The Confidence Guy

Wired into Truly Confident Living

Feb 10

I have a lot of time for good people, and so I leapt at the chance when Kade Dworkin asked me to be part of his brilliant Meet My Followers series of interviews.

We’ve been chatting over the last 2 or 3 years and he’s a really smart cookie.  The interview’s below, so have a listen and let me know what you think in the comments.

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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.

Jan 30

How Andy Murray Can Get Back up and WinSo Novak Djokovic just beat Andy Murray in straight sets to win the Australian Open for the second time, and ended Andy’s hopes of his first Grand Slam title.

Andy’s gonna be really pissed off.  I mean, really.

The tennis pundits are saying that Andy was out-played and that the tennis he played in the earlier games was streets ahead of the tennis he played in the final.  They’re saying that he’ll be devastated and will be beating himself up for missing out on this Grand Slam win.  Commenting on the quality of his earlier games and his undoubted skill in the game, they wondered if there’s a mental block that plays a role when he comes to a final; something in his head that gets in the way or makes him doubt himself.  I even heard the term “dark thoughts” mentioned a few times.

That’s perhaps a little dramatic, but it does make you wonder. Andy has lost twice before in the finals of the Australian Open, and Djokovic won the title back in 2008.  Before the match, Djokovic even commented that his previous win gave him a mental advantage.

There’s no doubt that the inner game plays a huge role, and it could be that the winner was decided before they even set foot on the court.  But how can Andy pull himself back up?  How can he get himself feeling confident and get back in the game without second-guessing his ability (and capability)?

If I was his confidence coach (and feel free to call me btw), here are a few ideas for how I’d work with him.

  • Be miserable.  Don’t think that you’re not allowed to be upset or to be down, you did lose after all.  It hurts like hell, but pushing those feelings into a box and sitting on the lid just leaves them untended and gives them more power.  You gotta go through to come out the other side, so go ahead, be down.
  • Look at the facts.  You got into a Grand Slam final by playing some bloody awesome tennis.  You’re in the top 5 players in the world.  Go ahead and watch the match back to see how you could have done things differently.  Look for the traps you fell into, look for the moments when you stepped out of playing your best tennis.  Look at the facts, equally, honestly and in open-hearted, non-judgemental acknowledgement.
  • Remember.  Don’t forget why you’re in the game.  You’re here because you get so much from playing.  You’re here because it matters to you.  You’re here because this is how you put your dent in the universe.  Reaffirm your reasons for being in the game, then you’re ready to play.
  • Don’t let what you haven’t done influence what you can do.  So you haven’t won yet.  That’s okay.  In no way does that fact mean that you can’t win.  You didn’t walk until you started walking, and did the simple fact that at one time you couldn’t walk preclude you from walking?  Of course not – break that connection and crack open the possibilities.
  • Rewrite the playbook. Your playbook contains all the strategies that will make you a great player, strategies to counter any obstacles and measurable objectives to track your progress.  Don’t keep on doing things simply because that’s how you’ve been doing them up ‘til now – given everything you’ve learned, be willing to scrap any strategies that aren’t working and put in place new strategies that will work better.
  • Play the next game like it’s the first.  Carry baggage from one game over to the next and you’re encumbered before you’ve even started, so approach each game with a sense of lightness, grace, congruity and even playfulness.  Clear away the clutter in your head, let go of the stuff that weighs you down and play your best game right now, simply because you can.

So how about you?  How do you get back up after you’ve lost?

Jan 25

Make one wrong move and you’re out on your ear.  Screw up that new project, deliver that piece of work late or find yourself in the middle of a complex problem that you just can’t solve, and your boss will be straight on the phone to HR and asking IT to delete your account.

And that’s just if you have a job in the first place.  If you’re currently interviewing, you gotta leave that interview room having instilled your prospective employer with confidence that you’re right for the job.  Fail to do that and you won’t get the call back.

So how do you fill an employer with confidence?

I define confidence as being able to trust your behaviour with implicit trust in that behaviour.  It’s one thing to do that for yourself (and if you’re not confident in yourself can you really expect someone else to be?) but it’s another deal entirely when someone else needs to have implicit trust in your behaviour.

What Doesn’t Instil Confidence

Let’s take a minute to look at some of the things you could do that would not instill confidence in an employer (current or prospective).

  • Habitually turning up late and never showing you give a damn.
  • Always sidestepping problems or giving problematic tasks to others, just because they’re too difficult.
  • Blaming someone else when the shit hits the fan, and not getting involved in finding a solution.
  • Only spending time on the cool stuff, and either forgetting about or quickly slapping together the rest.
  • Missing meetings because you forgot or just couldn’t be bothered.
  • Not giving a damn when someone in your team needs a hand with something.
  • Never sticking around when the team need to dig deep to get something done.
  • Going through the motions and just calling it in; never noticing quality or opportunity.

Lunchtime at work

Believe it or not, but there are people out there who are like this.  Yeah, what an asshole.  Not you of course, I know you can kick ass and I know you’re bloody good at what you do.  When you’re in there, doing it, firing on all cylinders, doing great work and getting great stuff done, there’s nobody quite like you.

And that’s what instills trust – a willingness to engage with the work and a willingness to engage with your own capability.

Demonstrate those 2 things (and use examples if you’re interviewing) and you’ll inspire trust and confidence in even the most beleaguered employer.

A Note for Employers

Same goes for you.  If you’re not doing these things then your employees won’t have any confidence in your ability to lead, manage or even run a bath.

Engage.

Jan 18

Have a butchers at this:

Fan-flippin-tastic isn’t it?

Makes me smile right along with him every single time, just because the little guy is having so much damn fun.  Amazing.

But look around him.

None of his penguin friends are joining in.  His peers are standing around staring, wondering just what the hell he’s doing.  I know for a fact that one of the spectators (the one on the right) is thinking he’s an attention-grabbing freak, and another one (the shifty looking one at the bottom left) is hoping he’ll trip and fall into the icy water.

But does our penguin friend stop?  Does he slow down, become self-conscious and join his peers?

Not a bit of it.  Our little friend oozes natural confidence from his flippers, and he knows 2 things:

  1. He’s having the time of his life, and knows that it’s his choice to experience happiness right now.
  2. He’s getting too much value from playing to let the thoughts, judgements or expectations of those around him take him out of what he’s doing.

He loves it too much to give it up.

So where are you letting others slow you down?  Where are you holding yourself back because you don’t wanna look silly, rock the boat or trip up in front of your peers?

Jan 12

FlyingTwo of the best times I’ve had in life recently have been when I gave up needing to control what was happening.

The first was a party in London that my good friend Claire took me along to.  An old friend of hers was over from the USA, so we headed to a very swish apartment that overlooked Harrods, with a throng of people I’d never met before.  Those of you who know me will know that I was in my element – laughing, schmoozing, charming and fizzing.  I loved it.

At 10:30pm I knew that the last train out of London was soon departing, and when I said to Claire that we needed to go she look all sad and asked if we could stay.  Normally this wouldn’t even be something I’d entertain – we were 40 miles from home, neither of us had brought as much as a toothbrush and I’m no fan of sleeping on floors.

But I said okay, let’s stay.

The next morning I’d managed to sleep upright in a chair for 3 hours, my mouth felt furry and I had a headache that could have beat the Grand Canyon in a “things that are big and splitty” competition.

But I’d had a ball.

The second time was a meal when I finished up a contract after putting on Rihanna Live.  I was really sick with CFS (I mean really sick) and would normally have got the train straight home to bed, but something about the occasion made me say “Yes” when my friends Colin and Shi repeatedly asked me to head out with them.

We’d been through the trenches together, and it felt only proper to mark the occasion.

So we went for some amazing sushi, had some great sake, told stories and had a ball.  It was a special night for me, and the first time I’d said yes to these folks.  It was the first time I relegated my health in favour of what could happen, and it was the perfect decision.

On both occasions I deliberately put aside logic and my desire to be in control.  On both occasions something wonderful happened.

Cause and effect.

Sometimes I can be as flexible as a mahogany wardrobe, I know this.  So the memory of these 2 occasions is an important reminder for me as I head into 2011.

If you keep hold of the need to be in control you’re fooling yourself – that control doesn’t exist.  All you’re doing is limiting your options, limiting the richness of your experience and leaning back from life.

Trust yourself to give up control, and lean towards life.

Jan 05

You Can’t Fix 2010

Fear & doubtComments Off on You Can’t Fix 2010

B&W HammerIf the start of your year has largely involved picking over the remains of 2010, you’d better stop soon or it’ll be 2012 before you know it.

2010 is done. Over with. Finished. Completely finished over done with.

Short of picking up an old DeLorean and building a flux capacitor out of your Christmas lights and turkey carcass, there’s nothing you can do about it.  Feel free to review the year and look at what you can learn or do differently in 2011, but if you’re keeping those details close to you in the hope that you can understand or fix what didn’t’ go to plan, you couldn’t be heading down a wronger road.

It can be reassuring to keep the detail and drama of the past closeby.  It’s familiar and known.  It reminds you of what a tough year you had and how hard done by you were.

But it’s all false.

It’s just your brain trying to make things right by reinforcing what it knows and establishing itself as “right”, even if it hurts you.  Clutching those things close to you will keep you focused on the things you can’t change, and it ensures you don’t risk making mistakes again (what a clever old brain).

But your 2011 depends on you getting out there and making mistakesIt needs you to make mistakes.  That’s the confident thing to do.

So ask yourself what you’d love to be saying to yourself on December 31st 2011 about the year you’ve just had.

Let go of what your clutching close, and open yourself up to what your 2011 could be.

PS: If you haven’t got your free “No-Goal Guide to an Extraordinary 2011” yet, click here for your copy.

Comments Off on You Can’t Fix 2010
Jan 01

No Goals HereHappy New Year to ya.

Now that 2011’s here (and just where is my household cleaning robot and hoverboard by the way?) and judging by the volume of articles and tweets I’ve seen, it’s that time time of year when you might be thinking about setting resolutions and goals.

Stop right there!  Put the goal down and slowly step away.  I don’t want any trouble.  That’s it, easy does it now.

See, I haven’t hidden the fact that I’m not a fan of goals or resolutions.  Much of the conventional wisdom about goals just isn’t true, and slowly I think other people are seeing the problems with resolutions and goals and are coming to the same conclusion.

So this year I’m giving you an alternative and a great way to kick things off – a way to an extraordinary 2011 without using goals.  And I’m giving it to you at no cost.

I might get strung up by other coaches for this, but you don’t get something extraordinary by working towards something fuzzy at some point in the future that you think you might want.  You get something extraordinary by getting in the game right now, today, and having that contribute towards something that matters to you.

The link below gives you this approach in a short PDF – just click it to open it up or right click it to save it to your computer.  There are also links in there which will give you more detail on some of the topics if you want to dig a little deeper.

Click here for your free copy of “The No-Goal Guide to an Extraordinary 2011”

Let me know in the comments how you get on – it would be awesome to hear what your 2011 is all about.

Dec 21

Was 2010 extraordinary?In the ocean of end-of-year wrap-up posts and articles telling you how to do your own end of year audit, I’m going to share something a little different; something that might change the way you look back at your 2010, and forwards to your 2011.

See, there’s just one vital ingredient before you can learn or achieve anything.

Uncertainty.

We typically like to stay clear of uncertainty, because we don’t trust it.  It’s like opening your front door and shouting, “Free accommodation and food for all – come on in, pull up some floor!”

You might get a troupe of ballerinas.  You might get a hobo and a trombonist.  You might get the world’s tallest man and Liza Minnelli. (Whoever you get, it’s gonna give you one hell of a story.)

It seems as crazy as a box of frogs, but think about it – if there’s no uncertainty in your life then what replaces it is certainty.  What you have is the known, the quantifiable, the predictable.  Certainty is exactly the sum of its parts, nothing more.

In other words, certainty equals ordinary. How damn boring is that?

On the other hand, uncertainty provides you with:

  1. The potential for something unexpected to happen.  This could be good or bad; it could take you 2 steps back or rocket you forwards; it could screw up like you feared or could go better than you dared hope.  There’s only one way to find out.
  2. An opportunity to test yourself.  It’s only by stepping into the unknown that you get to see what you can really do.
  3. A sure-fire way to grow.  Whatever comes from uncertainty will be something you can learn from and build on.  Every uncertain experience makes you better at life.

Uncertainty fuels the extraordinary.

A line from the TV show Ally McBeal sticks in my head. “If you can look back on your year and say that you’ve either laughed or cried, it’s been a year well spent.”

So if your 2010 wasn’t as compelling or extraordinary as you would have liked, then it’s a safe bet that there wasn’t enough uncertainty.  For your 2011 to be truly extraordinary, there’s only one way to go.

Say hello to uncertainty, say hello to extraordinary.

Coaching rates for 2011

I wanted to let you know that my coaching rates will be going up from January 3rd 2011.  They’ve stayed at the same level for the last 3 years, and so you have until January 3rd to pick up confidence building packages or individual sessions at the current rate.

That doesn’t give you long, so head over to the coaching page and you can pick up your sessions right there.  You can also drop me a line if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, and I’ll get right back to you. Either way, I’m looking forward to helping your 2011 be extraordinary.

Dec 16

hold onWhat happens when you’re up against life?  What happens when you’re tired with feeling lost or confused?  What happens when all you want is a break; for something to just go right?

You hold on.

Help is a strange beast.  You can never predict how it arrives, but it always does.  It might take the shape of a friend, a partner or family member.  It might be something you read, something you hear or something you see that makes a difference.  Or sometimes help comes in the shape of a new insight, a fresh perspective, the passing of time itself or perhaps by helping someone else.

Help can arrive in a flourish with a jazz-hands finish, or it can be so gentle you might not even notice it.

I know that a lot of people find it especially hard at this time of year, and I saw the tiniest glimpse of this back in mid-November when I offered something of an open surgery to my newsletter subscribers.  I invited them to email me with whatever they were struggling with and needed help with, and I had well over a hundred emails.  Each one emotive and many of them raw.

There are people you know who are having a tough time, right now.

You know, I really do believe in Christmas.  I love those soppy made-for-TV movies where the Dad in a family is some hot-shot lawyer who insists on working Christmas and neglects his wife and kid, only for Mickey Rooney to show up in a Santa suit to show him the error of his ways.  Or the one where the woman’s husband died some years earlier and she hasn’t dated since, only for a new, quirky love interest to show up and show her that Christmas and love are all about faith.

Confidence and Christmas have one thing in common – trust.  I trust that Christmas is the one time of the year when people smile a little easier.  I trust myself to use the best I’ve got to get through whatever life has in store.  I trust that help will be there if you hold on just one second longer.

I don’t have a religious bone in my body, I don’t have all the answers, I’m certainly no guru and I’m not doing this for my ego, I just happen to believe that people do amazing things.

Could You Use a Little Help?

So I’m opening up the comments for you to share what you’re struggling with.  Put finger to keyboard and write down where you’re stuck, where you’re scared or where you’re hoping to find some help (use a pseudonym if it makes it easier).

I’ll add my own thoughts for how you can use the best of what you’ve got to shift things, but more importantly I want you to add your thoughts, suggestions and insights too. Yes, you.  One rule though – this isn’t a place to “should” people around.  Listen and offer your opinions and insights, but don’t judge.

As an extra stocking-filler, I’ll give one person who comments a set of three 30 minute coaching sessions with me where we can work together on getting you going and feeling naturally confident (I’ll notify the winner on January 1st 2011).

This is something of an experiment that will only work if as many people get involved as possible, so tweet, share and stumble this post as much as you’re happy to.

The door’s open.