Many people want more confidence - it's sort of that thing that James Bond inspires us with. There's a certain attraction in doing things with ease, in going through life without much effort or worry.
While I wrote extensively on the topic of confidence, today I want to give you a very simple way of thinking about it and give you a practical tip for feeling more confident literally after reading this short paragraph.
I want you to forget thinking about confidence and lack of - and instead think of relaxation vs. tension.
If you think about how you are when you feel like you’re lacking confidence - you’ll notice that the predominant thing is tension somewhere in the body.
You’re just not “yourself”.
Now think about how you are when you’re with someone that you know and trust - is there any tension there?
Would you say you feel confident around that person?
So what’s the difference?
Whenever you have tension in your body, you are either afraid of something happening (like failing, embarrassing yourself) or someone doing something (rejecting you, criticising you etc.).
However, when you are completely relaxed, you feel different - you feel like “yourself”. You can feel your power and you’re not burdened with what could happen or with what someone will do.
You are able to access ALL of yourself.
So the question is, what produces tension in the body?
The reality is that tension is produced by your mind - specifically, by what you’re thinking about while in a certain situation.
Someone who is psyching themselves up before a job interview about what’s going to happen if they don’t get the job - of how the money is running out, how they’re not getting much applications is going to appear very different to someone who just goes to a job interview with a smile and not burdened by all of those things.
I’ve identified 4 things that cause us to tense up and lose that natural confidence, and I want to talk about one of those things right now.
The first cause is attachment, as in when we get really attached to something or someone, like a certain outcome that we think we absolutely have to achieve. This could be getting the girl, passing the test, or getting that job.
For example, if you’re on a job interview, and you feel like you really need it - you’ll be all tense and won’t feel relaxed, and won’t be able to access all of yourself.
So what’s the answer? Are you suppose to simply not care anymore about anything and just walk around “confident’?
Even though I am talking about tension vs. relaxation, I don’t believe you can (or even should) be completely relaxed in a situation where something important is at stake.
An athlete I know said to me, that if he doesn’t feel those butterflies before the game, he won’t play well. So tension can and is a good thing when it comes the time to perform.
However, there is something called an “optimum level of tension”, which means that if that same athlete feels too much of tension, he won’t play well.
So it isn’t so much about completely relaxing but it is about entering that state when the tension vs. relaxation is at an optimum level.
The tension has to be there, that desire to get whatever it is that you want, but if you want to have confidence, at the same time as having that strong desire for getting what you want, a part of you needs to let that thing go and be OK with losing and not getting it.
That will relax you and actually make you perform better.
The dichotomy has to be between “I want it BAD” and “I don’t give a shit”. Those two parts have to exist in you at the SAME TIME.
THIS will enable you to perform at your highest level and access ALL the parts of yourself.
Has it ever happened to you, that someone criticised you, and as you were listening to them - felt like jumping out of your skin?
Do you typically have an "ego crash" anytime someone offers feedback on where you didn't do that well... and how you could do things better?
Do you feel like you have to defend your position whenever someone tries to correct you?
Well I was a textbook example of this.
Whenever I experienced criticism, I would flame up, defend my actions and try to justify them with logic.
"You just don't understand...you just don't."
How To Use Criticism To Your Advantage
One day we had a large meeting at an insurance company I worked with. The manager stood out and asked if someone was willing to do the sales presentation in front of everybody, to kind of test his or her skills.
He asked if there were any volunteers.
Nobody raised their hand.
I stood up, feeling proud and confident of myself to show everyone how it was done.
I went through my presentation all the way through, and at the end put up a huge grin and smiled at everyone.
"So... how did I do?"
But the feedback was... well... less than pleasant.
And on and on they went, criticism piling one on top of each other.
However, and this is the difference that made all the difference:
Instead of becoming angry, ego-hurt and defensive, I opened up my notebook...
And started writing.
I wrote EVERY SINGLE ONE of those criticism down...
With the intention of turning them into areas I need to work on.
After they were done with the grilling... I thanked everyone for their feedback, and returned to my seat.
One month later.
We had another meeting.
Again, the manager asked the same question - any volunteers?
Nobody raised their hand.
Everyone was laughing under their breath, remembering my flop from last time.
But they didn't laugh for long
When I started my presentation, everyone went quiet.
I hammered it away.
This time a new, improved version of myself, based on the feedback I got.
After I was done, I closed my book, turned around, and looked at them all.
What now, bitches.
Not a sound was heard in the room.
And then suddenly, I heard a clap.
Soon the entire room clapped.
The big lesson
When somebody criticises you, if you're able to let your ego down for just one minute, and actually LISTEN to what the person is saying to you - without getting butt-hurt and defensive, you can LEARN a lot.
But often, we'd much rather be RIGHT than GOOD.
So the lesson here is...
Don't let your need to be RIGHT
Getting criticism is hard... it just doesn't feel good.
Especially if you're a man, that tends to hurt your ego.
But you need to remember that the PAIN you feel because of criticism is TEMPORARY... but the benefits of really taking it in and LISTENING to it can last a LIFETIME.
Whenever you can sacrifice your short term pride and humble yourself down, you will win in the long term.
So what's your "pain point"? Where do you get triggered or defensive when someone criticises you?
And what would happen if instead you could let it go... not take it as seriously, and simply LEARN from it?
Drop a comment down below and let us know!
Every time I stand in front of a camera to make a video - I feel uncomfortable.
Every time I want to go to the gym - I feel uncomfortable.
Every time I sit down to write a blog post - I feel uncomfortable.
Are you the type of a person who will do whatever he or she can to AVOID discomfort?
Are you the type of a person who hates feeling uncomfortable...?
Doing anything worthwhile will require you to step OUTSIDE of your comfort zone.
And in fact, when you think about a goal or something you want to get or have - it is ALWAYS outside of your comfort zone.
We have a fetish
We like to imagine a fantasy that in order to get what we want, we'll just do couple of things that we feel comfortable with and voila - the result will be here.
And I've seen people almost want to negotiate with this, like a rich spoiled kid:
"Oh yea, that seems nice, that's something I would do..."
"No that's not something I feel comfortable doing... so I won't do it..."
Like the goal that you want to accomplish cares what you feel comfortable with or not.
To get what you want, it is PREDISPOSING that you'll need to do something that feels UNCOMFORTABLE.
It's like eggs in a cake.
There's no cake without eggs.
And in fact, the higher your achievement, the more UNCOMFORTABLE it feels to take the necessary action step.
The Critical Counter-Intuitive
We humans are comfort seeking creatures.
All we want to do is be comfortable.
We want to do as much as we can, with as little effort possible.
Our intuitive pull is always doing what feels the most comfortable and easy... and avoid what feels difficult and uncomfortable.
But that often just leads to failure in everything.
Our intuitive pull will almost always lead to failure.
One of my mentors taught me the concept of COUNTER-INTUITIVENESS.
He taught me that our intuitive feeling is designed to make us fail.
And that if we want to achieve any kind of success, it almost always involves us going COUNTER to what our intuitive pull tells us to do.
So if we want any kind of success, it requires us to go COUNTER to what our intuition is telling us to do.
I'd like to challenge you on something.
I'd like you to go do something RIGHT now.
Right now I want you to step into your bathroom, and...
Take a cold shower.
Every morning I take a cold shower.
Not because I like how I feel DURING the cold shower, but because of how I feel AFTER.
Before I'm about to turn the water to cold, I always feel uncomfortable. I'd rather not do it, skip it - and do it tomorrow.
And when I do turn it, and I feel the cold water running down my spine, I feel uncomfortable.
It doesn't feel good.
However, after I come out, I feel great.
I feel energised.
I feel ALIVE.
I'm ready for the day.
Taking a cold shower taught me 2 things:
When I need to make a video....
I don't think about it anymore.
I just turn on the camera and do it.
When I need to take a cold shower...
I don't think about it.
I just step in the shower and do it.
I got USED to it.
Where are you too comfortable?
So where in life are you becoming too comfortable?
Where are you getting so comfortable that it's dangerous?
Whatever it is, here's what I'd challenge you to do:
Take a SMALL step.
You probably know what you should do.
You have that thing in your mind. It's probably constantly popping back to your mind.
Whatever that thing is, go and take a SMALL step towards it.
If it's rejoining the gym, go pack your gym bag.
If it's up your reading, go find that book that you left unread.
If it's finishing a business project, go check out what's left to be done.
There's power in small steps.
What is your small step?
What will you do?
Let us know below!
Can you honestly say, when your head hits the pillow and you are ready to fall asleep - that you did EVERYTHING you possibly could that day?
Can you honestly say, that you've taken FULL advantage of the day?
If the answer is yes, well congratulations. Good job. You're on your way!
But if you have that squeaky voice in your head telling you...
"You could actually do more..."
Then your probably COULD do more.
My mentor used to say...
Success is the difference between what you COULD have done, and what you've actually done. The smaller that difference, the greater your success.
So what is your difference?
What is the difference between what you could POTENTIALLY do in a day, and what you actually do?
Are you squeezing full juice out of your lemon?
Brian Tracy, the world-renowned motivational speaker and probably the father of the modern self-development, used to give himself a challenge to finish all the things he had planned for the day...
By NOON that day.
And I've tried doing the same, and found that I was able to do MUCH more than what I originally thought I could do.
We are capable so much more than what we think.
When we think we've hit our limits, we've usually only scratched the surface.
I recently found this meme by David Goggings talking about what's called The 40% Principle.
The 40% Principle states that when your MIND is telling you that you're done and you can't go any further, you're actually only 40% done - and you have about 60% more in the "tank".
Life is like a brick wall
This is life.
My dad is a mason.
Not the kind who control the world, but the actual one, who builds buildings.
And when I was a kid, he would sometimes take me with him to various construction sites, where I'd just see these MASSIVE walls.
I would always be amazed by the size and might of these walls.
One day I asked my dad:
"Dad, how do you build a wall this big?"
He looked at me and said:
"One brick at a time son".
One brick at a time
The way you build a wall is not by throwing a bunch of bricks together and hope they fall together.
But the way you build a wall is you LAY 1 BRICK as perfectly as a brick can be laid, and soon you will have a wall.
Your days are like those BRICKS.
If you want to have a full week, a full month, a full year or a full life - you don't have to concern yourself with anything else but having a FULL DAY.
If you take the FULL advantage of a DAY...
Soon that day will turn into a week...
Which turns into a month...
Which turns into a YEAR...
Which then turns into your entire LIFE.
So take FULL advantage of your 1 DAY.
Do ALL you can in 1 day and the rest will fall in place.
Big goals require Big action
I used to be the guy who had BIG dreams... and BIG goals... and BIG everything...
But when the time came to take action...
I would generally lay in the couch and watch sitcoms.
My daily actions didn't support my BIG goals and dreams.
I simply wasn't doing enough.
Then one day I woke up...
I was broke...
My business was in pieces...
And I just ended a long term relationship because I just couldn't "get my stuff together"...
I was laying in bed, reminiscing on my life.
Thinking to myself:
"Where have I gone so wrong?"
I had all these goals for myself, and my life has gone into a completely different direction.
I felt a heavy burden on my chest of just REGRET.
And in that moment it hit me:
My life was a direct reflection of all the things I did - and did not do.
I was paying the price.
I remembered a quote that I will remember for the rest of my life:
Discipline weighs ounces. But regret weighs TONS.
In life, you will always pay some sort of a price.
The only difference is that discipline weighs OUNCES... but regret weighs TONS.
What price will you pay?
What is your 60% in a day?
How much MORE action could you take in any given day?
What ACTION would you need to take for you to feel satisfied with your day?
Commit to it, and then DO it.
Because I can promise you this:
There is no greater feeling in the world than falling asleep with a gentle smile on your face, exhausted, knowing that you've given your ALL that day.
Are you the type of a person who needs to have all of his or her i's dotted and t's crossed before taking any action?
Do you sometimes find yourself unable to start, even after you've done all the preparation and planning, because you're just afraid of not having things not turn out exactly perfect?
Well what if I told you that trying to make things perfect before you can start moving is stopping you from making major shifts in your life?
I've learned that there's an image in a perfectionist mind that he or she is trying to accomplish, and it is almost always rooted in making a good impression on OTHERS.
Or to say it differently, it is rooted in the FEAR of NOT making a good impression.
Perfectionists are essentially, afraid.
They are afraid that what they do won't be GOOD ENOUGH... so they keep extending the time to prepare and make everything "perfect".
But I've learned that the fear of something not being good enough almost always comes from the feeling that the PERSON isn't good enough.
And whatever we feel we're lacking on the INSIDE, we will try to create on the OUTSIDE.
Whatever we feel we lack on the INSIDE, we will try to make up for it on the OUTSIDE.
So a person who feels isn't GOOD ENOUGH... will always try to create things on the outside that are "good enough"...
Thus, becoming a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is a FABRICATION of our mind. It is actually something that doesn't exist, but we humans created it.
If you take a look, it DOES NOT exist in nature.
Mark Zuckerberg created this mantra around Facebook that states:
"Done Is Better Than Perfect