This morning, while looking through an old briefcase, I found a lot of very old papers that no longer served any positive function.
I began putting them in a stack to be shredded, when I came across a document entitled:
1993 Achievements in Review
As I looked at the list, I was simultaneously stunned and elated. Stunned because some of the achievements I held dearly at the time, pale in comparison to what I accomplished in later years; elated because, deep within my mind, these “victories” still hold a special place in my heart.
You could say, this one document represents where I stored a written record of confidence.
Being confident in yourself cannot be underestimated. There’s great POWER in CONFIDENCE. So long as it’s backed by the willingness to work with great passion and enthusiasm, to look at and correct mistakes without getting emotional, and making the choice to persevere when things don’t go well at first,
you’re always going to be further ahead with confidence than without it.
The above paragraph represents authentic confidence – not the phony confidence so many project today.
Let me give you an example of phony confidence.
Some months ago, I watched as a father took his son to the pool to get swimming lessons. The teacher met the young boy and began the lesson. The boy knew almost nothing about swimming and could barely float, yet the teacher was telling him, “You’re a really good swimmer.”
At the end of the lesson, the boy got out of the water and told his father, “I’m really good, Dad. I’m a good swimmer.”
The father smiled and agreed. “That’s right, son. You’re really good.”
I sat wondering, “So, when it’s time to correct the boy’s mistakes, what are you going to tell him? If he’s already good, what is he when you point out the errors?”
To build confidence, real, true, authentic confidence, you take the focus OFF the self and put it on what you’ve learned, what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve been able to create.
There’s little if any, “You’re good. I’m good. We’re all good. It’s all good.” talk.
To this day, I fondly recall the Chinese kung fu master who – upon seeing me repeat a move, said, “Not bad. But not good, either.”
After hearing him say this, I worked harder than ever before. I kept in mind that no matter how good I was able to do something, it could always be improved.
The master kept the focus on the move I was practicing and kept it off whether or not he believed I was good, talented, skilled, etc. It was about making the movement better. Once I got the moves better, I’d be better. Not the other way around.
Ironically, when you focus your mind on what you’re doing and keep it OFF whether or not you’re good, talented, blessed, skilled and gifted – you become a better person.
Because you’ve been given concrete, specific instructions on how you can improve something.
But when you hear someone say, “You’re great. You’re good. You’re talented.” – guess what your mind hears.
It hears: Oh, I guess I don’t need to train as hard as the others because I’m better than they are.
This is false confidence.
It all gets back to the Power of Mental Pictures.
You cannot mentally picture your level of talent, skill or ability. It’s a vague, nebulous and amorphous concept.
But you CAN mentally see, feel and imagine doing a specific skill better.
Specific skills are not vague.
If you’re going to praise someone, praise him for what he is able to do and for how he’s improved. Then lead him to greater heights by telling him that he can do even better.
As I take another look at the document entitled: “1993 Achievements in Review” – I notice one other fact. There’s not a single reference on any of the 26 achievements listed, that states in any way, shape or form, that I’m good at anything.
However, the words “learned” and “improved” showed up more than once.
One line reads: “Improved my writing skills.”
It does NOT say, ‘I’m a good writer.”
Today, despite having sold hundreds of thousands of books that I personally wrote, I would still much rather say, “My writing skills improved” than “I’m a good writer.”
Remember this: Saying “you’re good, you’re great” leads to false confidence.
Real confidence is built by learning how to do something, learning it better, getting good at it, and continuing to get better… ad infinitum.
P.S. The very best tool to read and listen to when it comes to building confidence, is the world-renowned Zero Resistance Living Program. Grab yourself a copy of it today – and start improving everything in your life tomorrow.