The Confidence Guy

Wired into Truly Confident Living

Category: ‘Being successful’

Mar 26

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.

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

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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.


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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.

Mar 08

Stop sitting on your awesomeYou’re probably reading this while seated comfortably on your tuckus, but would you be quite so comfortable if you knew that you were also sitting on your awesome?

Because you probably are.

You’d know immediately if you were sitting on your stapler, scissors or keys, but it’s much harder to know whether you’re sitting on your awesome, your extraordinary and your brilliant.

Er…What the Hell are you talking about?

What I’m talking about are all of those moments when you pull back from something because:

  • you don’t want to come across as aggressive, egotistical or spotlight-seeking.
  • you don’t want to rock the boat or throw a stone into a still pond.
  • you want to avoid attention or sidestep praise.

So you hide your insights and your capability, because that’s what it feels like you ought or need to do.  You think that if you did put your head above the parapet and took a step forwards, that in some way it would be inappropriate, that you’d be doing something wrong or that it might even be even “bad”.

So you sit on your awesome.

OK, so what Is appropriate then?

The appropriate thing is to do what matters.

If holding back flies in the face of something that matters to you, if it suppresses what has personal meaning or dishonors your values, then you’re setting up an internal conflict between what you “should” do and what you know you “could” do.

That does 2 things.  It leaves the situation untouched by the quality of capability that you could bring to it, and it leaves you being less than.

Sitting on your awesome takes away any measure of personal power you might have.

I read recently about the idea of productive humility, an idea from Matt Ridings that he describes as the “difference between the quest for significance and that of selfish ambition; the difference between personal significance and pride; the difference between self-abasement and realistic self-assessment and the difference between confidence and arrogance”.

It’s an idea that fits perfectly with the way I approach building confidence; it has nothing to do with being arrogant, being something you’re not, or pretending to be confident.  It has everything to do with honoring what matters to you in a way that’s congruent with your values.

That’s where your power is.  That’s where your awesome is.

I’m with Matt.  Feel free to sit on your stapler, just don’t sit on your awesome.

Feb 04

give up go homeYou ever feel like giving up?

Because I sure as hell do.

It’s tough, the last few weeks in particular.  Dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, muscle ache, fatigue, heart palpitations, headache, screwed digestion.  My eyeballs have been aching so much that the only thing I can do is close my eyes and hope it stops.  Walking to the shops for groceries has left my legs like jelly and my body exhausted.  There have been times when my brain has been so foggy I couldn’t pull a single, discreet thought from it.

And managing this is down to me.  Nobody else can notice what’s happening and make decisions in an effort to ease things.  That’s the thing with illness – at some point it comes down to just one person.

Luckily the symptoms are on the downward curve now, so I’m back up to speed and getting things done, which feels brilliant. Just in time to start another freelance contract as a Producer, which, while fun, takes a lot outa me.

I know.  I’m whining.  I really hate whining.  I hear myself whine and I wanna give myself a slap and a good shake.  I know I have things pretty damn good and that there are people who really are having an incredibly tough time out there.  Like, impossibly tough.

But over the holidays I thought seriously about giving up.  Stopping the blog.  Stopping the writing.  Stopping the coaching.

It’s tempting, it really is.  Using the time to relax, to meditate, to sleep in, to do…what?

And that’s the thing.  While it would make things easier in the short term, it would make things a lot duller too.  Here’s what I told myself:

I am not the circumstances I find myself in.

The story I tell myself about what’s happening is up to me.

I can always have things be easier if I choose to.

I choose what matters over what’s easy.

I won’t give up on what matters.

So instead of giving up I’m working on something BIG.  Something that has me so excited that I’d be jumping up and down if I thought I could do so without getting dizzy and crashing through my coffee table.  It’s gonna take a little while to pull it together and get it out to you, so don’t hold your breath just yet, but it will be free and it will be brilliant (if I do say so myself).

The End of the Road for Truly Confident Living

What I’m working on will sound a bit of a shift around here.  I’ll still be talking about confidence because I fiercely believe that’s the key to opening all the doors in your life, but what I’m working on will seriously upgrade the way I do things currently.

For that reason, the Truly Confident Living Course that’s been on sale here for the last 3 years will be coming down.

From Friday February 4th I’ll reduce the price of the course from $127 to just $64 – and at midnight EST on Friday February 11th, I take it down for good.  No more.  Gone.  Forever. See ya.

That’s the full course that gives you everything you need to stop second-guessing, stop doubting and stop holding back.  The full course that shows you how to be the boss of your fears, to value and trust yourself implicitly and how to make the bold choices that take you towards the stuff that really matters to you.  There’s heaps of great stuff here that I’m really proud of – at a price that’s frankly stupid.

And after midnight EST on February 11th, it goes bye-bye.

If you don’t want to miss out, click here to get your copy.

Nov 16

Come closer, you’ll see me: the face that is used to telling liesI have a pretty big toolbox.

Yep, that’s right, you heard me.

Make up your own dirty joke if you want to, but I’m not referring to my Abbot & Costello’s, I’m referring to my coaching toolbox.  That’s not to say that my crown jewels aren’t impressive.  Underused yes, but impressive nevertheless.

Moving swiftly on (not sure how we wound up there), I was recently swamped with emails taking me up on a free offer I made in my newsletter (sign up here if you’re not on the priority list already) and pulled one of my favourite exercises from out of the toolbox a heap of times.  It’s one of my favourite exercises because it cuts right through the crap and gives you a way of seeing things that gives you a burst of clarity and purpose.  It’s very cool, and it goes something like this.

Imagine you’re at home, and you have a visitor coming over for a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of something nice.  This is a very special visitor indeed, perhaps the most important visitor you’ve ever had.  It’s you.  Not the you as you are today, but you at some point in the future; you at your very, very best.  This version of you has got their shit sorted out, they’re naturally confident, they have a vitality about them; a vibrancy; a grace.

This version of you has gone through what you’re going through and things don’t bother, scare or worry them like they do now.  They’ve learned many lessons and have found the answers to some of your biggest questions.  They’re successful in every sense of the word, and they’re still playing the game in the ways that work for them. And before you know it they’ll be in your house.  Holy cow.

If you have a window in the right place you take a peek out front, and see them walking up to your front door.  You notice how they move with a sense of ease, everything moving comfortably and congruently.

Knock, knock.  They’re here.  Part of you is excited about this visit, another part of you is shit-scared; it’s not every day you meet a future version of you who’s nailed all the important stuff.  But, nervous and excited, you open the front door.

Damn you look good.  And boy can you wear clothes.  Future-you smiles warmly, their eyes shine and you invite them in.

You fix yourself and yourself a drink (whatever’s your favourite), and take a seat.  Future-you takes a seat next to you and thanks you for making their favourite drink.  They take sip, and beam.

Thank you for inviting me over,” they say.  “I’m sure you want to know why I’m here..”

You nod.

I’m here because there’s something I really want to tell you.  Something I know will help; something I want you to know.

What it is they want to tell you?  Write down how this conversation between the two of you continues, and be honest with yourself (after all, you’ll know if you’re lying to yourself).

Nov 10

TändstickaAre you the type of person who has an idea and gets right to it, or do you need to see that it’s possible by watching someone else do it first?

What’s your catalyst for action – is possibility alone enough to get you moving, or do you need to get a handle on probability too?

I’m all for starting something because of the possibility of something amazing happening, but it might surprise you to hear that I also espouse the route of establishing probability first.

An example.  You’re at 35,000 feet in an aeroplane and suddenly you feel the urge to experience the exhilaration of freefall first hand.  You want to feel the blood thumping in your ears and your heart pounding in your chest, so taken by the moment you leap out of your seat, open the door and – AAAAARGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!! – out you go.

Shit, you think as the clouds roar past you.  Maybe I should have organized a parachute.  Or at least a very large bouncy castle.

The possibility of a miraculous survival exists, but it’s probable that you’ll soon become a pancake. Okay, an extreme example, but how about these?

Would you have been the first to run the sub-four-minute mile, or would you want to see Roger Bannister do it first?

Would you have been the first to stand up against racial segregation and discrimination or would you want to see Martin Luther King do it first?

Would you want to campaign against obesity and diet-related disease or would you want to see Jamie Oliver do it first?

The world needs more people who are willing to take a chance and put a dent in the universe simply because it matters, but not everyone can be the first.  I don’t see anything wrong with seeing someone else do something amazing and saying to yourself, “Wow, I can do that too”.

Here are a few guidelines:

  1. A solid plan based on the probability of a favourable outcome is a good thing, but an idea based on possibility is always more powerful.
  2. If you’re more inclined to follow, i.e. you prefer to see evidence before acting, don’t wait forever.  You’ll die in the process.
  3. Don’t think that not being the first diminishes what you’re doing.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not first, what matters is getting involved.
  4. There are times for spontaneity and times for caution.  The mechanism for choosing between the two is simple – authenticity.
  5. The order is critically important.  Don’t start with the boundaries of probability and then look for what’s possible within that.  Start with possibility, then look to increase the probability.

So what’s your catalyst, possibility or probability?

Sep 29

Aveugle, [EXPLORED]Fear of success is the new black.  It’s getting a lot of attention recently and as something that my clients butt up against frequently I wanted to offer my thoughts on how, if this is something that’s holding you back, you can beat it for good.

Let’s kick this off by looking at 3 places that the fear of success stems from.

You’ll lose what you have right now
This part of the fear is about how success will take you away from what you have today.  For you, that might be a steady job.  It could be a comfortable lifestyle.  Perhaps you’ve got a great balance between work and play.  Or maybe it’s simply a sense of having something solid and known under your feet.

Undertaking any task in life means that you’re losing out somewhere else. Things change, and the fear of losing the familiarity of something that you have right now is very real.

You won’t live up to the success
Once you get there, once success happens for you, how long will it take before people realize it was just a happy accident?  How can you possibly live up to the level of expectation that people have of you, and just what the hell do you do now?

Whether it’s the result of an accident or hard work, the fear that you can’t deliver on that success is like running for President but being terrified of the Oval Office.  Or like rehearsing for a lead role in a huge West End show only to refuse to go on stage when the curtain opens.  Or like training hard to be an astronaut because it was your childhood dream, only to scream that you’re scared of heights and sobbing that they stop the launch procedure.  You get the idea.

Becoming successful suddenly places a demand on you to keep it going and perform consistently – who would want that level of pressure and responsibility?

You’ll screw it all up
Even if you become successful with what you’re working on, you know it won’t last and that you’ll inevitably drop the ball and screw it up.  You can’t sustain success forever, and not only do you run the risk of looking silly, but the pain of losing what you worked hard to build is just heart-breaking.

What might happen…

Notice what all of these fears have in common?  They’re all assumptions about a possible future.  Other things that might happen in the future include (but certainly isn’t limited to):

  • the discovery of Atlantis and a whole new race of fish-people
  • David Letterman and Slash from Guns n Roses getting married in a Scottish castle and adopting Richard Simmons
  • God appearing drunk, live on Oprah
  • the Internet becoming sentient and taking a sabbatical in Thailand to get away from the crowds, then dropping out and starting a folk duo with Joaquin Phoenix.

Personally, I’m still eagerly awaiting the hover-board.

Those things might happen, but have you stopped eating fish and bought your personal submarine yet?  Have you booked that little B&B in the Highlands?  Have you set your Tivo so you don’t miss God on Oprah?  Or have you dug out that fax machine because it’s only a matter of time before the Internet packs its bag and fucks off?

No.  You haven’t (at least, I hope you haven’t).  And nor should you base your decisions and consequent behaviour on your assumptions about the potential impact of a success event.

I’m being flippant, but the point is that while your fears are real they don’t need to determine your future.  What will determine your future is limiting your choices based on what might happen.

You are not “no good”.  You are not “not good enough”.  You are not “not up to the challenge”.

Beat your fears of success by recognizing what’s real and what isn’t.  What might happen is not real.  What you’re doing right now is real.  What matters to you is real.  What you’re capable of is real.

Your next decision is real, don’t waste it.

Jul 29

You feeling lucky?I’ve heard that I’m more likely to have a satellite fall from space and land on my house than I am to win the lottery.  That’s why I don’t but a ticket, because if I was to win the lottery at those extreme odds then a satellite would be sure to fall from space and land on my house.

That’s not the kind of luck I need, thank you very much.

But aside from the lottery, luck has a larger role to play in our lives than we might think.  Luck is traditionally seen as some kind of magical force that operates for good or ill in a person’s life, shaping circumstances and events and smiling favourably on those “lucky enough”.

Some people carry around a rabbit’s foot for good luck.  Other people have little rituals they follow in the pursuit of being lucky, while others perform rituals to avoid being unlucky (when a black cat crosses your path, when you spill salt, break a mirror, see a lone magpie or when you forget to call it “The Scottish Play” for example).

We’ve all known people who “got lucky”, and we’ve all known people who were down on their luck.  I’ve had my own fair share of good and bad luck.  I flew around the world first class in my old career.  I’ve met and stayed in touch with some amazing people who I met at random.  When debt threatened to bankrupt me I somehow found myself in the position of being a sought-after freelance producer in leading ad agencies.  I have an incurable debilitating illness.  I suffered from depression when I was made redundant in 2001.  I was rejected by a woman I loved.

Some good luck, some bad luck.

That’s how it goes, and these traditions and memes are woven into our lives without us ever really thinking about what it means.  But the word has come up a few times in my life recently, so I opened it up to see what was inside.

They say that luck is about being in the right place at the right time, and if that’s true then surely the trick is to spot where the right place might be and to get there in good time.  Makes sense, right?

The trick to luck then, is opportunity.

So it follows that you’ll never be lucky if you sidestep the right place or the right time; you’ll never be lucky if you second guess yourself, dilly-dally, get diverted or change your mind on the way.  Luck is about being mindful enough to notice opportunity when it comes along and then being willing to step into it.

This could be a deliberate choice or it could be a subtle nudge from your intuition – but regardless of whether it’s conscious or sub-conscious, it requires trust.  Being lucky requires that you trust yourself to take a step forwards, to trust your gut and to trust yourself to deal with whatever might happen.

Moving to Amsterdam this summer could have been one of those right times and right places.  Turns out that it probably isn’t, but I had to go and see for myself, and I know it will lead to something else that just might be extraordinary.

Luck is trusting yourself to step into what just might be the right place and the right time.

Those people who always seem to land on their feet and always seem to get lucky?  Those are the people who have developed a way of thinking that encourages self-trust.  Those are the people who have wired luck into their brains.

You can do that too.  You can be the luckiest person alive.  It just takes confidence.