Why is confidence at the heart of business success? Because the single most important way to success is to take ACTION and action is at the top of the pyramid, one part of which is Confidence.
Here is the pyramid, broken down into its 4 stages: A B C D
At the base of the pyramid is A: Ambition. The burning desire to succeed, to take action, to do the thing that will lead to success. If your clients are found by cold calling, then the desire to get a new client is the very first step. Maybe your ambition is to ask for a promotion. The first step is therefore exactly that: to WANT to get the promotion; the ambition to ask for it. Every level of this pyramid is vital to taking action, but they all build on this level. If you do not want something, then you will not take the necessary action to get it (obviously).
The next level up is B: Belief. The belief that you can successfully accomplish that task, take that action or do the thing you now desire to do. If you believe you can hit a hole in one, then you will take the action that will lead to it. If you do not believe you can hold your breath for 10 minutes underwater, you won’t try. This is also fairly obvious, but it is when the limits are blurry that things become difficult. If you know beyond doubt that you can convince your boss to give you a promotion, you will do so. If you think there is no chance, you won’t ask. But if you are unsure, you will probably have a voice inside your head saying, “What if I ask and she thinks I am being arrogant? What if she decides to fire me instead? What if I don’t get it and feel ridiculous? What if…”. That voice will most likely hold you back from taking action (and finding out).
Belief is linked to confidence. Simply put, how much you believe in yourself is how confident you are. That belief is based on your thoughts (Confidence) and on what the outside world has validated (Competence). At the second level of the pyramid, it dictates whether or not you will take an action
The third level of the pyramid is C: Choice. This level relates to making the decision to take the action. I have heard many a time that it would better to make one phone call a day. I have the AMBITION of having more clients, I have the BELIEF that I am capable of ringing one person a day, but I haven’t yet made the CHOICE to do so. So it doesn’t happen. At least, not every day.
The decision which has the most effect for long term change is a 100% decision. The conviction with which we make a decision has a direct result on how long lasting that decision is. Changing our habits is hard, so the stronger the decision, the more lasting the results. A 100% decision is that you make without giving yourself the possibility to change it. (eg. One day, you decided that whenever you go into town, you would get dressed. You didn’t leave space for the possibility of being too sick, not bothered enough or just too lazy to ever go into town naked. It’s not going to happen. That’s a 100% decision. Anything less than this is hard to maintain in the long term.)
Only when you decide to take action will it happen and you cannot decide to act if you don’t believe you can succeed. Hence Choice being in the third place up the pyramid.
The fourth level is D: Do it. This is the level at which we take action. As you can see, it is built on the three other levels and cannot happen without the other levels happening first.
This step comes with its own difficulties, as a recent session with a woman I shall call Sue showed. She really wanted to have a YouTube channel, believed she could do it and had decided to start videoing. I was there to help her with the task. She did a first take, but it wasn't very convincing and in was not finished. But she could not go any further. So she asked me to leave her alone so the pressure of having someone watching would be smaller. I did, but nothing happened (i.e. no filming). Then, when I reminded her of the reasons she had given me why she wanted the channel, she turned everything off and almost stormed out of the room. I had to physically (we had previously arranged that if it came to this, I should do this) stop her from leaving and, despite tears, force her to finish the take. It was amazing to witness the strength of fear and how difficult it is to take action outside one's comfort zone.
I felt bad about having forced her, until we saw each other again and she told me that despite having hated me the day of the filming, she felt more confident and had been able to film a second video. I therefore recommend having someone around who is willing to do the job I did and force you to take the action despite anything you might say or do to try and not take it. Make them aware of the fact that you will hate them, but that you really want to take this action and need their help to do so.
Ambition has to come from within. Someone can influence your levels of desire, but only when you truly want something (i.e. when desire is greater than resistence) will you do anything about it. Belief (or confidence) can be learned. As Caroline Leaf says in her book “Switch on your brain”, your reality is influenced by how you react to the events in your life. Choice is usually affected by fear. We often choose the path that offers the least fear. Fear is not going to go away, no matter how much you work on yourself, but there are many techniques that help take action despite fear. These can be learned. So taking ACTION – the single most important thing to success – can be learned. Life is a choice – choose confidence.
The question is therefore: Do you WANT to have more confidence? Is achieving what currently seems unthinkable an AMBITION you have? (and how strong is that ambition?)
If you do, then DECIDE: How are you going to grow that confidence? Do you want to continue doing what you’ve always done, growing your confidence slowly, day by day? If your current comfort zone has not allowed you to DO what you know would be beneficial to you, how are you going to change that? Who will you ask to help you?
Once you have decided, ACT by contacting that person and asking them for help. It can be someone you trust, someone who loves you, or someone who specialises in helping people expand their comfort zone.
If you are unsure whether to BELIEVE you can expand your comfort zone and take action, take heart from the fact that every single person has the possibility to do what they truly want to do. If Tony Robbins can convince 200 people to walk over coals without hurting themselves, they surely you can take the one action you are contemplating. I believe everyone can keep growing, keep taking action and keep becoming more and more powerful. I encourage you to CHOOSE your life, rather than let FEAR dictate what you do.