The Confidence Guy

Wired into Truly Confident Living

Mar 26
Extraordin

Extraordin-Errey - geddit?!

After over 12 months of planning, writing, wrangling, sweating and decision-making, The Code of Extraordinary Change is open.

I hope you like it : )

I gotta say that I’m a lot more nervous than I expected to be, but they’re good “This is gonna be great” nerves, you know?!  The COEC isn’t something that I built for me; it’s not a vanity project, something for my ego to wallow in or even something that’s “finished”.  I built it because I want you to put your dent in the universe and because I want to offer a helping hand when you need it.  And, a little like Goldilocks, that means that I want it to be “just right”.

So whether or not you know what kind of dent you want to make; whether or not you’re on the road to doing what matters to you, or whether or not you feel like you could ever put your dent in the universe – there’s something over at The Code of Extraordinary Change for you.  And there always will be.

Something I didn’t have time for…

Since I started The Confidence Guy I’ve had a lot of feedback from people that’s been worth its weight in gold.  So a huge thank you to everyone here who’s commented or emailed – I’ve listened to and appreciated every single word.  Mix that up with feedback from people I’ve worked with and everything else I’ve learned since I started coaching, and that’s a lot of seriously good stuff.

The result of all that is something I’ve been working on for 18 months; and this final piece of the The Code of Extraordinary Change is going through the finessing machine as we speak to make sure it comes out extra-shiny and extra-special.  I’ll let you know more about it very soon.

In the meantime, I’d love you to head over to the COEC to see what’s going on over there.

The world needs your kind of extraordinary.

Mar 22

Time waits for no man, and the winner of the Extraordinary Bundle of Beautiful Things will be picked at random on Monday 26th March, to coincide with the launch of the Code of Extraordinary Change.

If you’ve already pre-registered then you’re all set; I hope you win (I’d love to win, but sadly have ruled myself ineligible!).  Otherwise, you’ve got a little bit of time left to get involved and enter the give-away. You could win:

  • a handmade leather Moleskine cover, engraved with “Sing in Me Muse”, the gorgeous and unique artwork from the design team at Tinder + Sparks.
  • a signed copy of Karen Walrond‘s beautiful book, “The Beauty of Different”.
  • Ingrid Michaelson’s new CD – “Human Again”, signed by Ingrid herself.
  • A signed copy of the butt-kicking and simply awesome “Do The Work” from the brilliant Steven Pressfield.
  • “You Are Lovely” – a signed print from the talented illustrator Jen Renninger.
  • The soulful “Fortunes”, from the extraordinary Jen Lee.
  • A signed copy of the heart-warming, funny and gorgeous book “Some Kind of Ride” by Brian Andreas.
  • Your very own tin of Omnipotence (yes, really), from my good friends at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company.
  • 2 signed CD’s (“Being Brave” and “As I Am”) from the hugely talented Karen Jacobsen.
  • Your very own “Go Dent the Universe” t-shirt. Very cool.

Each of these things is just gorgeous, so it’s quite the collection.  And of course, pre-registering also makes sure you have access to all of the members-only content (including free monthly calls where I’ll help you put your dent in the universe and video interviews with some amazing people who’ve created extraordinary things).

I’m dead excited and more than a little nervous I am about all of this – I’ve worked my cotton socks off to make sure the Code of Extraordinary Change blows your socks off.  (There’s been a lot of sock action, for sure).
Pre-register
So head over to the The Code of Extraordinary and get involved; the world needs your kind of extraordinary.

Mar 14

The Code of Extraordinary Change
I made a fundamental mistake here at The Confidence Guy.  I was focused on helping people build up their self-confidence, but I’d never answered the basic question “Why?” Why spend all that time and effort on getting somewhere, when you have no clue as to what to do when you get there?

I stopped what I was doing, took a big step back and started answering the question.  I realised one important thing – that confidence alone is like a single child in an empty room at their 8th Birthday party.  No fun at all.  And I came to see that there’s only one reason to have a core of self-confidence.

To put a you-shaped dent in the universe.

So I’ve built something that does 2 things:

  1. Creates a tipping point where you feel ready, willing and moved to get out there and do what matters to you.
  2. Guides you through that tipping point (and beyond) so you can put a meaningful dent in the universe.

I call it The Code Of Extraordinary Change.

Picture it.

You’re at a point where you’re unburdened of the things that hold you back.
You’re equipped with everything that makes you a force of nature.
You know you can deal with whatever life throws at you.
You understand what really matters to you and recognise what doesn’t.
You trust yourself completely to make awesome decisions.

I think that’s pretty damn extraordinary, and that’s what the Code of Extraordinary Change does.

It’s launching on March 26th, and I would be totally thrilled to have you come over and visit : )

Win An Extraordinary Bundle of Beautiful Things

With the launch of The Code of Extraordinary Change coming up fast, I want to give you something. When you pre-register on the site you’ll not only gain access to the members-only content at launch time, but you can win an Extraordinary Bundle of Beautiful Things.

I’ve gathered together a bundle of things that I consider to be unique, beautiful and extraordinary, and I’ll give the whole lot away to one person (selected at random) who pre-registers from now until 26th March.

This bundle includes a handmade leather Moleskine cover engraved with totally unique and gorgeous artwork, a signed copy of Karen Walrond’s beautiful book “The Beauty of Different”, a signed copy of Ingrid Michaelson’s new CD “Human Again”, your very own “Go Dent the Universe” t-shirt and a whole heap more (you can see everything in the Bundle over at the COEC).

The Code of Extraordinary Change is all about making a meaningful difference, and both the members-only content and the Extraordinary Bundle represent that spirit.

So head over to the The Code of Extraordinary and get involved; the world needs your kind of extraordinary.

Pre-register

Jan 01

Project X: Coming Soon
Happy New Year to you. It’s been a while hasn’t it?

I’ve spent the last 6 months working my cotton socks off, preparing the biggest thing I’ve ever done.  I’ve probably worked a little too much if I’m honest with you, and with CFS/ME biting me right on my tuckus it’s certainly slowed me down a little.  But it hasn’t stopped me.  Not by a long shot.

Launching soon is what I’ve been calling Project X, the convergence of a decade of coaching experience, some of the very latest discoveries in the field of neuroscience and whole heap of stuff designed to do just one thing:

To help you put your dent in the universe.

I’ll be announcing the whole thing very, very soon and it’ll be bloody brilliant to have you along for the ride.  In fact, it won’t be the same without you, so consider this your official invitation.

In the meantime, I’d love to know what kind of dent you’d love to make in 2012 – add a comment to let me know.

PS: Along with the announcement of Project X there will be a really special giveaway that you’ll not want to miss out on.  Stay tuned.

Jun 28

Time for change.

I mentioned a little while ago how I was working on something new, something big, something that I was jumping up and down about in excitement.

That’s all true, and while I’ve made some important progress with the project I haven’t made as much progress as I wanted to.  I originally wanted to launch it by the beginning of June, and as you can see, that hasn’t happened.

So I gotta make a choice.

It comes down to time, energy and focus, and I simply don’t have enough of those things to split them between The Confidence Guy and Project X.  Something’s gotta go, and in order to focus on my new project I’m ramping down my writing here at The Confidence Guy.  And once Project X is up and running, that’s where I’ll be be hanging out.

It feels really strange to be letting go of something that’s been so close for the last 4 years, and while I’ve grappled with the decision a fair bit, it feels like the perfect thing for me to do.

And I know that this is the only way I’ll get to launch Project X.

If there’s one thing that I’ve talked about here that I want to stick with you, it’s that you have to make choices that honour what matters to you.  I’m just practicing what I preach.

What I want you to know is how grateful I am to you.  Grateful for your readership.  Grateful for your thoughts.  Grateful for your comments and emails.  From day one my aim with this blog was to give you tools, insights, ideas and strategies to change; to really change; and I’m not going to abandon that intention or abandon you.

Believe it or not you matter to me, so I will post the odd update or two here to let you know what’s happening and where things are at with Project X.  If it’s okay with you, I’d love to keep you in the loop.

I’m genuinely excited about this change but equally I have no idea what’s going to happen.  Project X could fail spectacularly for all I know, but I just have to give it my best shot (and to be honest, if I wasn’t willing to do that then just who the hell am I to be telling you to do what matters?).

I can’t wait to share it with you if you’re ready for something that’ll knock your socks off!

Thanks so much, and as ever, just holler if there’s something I can help you out with.

Jun 21

GoallessYou know the story about the boy in the marching band?

The whole band are marching together with magnificent style and timing, apart from this one boy who’s the only one marching out of step.  His mother, beaming with pride, proceeds to tell everyone she knows how he was the only one in the whole band who was marching in step.

That’s kind of how I’ve felt ever since I trained as a coach back in 2002.  That training was focused on using goals in order to drive personal development and personal change, and even back then something wasn’t sitting right.

It was around 3 years later that I dumped that goal-setting approach and discovered a better way of changing things; a way that actually worked.

I’ve been vocal right here on the blog about how I don’t think goals are all they’re cracked up to be and how they bring along more problems than they solve.  And I thought I was the only one, until Leo Babauta extolled the exact same philosophy during the World Domination Summit.

So here are 5 posts from the archives that tell you exactly why I take issue with traditional goal-setting and what I suggest instead.

  1. Having Goals Doesn’t Work and the Swedish Know It
  2. Feeling Blue – Is ‘Living Up to Your Potential’ BS?
  3. Goal Setting (is) for Dummies
  4. How to Know Where You Want to Go, and How to Get There With Confidence
  5. The No-Goal Guide to an Extraordinary 2011

How about you – can you picture your life without goals? Or do you disagree with me and think that goals are the only way to make real progress?

Jun 10

BelongI’ve read some really amazing accounts of the World Domination Summit that resonate and echo a lot of my own thoughts.  But before I get into what I took away from the Summit, here are my 24 of my favourite things from last weekend.

  1. Pam Slim’s face as I introduced myself as Steve, and the surprise and delight as a heartbeat later she said “Steve….Errey? ERREY!”.  Pam Slim was delighted to meet me.  Pam Slim.
  2. Karen Walrond’s stunning session, Different is Beautiful.  Adored every moment.
  3. The universal and sincere curiosity of every attendee.
  4. The abundant smile and warmth of Jodi Womack.  Thanks for the trombones!
  5. Writing “Belong” on my arm with a Sharpie.
  6. Smiling and laughing more than I have in a very long time.
  7. Still meeting great people and having that common connection days after the conference closed.
  8. The Communicatrix’s new asshole.  Funny is everywhere, even when life sucks.
  9. Pam Slim’s generosity.  Yes, I’ve already mentioned her, but her generosity is tangible, palpable, magical.
  10. Hatching a plan with the gentle Joshua Harbert to get a grizzly bear through UK immigration.
  11. Being buoyed up by the support of people who really get it.
  12. Hearing real stories.  Stories of hope, fear, dreams, confusion, peace, frustration and love.  Does it get better than that?
  13. Mercedes Grant’s disco pants and exciting new film project. Watch out for this one.
  14. We are all rooting for youThe hand-written notes attached to the bottom of our chairs by Jen Lemen and Andrea Scher from Mondo Beyondo.  Mine was “We’re all rooting for you.”  Exactly what I needed.
  15. Cynthia Morris’s testicular breakfast.  You kinda had to be there.
  16. Not having to try.
  17. Mark Silver‘s gentle talk and powerful ideas that just might have opened a door for me.
  18. Hugs.  Lots o’ hugs.
  19. Not having CFS/ME define me.
  20. Sitting in Stumptown coffee the morning after the closing party, not being able to write and having the gorgeous Shannon O’Donnell come through just by chance and come sit with me.  Just what I needed, just when I needed it.  And I picked out her favourite photo because it was mine too.
  21. The feeling of being in a room with 500 of the most talented, gifted, generous, insightful, creative and driven people in the world.
  22. The sheer energy and vitality of Chantelle Baxter – she’s doing amazing things.  “I’m driving the bus!”.
  23. Not being online.  With no wifi to speak of at the venue there were no distractions.  It was about people.
  24. Telling people about my “No Goals” approach to coaching at the opening party, then having Leo Babauta and Danielle LaPorte say the very same thing the next day.  That’s some pretty, pretty, pretty good company right there.

Some great times to be sure, but with all of that noted I’ve struggled to know exactly what I want to say about it.

The messages are nothing new, right?

Chances are you’ve seen the ideas from the Summit before.  Follow your heart.  Do what matters.  Don’t fit in, stand out.  Dare to be different.  You’re the answer.  Be of service.  Go the extra mile.  You need the hard times as well as the good.  You’re already awesome.  Beauty is everywhere.

Many, many more ideas that are as relevant to you as you allow them to be.

There was a lot of content, which is good an’ all, but the Summit was one of those rare “conferences” (the word conference doesn’t fit WDS at all well) where the content was perhaps the smallest ingredient.

The people, the conversations, the hugs, the support, the curiosity, the sharing, the laughs, the friendliness and the generosity were all stirred into the same pot and left to bubble away for 2 and a half days.  Flavours developed and richened.  Ingredients harmonized.  Deliciousness filled the building.  Everyone became hungry.

In his session, Mark Silver said that when your heart is hungry or thirsty you feel needy.  God knows I’ve been feeling needy.

Rather than giving in to the temptation to jump right into action, Mark explained how actions stemming directly from that need won’t bear fruit; but that it’s possible for that need or emptiness to turn into a deep desire that moves you into congruent, graceful action.

And that’s what I’m feeling.  Both empty and full at the same time.  I’m building a relationship with that need that I hadn’t figured on when I arrived in Portland, and I’m taking it slowly.  And it’s not just me, in conversations after the summit I found that people were taking it slowly.  Letting the dust settle.  Making space for that quiet voice inside.  Allowing the need to turn into desire.

Look what I found under my coffee cup in StumptownAnd that’s my take-away – a growing relationship with the part of me that I’ve neglected, and a quiet beginning of a transformation that’s already moving me.

The timing’s perfect, and not only will this help to make my next project fly but it will help to satiate that hunger I’ve been pushing aside.

The next few months will be extraordinary indeed.

Some unexpected perspective

A couple of hours ago on my way from London Paddington to Charing Cross having just flown back to the UK, my cab driver told me that his 31 year old daughter had been killed 3 nights ago by a drunk driver.  He said that the man’s car was embedded in his daughters’ car and couldn’t even be separated.  He told me that he didn’t have the money available to bury her, so was working extra hours to make up the cash rather than spending it home grieving with his wife.

I asked about his daughter a little bit, and she seemed to be much like everyone else – imperfect, but hopeful.  He was angry with himself for not being able to provide for his own daughters funeral, feeling like he’d failed everyone.

I gave him £30 for a £10 cab fare, which was everything I had in my wallet, shook his hand and said goodbye.  Nothing I could have said or done would have fixed it, but I hope at least the surprise in his face let him see that there is help out there.

So while I entered the cab feeling pissed off for being back in a country I don’t really want to be in, I left the cab feeling grateful to be home, and with a quiet sense that I simply have to get my next coaching project out into the world.

Not pursuing your true north serves no one.

A little perspective goes a long way, huh.

Jun 07

This last weekend will be one long remembered by me, and by the 499 other people who attended the very first World Domination Summit in Portland.

If there was one word for it, it would be ”Holy cow”.  Yes, that’s 2 words, but the rules don’t apply here.

The absorption of messages, people and connections from the weekend is going to take some time (and from the tweets I’ve seen, everyone else feels the same), and I have a very strong feeling that ideas will continue to land, link and coalesce for quite some time to come as a result.

Once the immediate dust settles there’s likely to be a couple of changes round here which I’ll tell you about as soon as I figure them out.  In the meantime, there are 3 things I’m immensely grateful for:

  1. Having the opportunity to spend time with truly extraordinary people.
  2. Getting back the feeling that my next project will be relevant, needed and HUGE.
  3. My CFS/ME was a challenge at times, but my body delivered when I asked it to and allowed me to be present.

I’ll write more about the Summit soon, but wanna leave you with a couple of photo’s from the trip and with one, important thought that echoes what I’ve been talking about right here for the last 3 years.

If you’re not engaging with what matters to you, start.

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May 27

The big 4-0And just so I can stretch out my 40th Birthday celebrations even longer, here’s the remaining 20 things I’ve learned in my first 40 years on this curious little blue and green rock.

  1. I leave religion and religious beliefs alone, otherwise we both end up getting offended.  Even with subjects I’m passionate about, I gotta see that there’s no single “right” way.
  2. Individually, people rock.  Collectively, they’re crazy.
  3. I’m a great believer in sticking at something, but sometimes the best and most courageous things is to get the hell out of dodge.
  4. There’s good in everyone.
  5. Wanting to belong to something continues to be one of my strongest drivers, but it’s also the thing I feel the least and doubt the most.  It’s such a powerful motivator that there are layers of positive and sabotaging behaviour around it, so I’ve learned to be aware of it.
  6. There’s no substitute for grace.
  7. My imagination is bigger than I ever imagined (paradox anyone?), and that creativity has to be put to use or I go crazy.
  8. Music talks to the soul and can rejuvenate in moments.
  9. I find it irresistibly attractive when someone is able to create a moment in time based on what feels true to them.
  10. Sitting at a bar in a new city and chatting with the locals never ceases to make me feel alive.
  11. Meditation is not fluffy, fu-fu, guru, hippy shit.
  12. I love superhero mythology because they always stay true to what matters the most, even against seemingly insurmountable odds.  If I can do that in even the smallest way, then I’ve lived extraordinarily well.  Plus, the outfits rock.
  13. Nobody else can tell me what to believe or where to put my energy.  I’m always at the helm of this thing.
  14. However much my body and health slows me down is the pace I need to accept.  Fighting my body won’t get me anywhere.
  15. I’m smarter than the average bear, but the average bear can probably catch a ball better than me.  In other words, everyone has stuff they’re good at and not good at, and the only time that becomes an issue is if I turn it into one.
  16. The single biggest impact you can have on your life is being aware of your thoughts.
  17. As far as money goes, hoping that things will turn around while prioritizing short term pleasure is not a great combination.
  18. Everyone has a story and every story is valuable.
  19. When I forget that there’s beauty in everyday life I feel embittered.  Valuing the tiny, extraordinary elements of a moment can always make it beautiful.
  20. Looking back on the last 40 years, knowing what I know now, I may have made some different choices.  So perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned is to apply what I’ve learned so far to the next 40.

Over to you. What’s something you’ve learned that you can tell us about?

May 25

How did I make it to 40?So, it finally happened.  It’s not like I didn’t have plenty of notice, but it’s still kinda hard to believe that today’s my 40th Birthday.

Just before I put on my slippers and start researching hip replacement procedures, I’ve decided to bring together some of the biggest things I’ve learned in the last 40 years.  There’s been a few of these “x things I’ve learned” posts around recently (I’m just waiting for the first “5 things I’ve learned now that I’m 5” post), but it seems fitting somehow that I give some good thought to the last 40 years to see just what the heck happened and what I can learn from it all.

While a lot of it’s a blur (anyone seen my 20′s?), here’s the first 20 things I’ve learned (the second 20 will be along soon).

  1. There really is nothing more valuable than your health.
  2. It’s natural for friends to come and go, but my family is both persistent and wonderful.
  3. Whenever I resist something, the more of a struggle it becomes.  As Picard used to say, “Engage”.
  4. Laugh with life.  Always. Frankly, I don’t like the alternative.
  5. Even if I want to punch someone, curl up into a ball in pain or run away as fast as I can, always have a smile ready to go.
  6. Some solitude is required, too much is dangerous.
  7. Singing to yourself in the car always feels good.
  8. When I’m faced with something insurmountable, I make a choice as to whether it’s something I want to start or not, and then I trust myself to begin. Whatever happens after that is for later.
  9. I can’t be all things to all people.  The best I’ve got is all I’ve got.
  10. Intimacy is probably the scariest and most wonderful thing I can think of.  The trick then, is to not let the scary bit overwhelm the wonderful bit.
  11. Some of life’s very best moments are spent with good people over a good meal.
  12. Life is too short to spend it working with assholes.
  13. My expectations of myself are almost impossibly high, because I know just how big a dent I could make in this little universe of ours.  I know that those expectations can sometimes hurt me, so I’ve learned to reset them when they’re harmful.
  14. I waste too much time watching TV and playing PlayStation, but that time soothes me.  So perhaps it’s not wasted after all.
  15. I’ll always find it hard to ask for help, but that doesn’t change the fact that I sometimes need it.
  16. I could never date a smoker or a vegetarian.
  17. I have the ability to engender trust from just about anyone in no time at all, which is all the more reason not to abuse that trust.
  18. The most precious thing to me is seeing a moment of undeniable truth.  I call it magic.
  19. Don’t cling tightly to a belief or a way of thinking if I know deep down that I can’t defend it or honour it.
  20. My heart leaps every time I see an underdog trying hard, and it breaks every time I see someone who thinks they “can’t”.  As much as I might want to help or jump to the rescue it’s not always my job to.