Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 59
Confidence is a funny old beast, isn't it? It's something that, for some reason, I think we've been taught to believe that people either have confidence or they don't. And it's really strange because confidence is something that we are intrinsically born with. That might sound like quite a world notion, but if you look at a toddler, they have quite a lot of confidence that they're going to walk as they flail around, looking like, as my Nan used to say, like they're breaking in someone else's legs or like they're borrowing some legs off a friend and just looking at the way that they keep tumbling and pulling themselves back and tumbling and pulling themselves back up and planking headfirst onto the ground. There is nothing in them that thinks that they're not good enough to be able to try and learn how to walk. Like they're really determined.
And this idea that we have to have some magical dust about us for us to be able to be the chosen confident people is really, really interesting. Because in childhood, we think that we gain confidence from trying things, getting them wrong, trying things, getting them wrong, messing it up, trying something a little bit different, trying again and actually finally achieving doing it. And so we gain our confidence from all of the failures that lead up to actually achieving the thing that we were seeking.
And somewhere along the line in adulthood, we've morphed this into meaning that confidence is something that we're already good at, that we've already achieved the thing that we know we can do already. And we think of a lack of confidence being trying something new or trying something you're not very good at or heaven forbid, the idea of getting something wrong. And it's so interesting to me how it flips from one cascade to the other, that confidence could be something that we just have because we're willing to get things wrong, to confidence being something that we lose because we're frightened of getting things wrong.
And I think about this a lot, and I've been trying a little experiment of thinking, what if I was confident here? What could be possible for me if I thought that I was already good at it? What could be possible for me if I thought that I was willing to get things wrong occasionally? Because there is no mystery in how we grow confidence. The reality is that confidence comes from us trying and trying again. And so what could be possible for you in your life if you believed that you were welcome if you believed that you were competent if you believed that you were the kind of person who could do the thing that you're going to try? What could be possible for you if you believed that you were the kind of person who, even if you didn't know how to do it right now, were going to for the sake of your dreams, for your goals or just for the sake of learning something new, you are going to carry on trying to figure out how you could do the thing you're trying to do in as many ways as it takes until you just do it.
Because that is the secret to achieving any goal, you are just willing and dedicated to trying to do things, and if they don't work, changing one thing and trying again, it's giving an attempt at a different approach. Course correcting. Picking yourself up and going, yeah, that one bruised, on we go, let's try something else each and every time. That's how people achieve big goals. That's how people achieve little goals.
The only reason that you would ever not achieve something in your life is because somewhere along the line, you're like, these fails are too much for me. And quite often the reason that most of us don't achieve big goals in our life is because we're too worried that all of those fails are going to hurt too much. Or because we're not confident enough in ourselves or in our ability or in our momentum that if we fail a few times, we're not going to be so horrible to ourselves about it that it's just not worth trying.
So this week, if you want some homework, you could set yourself the little experiment of just seeing how different your day is. If you believed that you were confident, if you were going to figure it out if you were the kind of person who was willing to stick at something till a result came along that felt in line with what the one that you were seeking, how would your world be different if that was something you were willing to try?
I'd love to hear how this works out for you. Do let me know. Drop me an email, send me a little message on social media, and I hope that it opens up many doors for you of possibilities and extra lessons along the way, what we learn about ourselves, about others, and how we interact with the world. I look forward to speaking to you next week.