Did you ever watch a young child learn to ski? No poles, no fear. They just go down the hill. The thought of failure doesn’t even enter their mind. They end up learning in a few short hours what would take an adult months to learn. Why? Because the young child has unstoppable confidence; the adult has unstoppable fear.
It’s that little voice in the back of your head that is whispering to us telling us that we really don’t know as much as we think we do. The voice inside convinces us that we could never hold our own at that meeting, or survive having to give that speech. Instead of facing our lack of confidence, we have a variety of techniques to fake ourselves out.
Some people avoid their lack of confidence by taking on the role of victim. Obviously “they” are out to get me, if not; they would never expect me to make a presentation in front of my peers. It’s always me they dump on; I’m always taken advantage of. The person choosing this technique begins to actually believe they are a victim. So much so, that they end up creating an environment in which they continually fail and inevitably they do become a victim. Not a victim of an actual enemy, but a victim of their lack of confidence.
Others opt for procrastination. As soon as I finish this easy project I will have time to do that harder one. I work so much better under pressure. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll have the energy to do it. Eventually, the deadline passes. And the procrastinator has never stepped up to the plate. A lack of confidence was the real culprit.
Arrogance is an even less attractive manner of hiding a lack of confidence. The arrogant person actually acts as if the task is beneath him. He refuses to participate and basis his refusal on the presumption that it is menial. Someone at a lower pay grade should be handling this one. Eventually, the arrogant person fails, because sooner or later the truth will come out. It takes confidence to produce results.
How do we stop our patterns of avoiding confidence issues? How do we become like the child learning to ski? The first step is to stop looking at why things can’t be done. The child who is being taught to ski down the mountain isn’t hampered by a bunch of logical reasons why this isn’t a good idea. They aren’t thinking about such things as speed, velocity, impact, bones crushing…nope. They are thinking about how cool it will be to reach the bottom and how fun it will be to get there.
It is all about the mind and the tremendous power our mind has over our reality. In order to develop that childlike confidence, we need to reprogram our mind. We need to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. We need to replace excuses with affirmations, and we need to be constantly vigilant about what thoughts we allow to creep into our heads; constantly vigilant. Before long we too will have unstoppable confidence.