Confidence is a Choice
When I was growing up, I thought that confidence was something you were born with.
No one told me that confidence is a choice. Or if anyone did, I didn’t listen. Such is the power of belief.
So naturally, I thought that I would never have it.
The day my inner lion came out
My mother told me that one day a friend came over and took something from me.
Instantly, I came to life and wrestled whatever it was from him, not settling for letting him get away with it.
She said she’d never seen me do anything like that before.
That’s pretty surprising for someone who normally had no confidence whatsoever.
But that day I chose to use it, in this instance.
Because someone took what was rightfully mine. A friend! Really? Why on earth would a friend rob me to my face?
Friends don’t do that to friends.
I decided right then I would be the judge who set things right. So I went after what was mine with all the energy I had. Danger? What danger? I didn’t care. I had a mission to accomplish and by God, I was going to.
What if you summoned your inner lion every day?
Now that I’m older, I see that the reason I didn’t act with confidence more often is I didn’t believe I deserved much.
Like, almost nothing.
But when my rights, the ones I acknowledged and believed in, were violated — I sprang to action without a second thought. I called on every ability I needed to claim what was mine. I didn’t need coaching, affirmations, or positive self-talk. I just did what anyone would do if they were attacked. I fought back.
A few years back, I started studying persuasion. I came across a book called the Forbidden Keys to Persuasion. It’s premise was that persuasion techniques are amoral. It’s people’s intent that makes them good or bad.
How about that?
That means we can study the worst and cruelest leaders in history, see what they did that worked, and use those techniques for noble purposes.
Talk about a challenge.
It took 10 years for Blair Warren to disconnect the techniques from the users. He studied a variety of people who used influence for different reasons. From that he looked for patterns that were common to persuaders of all stripes.
As I thought about it, it hit me right between the eyes.
When I summoned my inner lion, I was fighting for my rights. The inalienable ones. The ones I believed were mine, no matter what anyone said.
So what if I expanded that list to include my goals? What could I accomplish then?
The inner lion is a force to be reckoned with
My inner lion is a fighter.
But the battles he wages aren’t necessarily physical. If you violate my rights, I won’t punch you as a first resort. I will take a solid stand and defend what’s mine. If that means we have a civil conversation to make things right, that’s great. If I have to confront you, I will ignore the discomfort and do what I must.
That’s what a lion does.
How would you like to be the King of your own jungle?
Here’s a metaphor.
We all want to make a difference in the world. To make life better for a few people, enough to keep us fed, sheltered, and have the ability to enjoy some of life’s pleasures.
Your jungle is the vast, untamed environment you haven’t shaped yet.
You conquer it by offering your expertise, your service, and your talent so that some of the inhabitants of the jungle can live better lives.
To accomplish this, you’ll meet a variety of people along the way.
Some will see you as an intruder. “I don’t want what you’re selling, and I’d appreciate if you left here and never come back.”
Others won’t feel the urgency you do. “That’s cool what you’re doing. Maybe someday I’ll let you do it for me.”
But then you’ll find those few who see you as a godsend. “Yes! That would be fantastic. Sign me up right now!”
To meet any of these people, you have to go to the jungle.
How to claim what’s yours
You can’t conquer the untamed forest with a halfhearted desire.
If you go in saying, “It would be nice to get a few clients and sell a few products” you’ll be eaten alive by other lions who think differently.
What do you believe you deserve?
What do you see is rightfully yours?
In business, it boils down to this.
“I believe I have the right to offer my services to the people who need them. In fact, I consider it my responsibility to get people happily involved with what I do. If I don’t, they won’t live the lives they want. Their problems might plague them forever if I don’t come in and help. Can I stand by and watch that happen? Or will I fight for my right to serve them?”
Will you win them all with an attitude like this?
But you will win substantially more when you let your inner lion drive you. You’ll reach higher, work longer, and draw on more resources. You’ll be more willing to hear repeated nos so you can hear enough yeses. And you’ll never give up until you have what you want, what you need to survive.
Summon your inner lion right now
You start by writing down what you want.
You need to eat. You need a place to live. And you want to enjoy some things. Life offers all these things, but you have to go get them.
That’s your responsibility.
How far will you go?
Elevate your goals to rights and you’ll do what it takes.
You’ll see the bigger picture, too. Do you need to burn that bridge? Or will you strengthen so you can cross it again later? What are your prospect’s triggers? How will you make it easy, even irresistible for them to get involved with you?
You appeal to their sense of survival and well being. What does their ideal world look like? How can you help them fight for what’s theirs?
There’s nothing more empowering than knowing someone with power is on your side.
If you want power, share yours with others.
If you want something, attach it your need to survive.
Do that and you can not only make your own dreams come true, you can change the world for the people you serve.
Now go out and roar!