Thread: Oxytocin
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Old November 9, 2011, 01:42 PM
Richard Dennis Richard Dennis is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Default How I Went From 0% Confidence to 100% Confidence ... Before I Ever Achieved Success

Look. I've failed a gazillion times in my life, and I've also had a few successes. But I never had any success until I got self-confidence ... which came way, way, WAY after adolescence. Maybe my story will help someone here.

It's the ultimate Catch-22, isn't it, especially for an analytical, introverted personality? To have confidence, you must KNOW you will be successful. But to be successful, you MUST be confident. If you're filled with self-doubt, then just the tone of your voice sabotages you whenever you talk to someone. For most of my life, it seemed there was no way to get to "confident" from where I was.

I was in my early 40s and had been driving a bus on Miami Beach for a dozen years. My son had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and I was desperate to have time to spend with him and the money to take him to see places that he only had a limited time to see. I failed at more businesses than I could count. I couldn't sell a lick. I didn't believe in myself at all, and I didn't believe my future would be any better than my past. I was a friggin' mess.

But then, within a few months' time, I developed complete confidence ... and success followed shortly. And my confidence has never wavered since, even through other failures.

What changed?

Well ... one day I was swapping stories with another bus driver. And as I told him the gory details of my latest failure, it all began to seem kind of funny. You know, the IRONY ... all I wanted was success, and all I got was failure. By the end of the story, we were both laughing at what a klutz I was.

But an idea started to form. I realized that this one failure was a pretty darned good story, and I could tell it really well, since I had lived it. I could polish it a little (make myself look even dumber), and it might get more laughs and would probably connect with other people, too.

I soon found that to be true. And a plan started to form ... maybe I could build relationships with people by making them laugh about MY failures. That would be terrific, because I had 80 tons of failures to choose from.

So ... I wrote down a few other failures. Then I got really serious ... I created a timeline of my life, listing all the people, events, places, schools, jobs, loves, coaches, teachers, sports teams, etc., that I could remember. Then I organized them by year.

(As I said, I'm ANALytical.)

Over time, I developed dozens and dozens of failure stories ... and (surprisingly to me), a few success stories back there, too.

And here was the key: I had 100% confidence when I told someone one of my stories, because I had lived the event. I had total belief that I was a klutz who could botch any opportunity. No self-doubt whatsoever. The sound of my voice had changed, and people actually loved to hear my stories.

For me, when that "confidence" spigot turned on, my life changed forever. And what tickled me no end, of course, was that I had used my failure stories to achieve confidence.

ANYONE can do the same thing ... unless you've never had any failure in your life. It's a great emotional outlet for people to laugh about YOUR ridiculous, ironic failures ... so they can say to themselves, "God! That's guy's even worse than I am" And the more you make people laugh, the more confident you will become.

Good grief, life is weird.

Richard Dennis
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