Confidence and The Leap of Faith

April 20, 2011 1 comment Uncategorised

In a recent post in this blog I wrote about the Magician’s Mindset, and how taking this single-minded approach to what we do – especially in terms of a contest, a performance, taking an action – is a choice that liberates us from the debilitating shackles of self-questioning and self-doubt.

In terms of an illustration for this I always use this clip from Indiana Jones, called the “Leap of Faith”


The thing about self-doubt is that it is like a stalactite or stalagmite, built up by drip-drip-feeding from failure, lack of success, non-success, shortcomings, the damning effects of “could do better”, the inability to please others or ourselves. The other thing is that once it has grown in one particular place, then a pattern has been established (a blueprint if you like) that allows it to be replicated in other parts of our life.

There is another blueprint – for self confidence, built in a similar way, and that pervades, by replication, other parts of our life.
And stepping back to take in the bigger picture, there are a whole range of blueprints, channelled by experience, that we build and use in all parts of our lives.

The Cache for speedy processing

These blueprints sit on the shelves in our chart-room along with our maps of the world – waiting to be consulted for whatever we are doing, or are going to do. The thing is that the more we use certain blueprints and maps, the more we are likely to use them again and again. Rather like the ‘cache’ in our computer’s memory, we keep these blueprints and maps close to hand for quicker processing. If we are ‘good at confident’ then we continue to be good at it – likewise the pessimists, the mopey types, the hypercriticals, the judgementals reach for the same regular maps and blueprints because they’re near to hand, and they continue to be good at being how they are too.

How do we talk about Confidence?

Look at these statements and decide which means more to you, which one reflects your beliefs more, and which is the most powerful for you:-
“I have confidence in myself”
“I am confident”
“I am self-confident”
“I have confidence”

Two statements relate to having – two relate to being; Two refer to just “I” – the other two refer to “I” and “self”; plus there’s an implication that “confidence” is some kind of an entity; and perhaps other linguistic nuances abound also.

The ebb and flow of Confidence

The thing about confidence (or being confident) is that (for most of us) it ebbs and flows through our lives and we tend to want more of it when we are approaching or anticipating a crucial or important event or action for us. Most people ask me things like “I’d like more confidence when I do X” or “I want to feel more confident when Y happens”. The requisition of more confident(ce) is needed in a certain context.
Then there’s the people where the ebb and flow is less noticeable, where the tide is always low, and who just “want more confidence in my life” or who “want to be more confident in everything”. Now these tend to be the folk who use SELF when describing what they want as well, and although this might be construed as being “just the way they say things”, the fact is that they are also using SELF here – for a reason.

The late David Grove, the psychologist who developed Clean Language also developed Pronoun-scapes – and in particular how we break down the view of things relating to ourselves into the four categories of “I – Me – Self – You”. There are ambiguities in the way we describe things about ourselves in this fourfold regard, that have a powerful hold over the way we draw and use our blueprints. Take this conversation as an example:-

“You know, I find that one of the things that happens to me when I talk to myself is…..”
How would you finish the sentence for this person?
My reply is most likely to be:- “…that I don’t really know who I’m talking to?”

Amusing as this may seem, once you start to listen out for how people use these pronouns when talking about themselves, it gives you some great clues as to what’s going on inside their heads – and also clues as to how they can clear things up and move on.

So – back to Confidence!

Ideally, it’s a way of being – on the inside. “I am confident!”
It’s a way of doing actions when you don’t have to worry or be concerned about how things will turn out. It’s a way of playing or performing when you know that through the processes the outcomes will be the best they can possibly be in this precise moment.

For all of us, getting to the state of having more Confidence is again about understanding the Leap of Faith – rather than relying on luck, superstition, drugs, alcohol, the quick ‘external’ fix, The Mask, The Tuxedo, the Invisibility Cloak, Sparky’s Magic Piano etc.

In terms of Indiana Jones, Confidence is faith that the “stone bridge of processes” is what gets You from Now to the Outcome of the other side. Yes you can be guided, but that step, that choice, the Leap, is something only you can do.

It starts by looking ourselves in the “I”.