I was on a podcast recently and the host asked me about confidence. He was referring to basketball — how I’d barely played in high school, but then became a walk-on starter my freshman year in college — and wondered what changed for me mentally from high school to college.
I shared something with him that contains an important insight.
Over four years of high school, I (along with every other student who comes to school every day) developed a certain reputation.
Some students are quiet and say little.
Some are popular and everyone follows their lead.
You have your class clowns, and do-good straight-A students.
There are athletes who are known for their sport skills.
The dropouts and classroom failures who make it look cool.
(Fill in the blank with the other groups of kids in your schools).
I wanted to be in the “athlete” group, but all my attempts to join that group (via making the basketball team) failed 75% of the time (my first 3 years of high school). The one time I’d succeeded, I still failed: I was a senior, presumably one of the most important players on a high school sports team, and I barely played.
Over that four years of high school, that’s who I was to classmates: the wannabe athlete who’d failed at it.
While I had my own (vague) ideas, visions and plans for my future at the time, I was still a kid who barely knew who I was yet, like most students that age. I was aware of my reputation with other students, though (at least the part of the reputation that mattered most to me), and it was hard for me to see myself as anything other than what everyone else did: that failed athlete who couldn’t even make the team.
When I arrived at college, though, I arrived with no baggage.
No one at my freshman year college (I transferred after that year) knew me. I had no reputation — better stated, I had a blank slate to write on.
Nobody knew about my not making the team in high school, nor did they care. Everyone on campus was more concerned with how everyone was looking at THEM than they had time to focus hard on anyone else.
So, when I stepped on the court in college preseason pickup games and dominated, I was accepted at face value: a damn good player that the incumbent players would be happy to have as a teammate.
I was the same player as the year before (well, I’d gotten at least a little bit better over the summer). But now this fresh start allowed me to create a new identity. To the people around me in college, this “new identity” was their first impression.
I ran with it.
I saw myself differently now, and my confidence grew. Knowing that others accepted this “new” me, I became even more confident with it.
I took it from there, on and off the court. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Confidence — or a lack of confidence — is a self-fulfilling energy. When you feel confident, you will be supplied with more and more reasons to feel confident. When you lack confidence, you will be given more reasons to not feel confident.
You start by tapping into a new you, with a blank slate. And you don’t have to enroll in college to use this technique.
1) Your past does not equal your future. Yesterday ended last night. What happened then has nothing to do with what’s happening now. The only one still holding onto the past is YOU.
You’ll never move forward while looking backwards.
2) Borrow the energy you need. Who’s a person who has the posture, belief and energy that you want to have? How would that person approach their work tomorrow? How would they walk? How would they talk? How are they sitting in their chair right now?
3) Remember: Nobody is focused on you. Meaning, they’re not wondering about who you were three years ago or why you’re so confident now despite the failures of your past. We take people at face value and generally believe what people show us until or unless they give us a good reason to question their presentation.
What that means: the biggest threat to the New You is your own lack of belief in yourself and your ability to make it real.
This is not “fake it ‘til you make it.” I did a TEDxTalk destroying that concept once and for all. This is about changing what you see in the mirror.
When that changes, everything changes for you.
By the way, if you haven’t yet read The Mirror Of Motivation, that’s probably because you didn’t know that we’ll send to you free when you just cover the shipping for the book.
With this book, you’ll know how to change who you’re being — and how to make it permanent, which means your life will change from the inside-out.
Claim your free copy here: http://MirrorOfMotivation.com