experiencing those feelings of confidence, miraculously, we will enjoy the feelings that we call confidence. You know the ones, those feelings when we just know that we can.
They’re great feelings.
And while it may take a little practice to call up those feelings on command, the feelings themselves make the effort worthwhile.
I feel so confident that my book will be available within three weeks that I am confidently accepting orders now.
Not available at fine bookstores anywhere.
Call soon. Operators are standing by.
Till we read again.