Monday, November 20, 2006

Go Find Confidence

Austin Powers had lots of it, James Bond has it too... No it's not a charming british accent you ditz! It's confidence. defines confidence as:

2. belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him.

I can write books on the subject of confidence(I will one day just so I can come back and tell you "I told you so:"). Today confidence applies to relationships in your life. This does not just include dating but ALL (friends, family, colleagues, co-workers etc.) Now you must be asking: Who the hell is this guy? and what makes him an authority on confidence? Well my friend your stupid questions actually have a good answer. This question is answered with the story of how Geoff and I met eachother. It starts a little like this:

Once upon a time, we were dating coaches and met eachother. (Complicated huh?)

After hundreds upon hundreds of students and seminars we have given we have one main thing to say. Confidence is the most underlying key in any social interaction. Now this is easily said but the act of confidence is a whole other story. When i first researched confidence to teach to students I did what any analytical person would do. I broke confidence down to the simplest of terms to try to explain it to the students. Terms such as "love yourself, believe in yourself, not being afraid" were terms that would pop up over and over again. By the time i drilled the notion of confidence into their head they had the perfect dictionary meaning of perfect. We thought that if someone understood what confidence is they would be able to go out and shine with confidence. Man were we wrong. Confidence is not something you can read out of a book. Instead it is something you have to practice and build.

After trial after trial to teach this word confidence we found that confidence cannot be taught (now you're probably thinking: "I'm Screwed"). No my friend, lucky for you confidence cannot be taught, but it can be learned. The most common case before we learned how to show someone how to learn confidence was that the person would go out and try to act out this word confidence. When they tried to act it out they were "faking it" and came off as over compensating and socially awkward. This is where we found the golden nugget of confidence.

One cannot go out and pretend to be confidence, in fact confidence is more like a muscle that is built over time with exercise. The more you exercise it the more powerful the word. Confidence in a sense comes down to this: Being comfortable with who you are and portraying it to yourself and others at all times(especially in awksward situations). Imagine this: 2 guys on a plane have never sky dived before. Person 1 jumps around getting himself excited, he then runs up to the door screams geronimo and jumps out the plane. Person 2 walks up to the door gives a grin to the instructor and calmy says "I'll see you" below and jumps. This example shows the difference between confidence and boldness. The first sky diver was bold, facing his fears and causing a ruckus. The second sky diver calmly believed in the fact that he knew he could do it.

The good news for skydiver 1 is that boldness leads to confidence. So my challenge for you is to go out and push yourself into as many awkward situations as possible and try to act as calm and un-awkward as possible.

Next time you see that beautiful person across the bar, go introduce yourself. Next time your boss offers a position, be the one to step up. Next time your kid is looking for a role model, do it without fear and with confidence. You'll experience a lot more of life along the way.

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