Category

CONFIDENCE

Category

To find out what you’re great at, you have to do shit.

Not ‘do shit’ as in ‘do things badly’ you understand.

I mean you have to actually do things.

Rather than just talking about them.

Perfectionism.

Perfectionism is self-sabotage.

It just is.

Waiting around for that perfect opportunity.

Or that perfect moment.

The thing to know here is that, perfect opportunities do exist.

But you don’t know if they’re the real deal until you take the step and actually do them.

Because some things that you’d bet your life on being perfect – aren’t.

And some things that look imperfect – once you start them – turn out to be perfect.

Things People Say.

Ooh, I’m a perfectionist me.

So I’m not doing it until it is perfect.

Really means

I’m scared.

And that’s fine.

Doing any great thing has to be a bit scary.

Do Shit.

So, if you want to be shit hot.

Do shit.

Because – no shit – it’s the only way to know.

I am the Co-founder and majority shareholder of a clothing brand called Always Wear Red.

The other shareholder is Ralf Little.

Ralf is the actor/writer that played (amongst other roles) Antony, the son in The Royle Family.

Colin.

In mid 2015 I was in London with my dog, Colin.

I was sat outside a restaurant waiting for the lady I was meeting.

I wanted a wee and as dogs weren’t allowed in the restaurant, I asked a guy on the next table to look after Colin as I went inside.

When I returned, I looked more closely at the helpful stranger.

It was Ralf Little.

He too was waiting for someone so I chatted to him about my clothing brand concept.

Decisions.

After chatting with Ralf for a minute or two, I made a decision.

I decided that I wanted him to own my business with me.

Ralf is smart.

Clever.

Attractive.

And was one of the main characters in one of the UK’s best ever sitcoms.

I imagined he was rather well connected.

And I was genuinely interested in what he could bring to the business.

My decision was made.

Zoe.

After 10 minutes, he was sat next to the lady he’d been waiting for.

Zoe Rocha, daughter of fashion designer John Rocha and sister of Simone Rocha.

Zoe is super impressive.

And at one time was the COO of Stephen Fry’s Production Company, Sprout Productions.

So I made another decision.

I decided that I wanted Zoe to become a shareholder too.

6 months. 

6 months later, Always Wear Red was owned by 3 people.

Me, Zoe and Ralf.

Decision Precision.

There are two important things here.

First, the precision of the decisions I made.

I decided what I wanted.

Second, it is important to note what I did to make it happen.

I treated Ralf and Zoe with the respect that people of such calibre deserve.

I tried my very best to help them understand my vision.

What they’d get from our journey together.

And I listened hard.

I tried to work out how my dreams dovetailed with theirs.

How their creative path overlapped mine.

And, after a few months, I got what I’d decided I wanted.

Decide.

If there are things you want in your business.

Whether it’s something you are going to plan for.

Or if it is an opportunity that lands in front of you because you want a wee and need someone to look after your dog…

Make a proper, precise decision.

Then do every single thing that you possibly can to get what you’ve decided.

Jill knows she is inferior, therefore she is superior to anyone who thinks she is superior to him.

My friend David Bradley bought me 4 books last month.

One of them is called KNOTS by R.D. LAING.

It’s a mad book, containing observations by the Oxford Professor of Poetry that he describes as,

…remarkable insights into the ways human beings behave to one another.

Things People Think and Say.

I like the book because it contains just a few pieces of dialogue and prose over it’s 90 pages that I can dip into and out of.

I like books that I can pick up and put down.

My attention is rarely held for long.

However, with this book, the reason I dip out is because with more than half of it I don’t know what the hell it’s going on about.

This isn’t a book review.

Yet.

Because I haven’t finished the book.

Because I don’t understand most of it.

But one or two bits of it are really amazing and explain big chunks of the human psyche really efficiently.

I recognise the behaviours and thinking in me and in people I know or knew from what I am reading.

Take the quote at the beginning of this little story.

The quote is simply saying that if you think everyone is better than you, and someone thinks everyone is not better than you, and because of this they like you, then you are better than them.

(You might want to read that again).

And so it might follow that they are not therefore good enough for you.

Because they couldn’t even fathom that everyone is better than you.

If this is describing you now, or in the past, or anyone you know or knew, then that person:

  1. Will never allow themselves to love anyone because anyone worth loving would not be hoodwinked into thinking that you are lovable.
  2. Will never allow anyone to love them because anyone that would entertain the idea of loving them is clearly not good enough to love them because they think you’re lovable, and you aren’t.

There’s a simple lesson I suppose.

And it’s an old one.

It’s that lesson about loving yourself being really important because, until you do, you cannot be involved in a truly loving relationship with anyone else.

I have always sensed this is true.

I think.

But I never really understood why it’s true.

I think I do now.

And by the way, I am sober as I write this.

Just in case you were wondering.

Read this again if you have 5 minutes.

I haven’t explained this brilliantly I don’t think…

But the quote at the beginning – I like it!

I think it really does explain why loving yourself is important.

Confidence can lead you to a fearless, happy life.

Once you wake up to a few simple truths.

A life unafraid.

A life where you can just ‘be you’.

Here is insight that will set you on your way to being confident, fearless and happy.

It is part of the story of why confidence comes and goes in life.

The Story of You

  1. Age 0 to 2 – FEARLESSNESS. You’re little. You don’t understand fear. You explore and adventure. Anything goes.
  2. Age 3 to 5 – NATURAL FEARS. You start to recognise bumps and scrapes, needs and wants, friends and enemies, sharing and selfishness, togetherness and loneliness. You start to fear, naturally, not having what you want when you want it. This changes you. You have tantrums. But, largely, you’re OK.
  3. Age 6 to ‘you choose an age‘ –  LEARNED FEARS. You and others begin to shape and make learned fears. Fears that contain you. Fears that hold you back. Fears that shrink you. Others ridicule your quirks and your uniqueness. The things that make you different. They tell others about your mistakes, too.  So everything gets muddled. You begin to question things. You worry. You fear what people think of you. And these learned fears breed more fears.
  4. Age ‘you choose an age‘ to death – FEARLESSNESS (AGAIN). You – somehow – wake up to the fact what others think of you matters only as much as you allow.

Keeping these 4 stages in mind, you just need to remember 3 things if you want to live a more confident, fearless and happy life:

  1. Anything learned can be unlearned. 
  2. Confidence and fearlessness feed into and from each other because confidence erodes fear and fear erodes confidence (you are most confident in stages 1 and 4 above).
  3. You choose your ‘you choose an age’ age. No one else.

There’s this great big block of time in any person’s life, normally between (about) 7 years old and (about) 60 years old – so about two thirds of your entire fucking life – where fear erodes confidence and this lack of confidence results in less happy and fulfilled days.

You know it’s true.

Kids are bonkers.

Older people, once they wake up to the fact what others think of them matters only as much as they allow, are bonkers too.

You’ve seen older people like this.

Bonkers is great!

Confidence. Fearlessness. Bonkersness.

Bonkersness

So, all you have to do to be more confident, fearless and happy – is to choose a ‘you choose an age‘ age (see above).

Suggestion…

… your ‘you choose an age‘ could be whatever age you are now.

If you like.

Endnote: I’ll talk about tactics to help you on this journey in other stories.

Because – I know – it’s hard.