Sunday, 22 April 2012

How's your self confidence?

How's your self confidence? I bet it's not as robust as this guy's. You see we all live with self doubt. In fact a friend recently said; 'Robert, it's your self doubt and depression that makes you so good at what you do.'

And my self doubt is actually little more than a nervous edge that ensures I take nothing for granted. Working with a group last week, I had the very affirming opportunity to see how people respond to me. Once the penny drops they open up, reveal their challenges and we can start to explore solutions.

Large audiences are different. You see someone sharing a private joke at the back of the room and assume they're laughing at you. We all do that. I think it's what makes us work an audience and in my case, tailor each presentation to the group I'm talking to. And when the joke is shared later, you realise it wasn't about you at all. So why do we let self doubt screw us up?

How does the guy in the picture manage? Even the Prime Minister is saying nasty things about him. There's a massive campaign to get him out of the UK. His self confidence must be in tatters. Or is it?

My guess is that his commitment to his cause has over-ridden the basic human need to be liked. Being hated has somehow strengthened his resolve and so the more he is reviled, the more successful he feels. I'm sure it's a recognised psychological phenomenon.

So how can we get some of his self confidence, without becoming evil? I wonder if it's actually about having a personal mission. Something you really want to change in the world. Something that takes you above the day to day stuff that you can hold on to when the going gets tough.

Inevitably that mission will involve helping others. Not perhaps to 'martydom' but a more fulfilling life. Is mission the magic that can boost self confidence? Discuss!