The Confidence Game

Warning! Self-contemplation ahead!

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When you hear the words “con man” or “con artist”, you feel a certain negative “connotation”. A con man earns his reputation, and his living, by taking people into his confidence. He tricks them into believing something that is not true. He swindles others when he plays a confidence game.

Pretty nasty business, huh? But, do we ever need to play a confidence game to get by in life? For as negative as the terms sound here, I’m going out on a limb to say that we need a good old fashioned con game on a regular basis. And, that it can sometimes be the most positive thing we can do in the moment.

What is “acting as if”? Or, how about “fake it until you make it”? These are bits of wisdom and advice that will come from many motivational sources. They are not proposing that we be brutally honest with ourselves. Are we conning ourselves, or is this coping mechanism a necessary part of finding our best self?

We all agree that positive self-talk is critical to our happiness. Negativity gets in the way of every beautiful thing. Positivity is being proactive in our inner game. The inner game is what lies below the surface, as opposed to our outer game. The outer game is what we show other people. They are not always the same.

So, self-confidence is so important to your success in business, and in life. Without self-confidence, you lack the will to move forward on the things you must do to reach your goals. People that are lacking in self-confidence can be paralyzed into inaction.

The con game that is necessary for us to play with ourselves can save us from drowning in a sea of hopelessness. Who doesn’t have self-doubt from time to time? What do we call on to banish self-doubt? That’s right… self-confidence. Believing in ourselves, even when we are unsure. Being kind and forgiving to ourselves, even if we may not feel that we deserve it in the moment. Being brave and pushing on, even when we feel terrified. Allowing ourselves to be flawed, even as we strive for excellence.

How do you build confidence in yourself? If you struggle with it, I think you’re in good company.

– Cat

Being A Phoenix

When I opened my blog about a week ago, I asked the question “Can we reinvent ourselves?” For me, it was a rhetorical question.  In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a bird who dies in a fire of its own making, and then rises up from the ashes to live again.  I know a little something about being a phoenix.

If you’re reading this right now, you know something about it too.  We all have setbacks, whether we’re given to high drama, or whether we keep things to ourselves.  History is full of stories of famous unsuccessful attempts.  The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, all failed.  You know that saying, credited to George Custer, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s how many times you get back up” ?  I’m here to testify; It’s TRUE!

I’ve failed, I’ve been embarrassed by my failures, I’ve doubted that I could rise up again.  But I’ve done it.  A failed first marriage, two failed businesses, estrangement from loved ones…you know, the usual stuff.  It has taken tenacity.  Some days I had the sense I was just compelled to push on.  I do feel like a phoenix, and that’s a special kind of energy in itself.  That’s what matters.  It’s not what others think about your successes and failures.

When you fumble the ball, get it back as soon as you can and run for a touchdown.  Now, your chance to get the ball back may not come on the next play.  It may be the next game, or the next season, or you might even have to wait until you get traded and someone else gives you another chance to have the ball. But, you’ve got to be ready when it comes.  (I’m not into sports. I don’t know why I used that analogy, but I like it).

So, just go ahead and rise up from the ashes!  Be a phoenix!  It’s never over, as long as you get up in the morning.