I was recently watching the new Cinderella movie with my daughter and I realised something;
I need to be more like Cinderella.
Now before you bust out your Germaine Greer essays, hear me out. I don’t mean that I need to wait around wearing rags and washing others people’s floors until some man comes to rescue me.
But what I do mean is this,
Next time a pumpkin turns up at my door and materializes into a resplendent carriage, I am going to ride that thing all the way to the castle.
Because Cinderella did step into that carriage which was being driven by mice and directed by lizards. Then she went to the royal ball, and placed one glass slippered foot in front of the other and she climbed those stairs and danced the night away.
Have you ever had a pumpkin turn up at your door, ready to whisk you away, and instead of climbing aboard you decided to just stay inside and make a killer pumpkin risotto?
I have, too many times. As I get older this is starting to annoy me more and more.
Dr Russ Harris talks about this very issue in his book The Confidence Gap. He suggests that instead of just waiting for confidence to swirl in from somewhere and whisk us away on its magic carpet, we need to create situations that improve your confidence, one step at a time.
- practise the skills
- apply them effectively
- assess the results
- modify as needed
You can find out more about it by reading his excellent book.
So instead of muttering the old refrain “I don’t think I could do that” (which Dr Harris assures us is a natural response) we take the situation in hand and work out what we need to learn so we can do it, then we give it a go.
Let me give you an example.
I am a little bit of an introvert which can cause me to be quiet and reserved at times. So yes, I love to leave parties early and always in the slip-away-quietly version.
Then I went and married man who loves to people, all the people, all the time. So I got a lot of practise at turning up to places where I knew no one and got left standing on my own a lot. I realised I could stare at the ground looking like a dolt, or I could jump right in and chat to the other scotties. It was actually pretty fun. Most of the time I discovered that I could just embrace the “got no friends” thing and walk away having met some pretty interesting people.
Eventually I realised I had become good at meeting new people. Yes, this little thing who as a child required her baby sister to hold her hand when buying lollies from the milk bar in primary school, was now getting pretty good at meeting new people on her own.
High five to me!
Now I am
completely very confident when walking into a room full of strangers and I love the opportunities that this has afforded me.
So, are there any areas that you need to make like Cinderella and just have fun dancing the night away in glass slippers and a borrowed gown? What things would you do if confidence was not an issue?
For me it is speaking in public. Because I know that the more I do this the better I will get at it, and therein lies the secret to my confidence in this area.
I also have about 500 other areas where I could be more confident, but one step at a time. I don’t want to end up like Kanye or anything.
For me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would just be lying to you and myself. Jimmy Kimmel Live, 2013
So next time my confidence is taking a wobble or a tumble or a full on blow-out, I am just going to think of Cinderella, and get on with it. She had lizards for footmen, she took a pumpkin instead of calling Uber and the mice were powering he vehicle. She kept going anyway and look how that turned out.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Head over to our Facebook page, Create the Happy and let me know in what area you would like to improve your confidence. Let’s do this!