The thing about confidence…

…is that no one can give it to you. You have to find it yourself.

Do you know Glennys Marsdon? If you live in Perth and are a writer sooner or later you will cross paths with Glennys. And really, I hope it is sooner than later.

Glennys, a publish author, consumer psychologist and marketing expert, runs workshops and also heads the local Australian Society of Authors (ASA).

A workshop with Glennys starts by everyone introducing themselves. I rumble and stumble. Everyone else is the same (explanations of day jobs, aspirations, unfinished projects). I don’t feel so bad.

Glennys’ response? “Well, if a children’s author introduces him or herself they say: Hi, I’m [insert first name, surname] and I write children’s books”.

Doh! How hard can it be?

Not so hard, if you know exactly who you are and what you do. Glennys elaborates: “If you can’t tell a person what your writing is about, why would they want to buy your book?”

Would I buy a package not knowing whether I get cereal, cordial or dog food?

No.

But, what am I exactly working on? Sometimes I’m not sure anymore and it feels like I’m dabbling in cereal, cordial or dog food? Gah!

Confidence.

Did I tell you that I coach people in how to ride a bike? Yes, I know. Who doesn’t know how to ride a bike you ask. I get that a lot.

I love teaching people something that comes natural to me. Dissecting a series of tasks, and breaking it down into teachable skills. Then see immediately how well you’ve explained the task.

Bloody freaking love it.

I’ve taught a lady a few months back, let’s call her Sue. Within ten minutes of her first lesson Sue rides around like its second nature to her.

OMG! She’s an absolute natural.

Another twenty minutes later, it’s gone. No more balance. No more riding. Stop starts. A few stacks.

I ask her what happened? Sue says she didn’t think she could do it. Not so quickly. Not at all.

The next three following sessions she doesn’t regain the level she’s been at. AT ALL.

She is my first student who – literally – has talked herself out of an ability.

It scares the shit out of me. The power of your self talk.

The little voice in your head that’s dynamite at making your confidence go: poof!

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