TCK Publishing client Bede Draper was recently interviewed on The Conversations Show on Blog Talk Radio about his new book Self Confidence Without All the BS. You can listen to the interview here:
Excerpt from Bede Draper’s book Self Confidence Without All the BS:
Now the first thing we need to talk about is what self confidence is not. We need to do this because there is an awful amount of BS talked about when it comes to the subject of self confidence. We need to learn about what self confidence is and how to build it without the BS.
When I was younger, I thought self confidence was being able to bolster myself up so strongly, that nothing could strike me down. I wanted to appear as a confident person to myself and to others. This was because I didn’t feel confident and I wanted to do something about that feeling. Imagine me blowing up a balloon of ego inflation for my own satisfaction. For me, it was mainly for my own satisfaction because quite frankly, the social world of other people was a big mystery to me. I was not good at mixing with people and did not have a very good social sense, but I desperately wanted to blow my ego balloon so that I could at appear, at least in my own eyes, a good look.
When it came to others, I would make attempts to appear confident, smooth and without anxiety. Why did I do this? Well, I took a smooth social performance as self confidence. I might not have known what self confidence was but I saw others around me who appeared to have a lot of it and I wanted it. I was not seeking to discover what self confidence was because I thought I knew what is was. I thought that it was a feeling and an attitude that I had to maintain. What I wanted was to develop an unbreakable feeling of self confidence because when my feeling of self confidence took a hit, I would feel really bad.
How do you think that worked?
I wanted people to think I was alright, because if they thought I was alright, then I would have the feeling I was alright and then I could feel confident about myself. However, there was a big problem with this. Here I was using my meetings with other people to blow up my self confidence ego balloon. If they responded to what I was presenting, it felt very good. But here is the thing. Balloons are easily popped and the bigger they are, the louder they pop. So here I was, on one hand trying to get a feeling of being a confident person by presenting well but every time I did a presentation, I was at the same time risking the ego balloon I was blowing up. Every time it was popped, the feeling of self confidence was shattered. Then I would try to blow myself up again so I could once again feel self confident. So my efforts at becoming a confident person were ensuring that what I took to be self confidence would be shattered again and again. Did I know this was what was happening to me at the time? Of course not. I was just struggling to feel and act self confident, so that I could appear to myself and others a “self confident person”.
We sometimes believe the stupid idea that the basis of self confidence is positive thinking. Thoughts, like feelings, shift from being positive to negative all day long. If positive thoughts are the basis of self confidence then we are really in trouble because if this is self confidence, it will come and go, depending how positive or negative my thoughts are. I spent much time and effort trying to control the negative thoughts that came into my mind. It was futile and I have never managed to do it. I did not know then that it was possible to have self confidence in spite of negative psychological reactions.
To be cool is to be self confident and in this culture, this is highly valued and because of this, if we manage to appear in our own eyes and in the eyes of others a self confident person, we feel a great sense of ego satisfaction. However, because this self confidence is based on success or failure of our performance, it is an emotional roller coaster. Every time we succeed we feel self confident. Every time we fail, our self confidence goes out the door. We don’t know what we are missing here. We don’t know that there is enduring self confidence that we can have which remains with us in the presence of success as well as failure.
What we need is a real self confidence that remains with us, unshaken and undisturbed in the presence of disapproving people, difficult problems, negative thinking and negative emotional reactions. This would be a form of self confidence that would be truly helpful to us. This is what this whole book is about. We will not be learning how to build up a positive idea of ourselves, in order to be a self confident person.
Just so we can be clear. What we are saying is that most people don’t know what self confidence really is. They don’t know where to find it and therefore they are never in a position to develop it.
We are not knocking being successful in our activities. We need to learn how to function successfully, that is true, but to build our lives around trying to become an attractive idea of ourselves has nothing to do with learning how to live self confidently and successfully.
Grab your copy of Self Confidence Without All the BS here.