Igniting Our Innate Confidence
by Robert Rabbin
In public speaking — and we are all public speakers, since public speaking is speaking with anyone other than oneself — a lack of confidence will always undermine our credibility.
No one wants to listen to a timid, tentative speaker. But before we even stand up to speak out, we have to have the confidence to do just that.
How many times have you suppressed what you wanted to say, only to spend the rest of the day kicking yourself? How many times has an opportunity come knocking on your door, only to leave when the door was not opened? How many dreams have not been actualized because they were not spoken into reality, because we did not have the confidence to do so?
There are two kinds of confidence: one is earned, one is innate. Earned confidence comes from education and training, or from years of experience. Innate confidence is an attitude of mind, a choice to be fearlessly expressive independent of other factors. Innate confidence is a self-blessing to speak our truth at all times because “I am entitled to speak and to be heard.”
Each person is born with the exact same right to self-express. Authentic self-expression is an indwelling presence and brilliance that can only be dimmed by self-betrayal, as in self-suppression. We have to own this right, choose this right, exercise this right. It is ours. It is yours.
When people lose the cabin pressure of confidence and begin to spin out of control with anxiety, fear, and self-doubt, it is because they have forgotten to choose confidence. Why? Fear of judgment, their own or others’. We are afraid that we are not good enough, or not entitled to speak. We are afraid of taking up space without someone’s permission.
Essentially, we do not have confidence in our own being and the inherent right to full self-expression that is ours from the beginning.
Here’s is a simple and foolproof way to instantly dissolve fear of judgment and restore our confidence. All our fear of judgment comes from ordering people on a vertical, hierarchical axis. For example, we might order people according to income or net worth, looks, weight, organizational position, and so on. Our fear of judgment comes when we rank people above us on our self-created vertical axis.
We give people who we locate above us more right than us to speak, to offer their views, to express their opinion. Their opinion is more important than mine. If they don’t approve of me…
However, if we turn the vertical pole on its side so it becomes horizontal, suddenly everyone’s judgment becomes just an opinion, ordered equally on the same plane. Suddenly, judgment becomes opinion. Ours is as valid as another’s. We all have our opinions, all are equally valid and true as an opinion.
It seems simple enough, but you might still wonder, “How does one get into this ‘horizontal’ state of mind?”First, realize that the vertical axis is supported by a single thought, or belief: “I am not good enough.” There are any number of back stories to this single thought, each one a reason or justification to elevate others above us, because “I am not good enough.” Where does this thought come from?
It comes from a decision we make about our worthiness and goodness in the wake of an awkward, embarrassing, or hurtful experience. First, we have an experience, about which we make a decision, which becomes a belief, or a self-fulfilling prophecy of our own inadequacy.
Understand that all the reasons one gives oneself to justify elevating the opinions of others above us are made up by us, are given life by us, and are authorized to keep us in the prison of self-suppression and doubt by us. We simply must choose confidence, and with this confidence we can dis-create our own creation. Choose self-confidence, just as you chose self-doubt.
Try it. It works!
Here’s what one of my workshop participants said, “Oh my God! My whole life, I’ve believed that what other people told me about me was truer than what I told me about me! I thought because they were older, or smarter, or more experienced, they knew better. I get it! All of I have to do now is say ‘Thank you for your opinion’.’They are not the boss of me, or my thoughts. I can be as confident as I want, as a choice. Only I can cause me to lose confidence!”
Turn judgment to opinion and never lose the cabin pressure of confidence again.
What is really holding you back
Written for Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketing consultant, author and mum.
8 March 2018
How often have you wondered how someone does everything they do? Have you ever stopped to think about how you show up in the world? Maybe others wonder how you do it? Most people achieve what they do because they are so connected to their purpose. Desire drives them.
If you are not achieving what you want to – or feel like you are not living your life to its true potential. Who do you think can change this? Who has the power to make your life better?
Your life won’t get better while you sit on the couch complaining. Nor if you sit there dreaming about what your life could look like. There is no magic fairy dust you can sprinkle and become the person you want to be.
You need to change. To do something differently. If you continue to do the same thing repeatedly you will get the same results. Do something differently. Make a change – as small as it seems, you will set yourself on a different path. The best time to start making your life better is today. Life moves so fast. Before you realise a week has gone by, a month, a year. Imagine if you had made the change a year ago – what would your life look like today?
Many people do not make the changes because they are stuck in the past. There is a story telling you not to make the change – you have tried in the past to have a successful business, lose the weight, have a fulfilling relationship. Stop living in the past. Press the reset button and start again. Learn from your failures but don’t let them shape your future.
Maybe you are stuck in the future. Always thinking about the things that could go wrong. Over-thinking the outcomes, always dreaming. Making the dreams bigger and bigger – becoming more and more unattainable. Stop dreaming and start doing. Be present in your life. Enjoy the small things in your everyday life. Your children. Pets. Partner. Friends. Nature. Coffee. Those everyday things which help you stay in the moment. By slowing your mind, you make magic, your fairy dust moments!
Who do you think has the power to make your life better? Do you get it? It is you. You alone can have the power to create a life you deserve. To serve the people you need to serve. You go this. There maybe times where the craziness of life catches up to you and you feel slightly out of control. Just refocus, press reset and go again. You got this. Keep telling yourself that. Change your thinking, make new habits. You got this.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Remember those big dreams you had sitting on the couch. The bigger, bigger vision of your future you had while daydreaming. You are not going to get to your end goal overnight – remember no fairy dust! If you break down your dream or vision into goals, and then actions you can take every day. Making small changes for a larger impact.
Start today, be present, you got this and make small changes for large impact.
Understand the only person who has control of your future is you.
Tall Poppy Syndrome:
Dream Big Dreams And Share Your True Heart.
by Robert Rabbin
Most of us have a governor on our capacity for full authentic self-expression.
A governor is a device that “automatically regulates the supply of fuel, steam, or water to a machine, ensuring uniform motion or limiting speed.” The governor we have inside us automatically regulates the supply of shakti, life force, in order to limit our ability to speak truthfully, to disturb the Universe with our primal presence and cosmic roar. In Australia, this governing device is called tall poppy syndrome.
My first direct experience of this tall poppy notion came one morning in a workshop I was leading, shortly after I moved to Australia in 2005. I wondered aloud why a few of the participants danced so delicately around an issue they wanted to discuss. They did everything but speak plainly. I encouraged them to speak more boldly and directly.
In our subsequent conversation, they said they had learned to not be bold or direct. They said that it wasn’t right to speak out too loudly. They didn’t want to stick out, or stand above others. They told me about the tall poppy syndrome, which I’ve come to understand as a kind of cultural suppression of creative self-expression.
The tall poppy syndrome is a topic that showed up in every one of my workshops in Australia, over the course of almost six years. It is a fire-walk that many have to take in order to break the hold of this socialization, their learned reticence to stand up, stick out, and speak brilliantly, powerfully, passionately, authentically!
When I asked one of my Australian friends to give me her definition of the tall poppy syndrome, she said, “Let’s not get too high and mighty, let’s not get too carried away with ourselves. We don’t want anyone getting too full of their own talent or accomplishment. If they do, why we’ll just cut them down to size. We’ll have no tall poppies in our fields!”
Another said, “Australians are carrying a national consciousness of unworthiness, stemming from our roots as a convict colony. When one of us tries to move into the bigger world, to dream a bigger vision, we briefly project all of our personal unmet ambitions onto him. When it turns out he is human and experiences a moment of failure, or is in our eyes somehow not good enough or undeserving, we pull him down justifying our own choice not to have at least tried to expand our horizons. Just like the elephants tied to the chains who don’t realize they are bigger than the chains, we are recreating our convict history via our tall poppy syndrome, believing ourselves to be prisoners simultaneously worshiping, fearing, and resenting the ones who break free.”
And another friend talked about the “cultural cringe, a peculiarly Aussie malaise, a leveling attitude that seeks to keep people chained to mediocrity: in thinking and doing and dreaming big dreams — but most of all, in speaking. We’re just not supposed to speak up. That would be big-noting and arrogant. That’s for the Americans.”
What a tragedy! To own our innate right to express our voice and vision, to exercise our intrinsic right to fully express our own aliveness and beauty and genius and creativity and wildness as only we can, is not arrogant or self-centered, but natural.
I think of how natural it is for children throughout the world to exult in discovering their creative and expressive powers! Once we can make a sound, we start gurgling, humming, singing, crying, wailing — wow, look, we can make sounds! Once we can crawl, and then walk and skip, you can’t keep us penned in! And then, we can draw! We can create with color, with pencils, pens, crayons, paint — on everything!
And then, to the dismay of all grown-ups, we realize we can make music by banging with this on that! The poet Derek Walcott surely wrote this line for children, and anyone, in the throes of discovery: Feast on your life!
Expressing our self in uniquely creative ways is natural. It is the feast prepared for us at the moment we were created. And it is also natural to want to be appreciated and recognized for our creative expressions, for they represent our very essence of being! Look at the gleam and glow of any child as they rush to show a parent or teacher their picture — all excitement, joy, and pride!
The only — I repeat, the only — appropriate response is overwhelming appreciation and encouragement. If we in any way ignore, disparage, or dismiss their work, we do the same to them, we will have hurt and wounded, perhaps fatally, their self-image and self-esteem, their enthusiasm and joy, their confidence and courage.
Since I have always been interested in the transformative power and inspirational potential of public speaking, I began to extrapolate this tendency to underachieve.
If people were guarding against authentic self-expression and self-censoring heartfelt sentiments, if people were aiming for the lowest common denominator, if people were afraid to be vulnerable and transparent, to connect intimately with others… what happens to people’s soul? How would this cultural leveling mechanism restrict and repress a person’s urge to rise above mediocrity?
What happens when you begin to speak in unauthorized, powerful, poetic, passionate ways? What happens when your speaking sets you apart, because you are clear, confident, compelling? What happens when you begin to speak the unspeakable, which rocks the status quo, or which gives shape and texture to new possibilities, new freedoms, new solutions?
What happens when you speak dreams and visions from other levels of consciousness, from other dimensions of being? What happens if you question a public official’s rhetoric?… Hey, that’s enough!
Stop right there! Who do you think you are to say such things? You have gone far enough. Now be quiet, mister, or you are going to find yourself in a world of trouble.
In a Sydney workshop, one woman told of standing in front of her class, I guess she was about seven years old, to show her picture. Everyone had been told to draw snowflakes. This woman proudly showed a picture of multi-colored snowflakes, not a single one was white! How original! How imaginative! How colorful!
Oops, no. The teacher had apparently lost too many important brain cells. What happened was that the teacher raced forward, grabbed the picture, held it aloft and began almost screaming: “Look at this! Children, look at this! This is wrong! Snowflakes are white. Everyone knows that! Have you ever seen colored snowflakes? No! Now go back to your seat and do this over, and do it right.”
In the midst of this public shaming, this poor little girl just then and there decided for all time: I am not good enough. I can not draw. I am stupid. I will never again dream, imagine, or do anything different.
These self-limiting decisions in the face of life events are the beginning of what I call diminished capacity, which is the major, if not singular, cause underlying our inability to lead truly authentic, happy, creative lives of intimacy and originality.
Once we shut down and close off, we are cut off from the very life-force we need to be whole, to be powerful, to be passionate, to be productive, to be successful in whatever way we want.
The tall poppy syndrome, especially as it pertains to speaking, is not proprietary to Australia. It is universal. Every society and each culture has sought to regulate speaking with bribes and intimidation. The antidote? Confidence.
Confidence is a choice to accept, own, and fully use our intrinsic, inborn, factory-installed right to fully express ourselves in whatever way we want, any time, any place, no matter what. We all have to learn to speak our truth from the depths of our being, heart to heart and eye to eye. We all have to transform diminished capacity into ferocious and fearless speaking and truth-telling.
This is where and how we connect with our life-force, how we inspire ourselves to dream big dreams, to take on unimaginable projects, to bring forth fire, and to learn to love the Earth. This is how we fulfill the promise of our life, how we share our true heart, and seed the world with soul-seeds of beauty.
Written for Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketing consultant, author and mum.
8 March 2018
The only way you can have balance is your life is to define what it means to you. You need to act to make changes in areas you feel unbalanced in. Make the choice for a better life. Create a new path today!
After I had my daughter I spent two years living in a pressure cooker, feeling totally out of control. Stressing every day about food, money, work, being a mum and not even thinking about looking after myself.
Life just doesn’t have to be that way.
I assessed three areas of my life – my business, my general life and my self care.
I realised in business I was just simply wasting my time doing things I was no longer passionate about, weren’t providing a financial return and were time consuming. I started being smart with the use of my time and energy. I focused on the core part of our business – the part which was making money.
I put importance on systems in my house. Making the domestic tasks easier. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing. I encouraged my partner to step up – who did!
I put myself first – most of the time anyway. I take time to re-energise myself, filling up my cup so I can continue to serve others, either my family or my clients. I look after my health and wellbeing.
Here is some specifics on the changes I made:
Once you start controlling your life you will be able to make decisions and choices around how you spend your time – you will even find little bits of time for yourself.
Due to the changing nature of life, your children and business, achieving balance is not consistent. Some days as hard as you try it will just not work, just press reset and start again. The only time for concern is when you can’t set reset, or you can’t see an end to the ‘thing’ which is causing pressure.
Remember to breath, be present with your children, focused on your work. Enjoy life. Understand why you are doing this. Focus on the big things and let the small things look after themselves!
I am going to blog and document the journey of creating 1000 Ripple Effects across the world.