Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Find Your Confidence Spot (or underwater basket weaving)

"Hoist me up in the bucket of the tractor so I can reach the roof. Don't hit the electrical wires. If you do, I will probably get electrocuted and fall off, so don't touch me. Just run to the house and get Ma." These were instructions I received from my grandpa when I was 10 years old.

For me, confidence comes in the form of operating vehicles. I grew up on a farm so there was lots of driving practice for a young boy. I had my first dirt bike when I was 8. Was driving tractors when I was 10. Trucks in the field when I was 12. Trucks on the road when I was 13. Did a bit of motocross racing. Drove 5 ton delivery trucks when I was 19. I am now 36 and have never (knock on wood) been in an accident when I have been at the wheel. I drive assertively and safely and I know it. (Ok, I'm done bragging, watch me back into something in the parking lot after I finish this blog post)

When I am driving vehicle, I feel safe and confident in my abilities. Knowing that, I often try to leverage it when I find I need confidence in other situations. What makes me confident in a car?
Knowing how a car works.
Knowing its limits.
Knowing how it wants to move.
Understanding the rules of the road, even the "unwritten" ones.
Watching far ahead for possible hazards.
Being in tune with what other drivers are doing around me.

In business, I try to do the same in order to have that same confidence. In any situation I try to:
Know how my business works.
Know its limits.
Know how it wants to operate.
Understand my surroundings and the rules that govern them.
Look as far into the future as possible for possible hazards.
Be in tune with the people around me and what they are doing.

It seems simplistic but it works for me. If I find myself in a situation where I am lacking confidence I try to think, "What would be similar to this in a driving situation and how would I prepare for it?"

Think about an activity that you feel completely confident doing. Is it rock climbing? Knitting? Playing hockey? Curling? Underwater basket weaving?

Whatever it is, analyze what makes you feel confident in that activity. What do you do that gives you that confidence? Then, when faced with a situation that you are lacking confidence, try to compare it to that activity. What lessons can you pull from it to give you confidence in the situation you face.

Try it ... it works!

ps. I did not bump the power lines and my grandpa was pretty happy about that.

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