How to build self-confidence

Right now I’m reading, Body For Life by Bill Phillips. While discussing some ideas for staying on track with your diet and exercise plan, he makes a point that has huge implications for all areas of life. Check this out…

“The very essence of confidence is self-trust. Would you trust anyone who repeatedly lied to you? Someone who broke the rules of the game, again and again? Of course you wouldn’t. So, if you’ve developed a pattern of not honoring self-promises, this is a great time to make a change. If you can’t honor, trust, and depend on your own word, well… that may be the root of a lot of the challenges in your life – a lot more than you realize.”

Here’s an idea…

Make a commitment to yourself… set a small goal… now do it… achieve it. Keep your promise to yourself. Start small. Get some small wins under your belt. Begin to taste the sweetness of “mission accomplished.” Then set a bigger goal. In time the joy of keeping your word to yourself and learning to trust yourself will take you to a place you never dreamed you would be! And there you will experience the truth of this statement… “The truth will set you free!”

Simple answers are often the truest answers

Steven F. Hayward in his book, “The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order” writes…

“The greatest shock about Reagan was that he meant what he said. His ‘simplicity’ was his chief virtue, and the key to his success. No one in Establishment politics could quite believe Reagan when he repeatedly said in various forms,

“I say there are simple answers to many of our problems – simple but hard.” “It’s the complicated answer that’s easy because it avoids facing the hard moral issue.”

I LOVE this!

I find that it’s often true that the longer we talk the more the more likely we are rationalizing and compromising.

The truth is often simple… yet often hard.

The answer to most problems becomes obvious to those who will work through the clutter of emotion, the sway of public opinion, and the desire for self-preservation.

Go for it!

I’m reading Arnold Schwarzenneger’s “The New Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding“.

In addition being packed to the brim with great reading on the history of the sport, exercise plans, nutritional insights, etc. it has some great insight into the mental process that goes into getting in shape, and even preparing for a show.

He wrote something that I haven’t been able to let go of… something that has much broader application than just the exercise arena.

Ready? Here it is…

“The satisfaction and confidence that come from stepping over your supposed limit is enormous, but it never come to those who fear to test their limits.”

Oh man is that ever true!!!

The biggest wins, the highest highs, the best memories, and the most lasting lessons typically follow that moment of fear that takes your breath away… but then you jump anyhow!

So why not look your fear in the eye… and jump! Go for it! The reward that lies on the other side of fear is amazing!

See you on the other side!

Imitation = the beginning but that’s it…

Right now I’m reading Slash’s self-titled autobiography, Slash.

By all accounts this is a different type of book than I’m used to reading but it is an enlightening one nevertheless.

He tells the story of how he first heard Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle.” He fell in love with their style and, determined to learn how to play like that, he “stole the cassette and an Aerosmith songbook and replayed the song until I knew the riffs.” He wasn’t completely satisfied with the sound though. He says, “I could tell that the notes in the songbook were not the same as those being played on the record.”

After ditching the songbook and learning to play the guitar “by ear” he made an observation that has far reaching implications…

In the process of learning every lick of “Back in the Saddle,” I realized just how idiosyncratic Joe’s and Brad’s playing is, and how no one can ever really play like anyone but themselves.

Imitation should remain a stepping stone for a player to find his or her own voice, but it must never becomes his or her voice: no one should imitate their heroes to the point of note for note mimicry. Guitar is too personal of an expression for that; it should be exactly what it is – a singular expression of the player.”

Gosh! What a great point here Slash! Imitation is a great place to start but a terrible place to end! If the best you can do is imitate your hero then the world is robbed of an original! Imitation may be, and often is, the first step in a journey of the evolution of you, but don’t let it be the destination!

Imitate… Innovate… Initiate… and THEN we’ll be talking about you!

Hey, a while back I wrote a blog post with some similar content that you might find helpful in thinking further about this subject. Check it out here.

Don’t let failure stop you… again

A couple of days ago I purchased and started reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs on my Kindle Touch (which I am LOVING!).

I just read something that took my breath away… a story how the fear of failing again robbed Rob Wayne of $2.6 billion and incredible prestige!

Wayne was a friend who proved helpful in persuading Job’s partner and lead computer designer Steve Wozniak to leave HP and bring his designs with him to the newly formed Apple Corporation.

There was a meeting in which a partnership agreement was written up between the three of them, and that’s where we pick up the story…

…the division of shares and profits was clear—45%-45%-10%—and it was stipulated that any expenditures of more than $100 would require agreement of at least two of the partners. Also, the responsibilities were spelled out. “Wozniak shall assume both general and major responsibility for the conduct of Electrical Engineering; Jobs shall assume general responsibility for Electrical Engineering and Marketing, and Wayne shall assume major responsibility for Mechanical Engineering and Documentation.” Jobs signed in lowercase script, Wozniak in careful cursive, and Wayne in an illegible squiggle.

Wayne then got cold feet. As Jobs started planning to borrow and spend more money, he recalled the failure of his own company. He didn’t want to go through that again. Jobs and Wozniak had no personal assets, but Wayne (who worried about a global financial Armageddon) kept gold coins hidden in his mattress. Because they had structured Apple as a simple partnership rather than a corporation, the partners would be personally liable for the debts, and Wayne was afraid potential creditors would go after him. So he returned to the Santa Clara County office just eleven days later with a “statement of withdrawal” and an amendment to the partnership agreement.

“By virtue of a re-assessment of understandings by and between all parties,” it began, “Wayne shall hereinafter cease to function in the status of ‘Partner.’” It noted that in payment for his 10% of the company, he received $800, and shortly afterward $1,500 more. Had he stayed on and kept his 10% stake, at the end of 2010 it would have been worth approximately $2.6 billion. Instead he was then living alone in a small home in Pahrump, Nevada, where he played the penny slot machines and lived off his social security check. He later claimed he had no regrets. “I made the best decision for me at the time. Both of them were real whirlwinds, and I knew my stomach and it wasn’t ready for such a ride.”

He could have had $2.6 billion. Instead he lives alone in a small home in Nevada playing slot machines and living off of a social security check!

Why?

Because he was scared to fail again.

Please! Listen! If you’ve failed once… failed big… be careful that you don’t allow your fear of failing again to keep you from the biggest breakthrough of your life!