Confidence Tips - Our Right Stuff
We are not confident. At least not all the time. But no one is, so welcome to the club. Why?
Because confidence is a muscle that must be trained. And no one taught you how in school.
We would like to change that.
“Fid” is Latin for TRUST. Tuck that word away in the back of your mind for a minute. We will come back to it.
Here’s another word that’s valuable for confidence. Yokoten. It can sometimes be translated from Japanese as “Generalist”. In some cultures, the word Generalist can be derogatory, mundane, or even a put-down. But in Japan it is a title of great honor. For it means you know everything across the company. And have risen to manager status.
Confidence & Toyota
Yokoten also means SHARING. And this is what Japanese people mean when they speak about being a good manager. It is a person who has learned how to share his skills and knowledge across an organization.
You see confidence doesn’t come from staring at yourself in the mirror and reciting something from a book or a Ted talk you saw once. No, no, no. Confidence comes from trusting yourself and your abilities. And knowledge on your given subject and being Yokoten. Being able to share that skill with others through action.
So, what’s gone wrong?
What is happening is that you are not flexing the confidence muscle in the right way. Confidence is a skill, and you can improve it like any other skill. It is not something bestowed on others and not you. It is there for the taking. And we want you to take it.
Explain the Psychology
Confidence is that feeling when you have zero doubt in your ability to handle something. You do not dwell on the negative consequences and view the potential outcomes optimistically. And when you go into something confidently and it goes awry – you bounce back immediately, reassess, and move on.
Sports stars have this in abundance. And Sports stars fail all the time. In baseball a great batting average is a 0.3, which means the batter fails 70% of his at-bats.
A lack of confidence can feed into your self-esteem because that emotional feeling is tied to your ability to solve problems and get through things that align with your self-worth. When your confidence is low, you’re not your true self, you then take fewer risks, and you question your abilities. We all think this way sometimes.
What can happen is that your memories of great achievements, your talents, and your capabilities can get hijacked by your emotions. Clouding your perception of yourself but also your TRUST in yourself. The skill you must learn is mental. You need a mental workout, and you need it stat!. And like all workouts, it isn’t easy. But it’s where the magic happens.
Confidence and You
You need to revert to a time when you had childlike confidence. You can’t remember that time because you are an adult, but your confidence has become unfit and lazy. And like an unfit person hitting the gym for the first time you are going to experience some pain. Except all the machines and weights are in your mind.
You need a strategy, a growth plan. Some scaffolding to begin with. So, you can step outside your current zone and into one that might seem scary but is exactly where you need to be.
Building a Confidence Program
No. You’re not convinced yet?.
Ok, we get it. You’d think we were the most confident people in the world, wouldn’t you? With our shiny, hilarious website. Well, you’d be right – but it wasn’t always that way. In our careers, we all had knock-backs and got hurt badly. I for one, questioned everything I was and what I could do professionally. It made me not trust myself anymore. Looking back, I had left my confidence behind. We all do it.
The Monkey Trap had caught me.
The Monkey Trap
In some Asian countries, they catch Monkeys for food. And they have a particular method of catching them. A hollowed-out coconut is tied to the trunk of a tree with a hole big just big enough for a monkey paw. Rice is then placed in the coconut, and they just wait. The hungry monkey arrives, puts his hand in the coconut to steal the rice.
It grabs the biggest fist of rice it can and tries to pull it out. But the hole is not big enough for both its fist and the rice.
It must let go of the rice to get its hand out. But the monkey does not let go. It’s a hungry animal. So, it sits there with its rice. Refusing to let go until the natives walk up and kill it. Now if you feel a little shocked by this then good. We need a shock sometimes. We should learn from this poor primate and not have his expensive lesson wasted. Your confidence needs a shock.
Confidence Tips - Self-Esteem
When your brain holds onto negative beliefs about yourself and does not let them go, you, my friend, are stuck in the Monkey trap. These beliefs include ones that make you not trust yourself anymore and these beliefs are sitting on the couch at home watching Disney+ alongside your confidence.
Ok, Let me outta this thing
Have you ever sat down and asked yourself what you honestly believed about yourself, or your work? Or your career to date? I bet you have not. And if not, then you have not looked at the actual evidence that your beliefs are based on. You’ve let emotions and fears take their place.
So, let’s do just that
Q. Ask yourself – What are my beliefs about myself? List as many as you can. Now list the beliefs that support you or hinder you. Be as brutally honest as you can. We have practical exercises.
First Activity – List the beliefs that you would like to have about your work or your career.
Second Activity – List the beliefs that you would like to drop for good.
Third Activity – From the “drop for good” list. Write down the ones you believe are Monkey Traps. Ones where it is you and your beliefs that are holding on to. And not your abilities.
Confidence Tips & Triggers
Ok. We are not done yet. But you are halfway there. Because these beliefs are in your psychological framework, they are being triggered by something. Two or even three triggers are at play here. We all have triggers, and they act around us because we have let them into our lives and brains, and they used to have a purpose or meaning but now they’ve turned to the dark side. And we fall back on them like crutches.
They need to be identified and ejected into the Sun.
Q. How are these beliefs triggered?
Practical Activity – Get the bad belief list and write down what triggers them. This needs some time and a quiet space and some honest reflection. In truth, this is what sports professionals and top-tier people do. They sit in their own minds for hours. Reflecting. Regenerating. Meditating. Given their brains a break from themselves. That’s right.
Your brain needs a break from you. At night when you sleep, your brain goes “oh thank God he/she/their asleep!” “Now let’s get some real work done”.
Give your brain that chance. When you list the beliefs and the triggers, you now need to ask yourself some simple questions about these triggers.
Q. Why do I believe this? What assumptions am I making here? Can I test these assumptions with a little mental scenario imagination?
And once you’ve sat honestly with these beliefs you will be much better able to reflect upon them. See them for what they are. And reject those that are unhelpful or untrue. And connect to the beliefs you have abandoned.
Self-Esteem and The Voice
Before you go, I want to tell you something important. It’s not a warning per se, but something to be aware of. When you start anything new the “Voice” pops up. He pops up in all of us. You know who he is. He’s the guy that will give you all the reasons why you’re not ready to do this.
The Voice loves your mistakes more than your “wins”. So…
F*** The Voice
Start as you mean to go on. Start small. Build a confidence “locker” where you will store all your cool new beliefs and past success and stories of awesome wins in your career. That locker is what you will reflect on when you need to.
When you’ve built up that trust in yourself and your confidence is skyrocketing then you will meet the voice head-on with your true voice. And you will do that from inside the locker of confidence you have built. Afterward, he won’t say a goddamned word.
Confidence Tips - Game
One final thing. There’s a book out there that helped us. We are not booksellers or advocates of self-help stuff or anything like that. But this one we do respect. It’s by a guy called James Clear and it’s called ATOMIC HABITS.
Why do we like it? Because it’s genius in its simple tricks. And how we can get out of our own way. Pointing out all the crap and clutter and apps and desktop nonsense we let into onto our visual radar. It shows us how we are not helping ourselves to adopt good habits that allow us to get our work done. And how shit like TikTok and Instagram are fine for a few minutes but poison for productivity.
If you really are a nonsense person that just wants real-life ways to take away distractions and build better habits. Then we highly recommend James’ book. It won’t solve your problems – but it will clear the highways so you can get there faster.