It's a beautiful day so I've come outside to give you a confidence building exercise on getting out of your head. Now, the reason why getting out of your head is important is that we spend a lot of time doing a lot of analytical thinking, we often tend to have very analytical thinking jobs that get us really stuck in our head and we just completely lose touch with what's going on around us.
Here is an idea that's a little bit zen, a bit out there. It's the concept that:
Everyone else is afraid of you.
Now, you know that feeling that you get when you go to approach a group of strangers or a stranger and you want to start talking to them and you immediately feel this reaction of uncomfortable, anxious, approach anxiety, whatever you want to call it? It doesn't feel good. Well, here's the funny thing: the funny thing is that everybody else in the world feels exactly the same thing about you.
Here is an exercise for getting out of your head and developing your ability to make choices. Often when we lack self-confidence we lose our ability to make choices because we've been taught in the past that it's not okay to want what we want, it's not okay to like what we like and we have to be kind of bland and neutral about everything.
So in today's exercise we're going to start reinforcing that ability to make choices by making choices about the environment around us, and they can be arbitrary choices if you like. Any choice will do to get kick-started, so let's have a go.
Hey, it's Graham from The Confident Man Project here again and today I want to talk to you about the concept of developing a strong point of view. Now, this is a concept I've borrowed from the acting world and it's very applicable I find to guys, particularly when we lack self-confidence. Often we've given up on having a really strong point of view.
Perhaps our opinion in the past hasn't really been validated or hasn't been valued or other people haven't respected our point of view and we've learnt over time to just become kind of bland and neutral in our ideas about everything.
I'm sitting in a Youth Hostel in Melbourne, Australia where I'm staying for a couple of weeks while visiting the Melbourne International Comedy festival. I've just had breakfast and am sitting near the kitchen area chilling out before heading out for a day on the town. While I'm not one to eavesdrop, I can't help but overhear snippets of the Skype conversation of the woman sitting next to me.
And what I hear is: drama. Drama, drama, drama. "She did this", "he did that", "she said this", "she said that", "She thinks I'm a bad influence", "they don't like me", "she hated it", "it sucked", "it was awful"...
Ok, you get the idea.
If there was heaps of space, I'd simply move and get away from the negative energy; but it's pretty crowded this morning, and the conversation reminded me how easy it is to get addicted to our own drama, and the dramas in other people's lives around us.
Now it would be a different story if the woman was debriefing about her emotions regarding the drama she's describing, but I'm not hearing many words from our emotional vocabulary like "sad", "angry", "scared", "happy"; nor phrases like "I felt ...", "I feel..." etc. This isn't entirely surprising in a society where most people have never been taught how their emotions work.
Expressing emotions while telling a story releases the emotional charge around what has happened (or is happening), liberating us from any pain we've experienced and allowing us to move on from the drama.
On the other hand, blaming, judging, externalising, projecting and making unpleasant experiences wrong just sets us up in an addictive cycle of drama. I don't like being around people who are stuck in drama, so I'm gonna go now. I need to get out of here for my own sanity!