Have you ever wondered why you’re not as confident as you’d like.
I was reading an interview with the fantastic actor Matt Damon. One quote stuck out for me:
“Nothing gets given to you, and you have to struggle for everything, and I think those struggles really do define who you are, and it’s really important. I’ve seen parents try to remove those struggles from their kids’ lives, to the detriment of the kid, and it’s something I think about a lot. I can’t make it too easy for my kids because that doesn’t really equip them to handle the world when I’m not around”
We are going through a period of history where the name of the game is ease and simplicity:
Want your shopping done? Have it delivered to your home.
Don’t walk up those stairs! Use the elevator.
Have a credit card, have state money, have a loan.
Take this pill and your fat is reduced. Same with this milkshake.
All You Want In An Instant
10 years ago if I wanted to listen to an album I had to go to the music store, buy the CD and then go home and listen to it. Now, I can be listening to any album in history within 3 minutes.
In 2000 the average attention span was 12 seconds. In 2013 this reduced down to 8 seconds. To put that in perspective, research shows the attention span of a gold fish is 9 seconds. So on average you are more likely to hold the attention of a gold fish than the person in front of you.
Fear of Loss
Another human quirk to point out is, as Thinking Fast thinking slow author Daniel Kahneman, points out we fear losing $100 more than we hope in gaining $100. In short we are going to work harder to hold onto something than we are in gaining it.
Now place this in the context of increasing confidence, connecting with more people and getting what you want.
What do these 3 contexts have in common?
All require effort, all take time to get good at and all open you up to the possibility of failure (or loss).
But hang on if we take the points I mentioned before, does this mean our environment is set up to make it harder for us?
You bet your ass it does!
It takes effort (technology and living environments are evolving so we use as little effort as possible in living)
It takes time (our attention span is diminishing with each year that passes)
It opens us up to the potential of failure and loss (we are more motivated to prevent loss than we are to going for a gain that would open you up to failure)
With that in mind, I can not stress the importance of my next statement;
You have to rise above the behaviours, mindsets and habits you witness in everyday life from the majority of people around you.
They are risk averse, they avoid effort and they rarely stick at anything long enough to get good at anything.
Supreme confidence, Quality connections and meaningful conversations does not happen by accident.
Stop thinking it is going to magically appear with no effort, with no risk and without a period of time to practice.
For starters here are 3 measure you can put in place today:
– Disagree with someone and be forthright so you can find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Notice how you feel in that situation, BUT DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GET OUT OF THE SITUATION , sit in it for a period of time to show you can cope.
– Notice the language of someone you consider to be a pessimistic, ‘life victim’, complainer of life. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. Im not going to give you any pointers just notice the language they use.
– Do 1 act today you consider to be risky. Just a small act that will get you slightly nervous in doing.
Do you agree we can make ourselves too comfortable in life?
Looking forward to learning more, enjoyed your articles!
Thank you Jessica. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!
Thank you for sharing this article. The faulty reasoning behind achieving success the “lazy way” has derailed many entrepreneurs from the success path and robbed them of their original passion. The question you ask “Do you agree we can make ourselves too comfortable in life?”, the answer is yes. Many times, which I am sure you have seen them, people start achieving success and slowly they become comfortable. Bottom-line, great article.
Thanks for your comments Pedro. Yes, it is a nice paradox that being nervous and slight struggle can contribute to confidence. But it all comes down to how you frame (look at my definition of confidence) the experience in your mind.