Supremely Confident? I hope so!

I wasn’t quite sure how to take it then, nor when it has happened since. Was it an accusation, a mere description, or something else.  The person had asked what did, and I described my coaching and how effective it was in the lives of my clients.

First my honest description, then came the exclamation, “You are supremely confident!”  I simply said yes. With a little more analysis, I suspect the word ‘supremely’ is a bit over the top, but I am confident in what I can do, yes. I was glad when the person accepted it as an honest response – which it was. (*see Postscript below)

What are you really good at?

This blog isn’t primarily about me. Its about you. The truth is, like me you’re really good at 100s of things. Reading this. Speaking English. Telling a story. Getting dressed.  Eating lunch.  Saying kind things to complete strangers (maybe you haven’t found out just HOW good you are at that one yet!)  I’m good at Therapeutic Coaching. Very good in fact. To deny it for the sake of some inconsistent false modesty serves no one in the end.

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Some people are really good at doing things that harm them. Putting themselves down.  Self deception (that’s telling themselves things that aren’t true). Jumping to negative conclusions. Describing themselves as being low in confidence, or hopeless, or a failure.  With such thoughts and words they literally form their physical brains, and the thoughts become self-fulfilling.

Those of us who have left what Robert Kiyosaki calls the ‘Rat Race’ of employment to start their own businesses or become self-employed know that unless we are confident in what we can do (and it goes without saying, can match the words with reality) potential clients are very unlikely to be confident in what we can do for them, with disastrous results for both the client and the business.

I have had the privilege of changing the lives of uncountable thousands of people’s lives across the world through those I have coached and trained through Powerchange. I suspect only a tiny percentage of those people would be different (freer, happier, more fulfilled and content, more motivated, stronger,richer, more inspired, off their psychotherapeutic medication) if my response to that statement had been a mumbling self-effacing, pseudo-humble denial. What might happen when you speak honestly about what you’ve done.  Besides which, would you go to an eye surgeon who was stumbling and unsure of himself? I wouldn’t.

Know what you are good at.

Accept that you are good at it.

Be Better at it tomorrow than you are today.

Don’t be afraid to say so.

If this blog has highlighted something important for you, take a moment to email me about it, andrew@powerchange.com. You might need a bit of therapeutic coaching – or maybe find out you really don’t!

*PS:  I had explained how people change when I work with them, often radically and permanently, often to the surprise and delight of their GP, and occasionally in the face of disbelief from their psychiatrist. Sadly, the unenlightened view of many so-called ‘psychological disorders’ still is that they are incurable, so “We’ll put you on these tablets for life”, as one person quoted their GP, becomes the norm. My client didn’t take the tablets at all, so wasn’t on them for even a day, and has never needed them.

Examples of Dadhood

You must have read Robert Kiyosaki’s book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’.  It is a world best-seller and an excellent read. I had two dads too. My two dads each gave me a different perspective on life, both highly valued.

Philip Sercombe was my natural Dad. Independent, ferociously hard-working, humble, highly sensitive, exceedingly generous, intensely proud of having been a Royal Marine, and a devoted Christian determined to live out his faith, my real Dad left home mid-teens to get away from a repressively Victorian, legalistic home and make his own way in life. His best ever decision was to marry my mother Betty (an exceptionally saintly, though thoroughly down-to-earth woman, now 90) and together they reared us four kids through the tough days of post-war Britain. Dad was great. He died a few years ago at the ripe old age of 88 and there were 200 mourners at his funeral – which says something.

But Dad wasn’t perfect, nor the only ‘Dad’ I had. This week I visited the grave of Campbell McAlpine who was born a year before my real father and died last January. Campbell was my mentor and friend for 35 years and was most of the things I needed that Dad was unable to be. Campbell wasn’t perfect either, but understood me in a way Dad couldn’t.  He was a guiding light through good times and bad, and one of the most secure people I’ve ever met. I needed that.

The family together for a summer supper last year.
The family together for a summer supper last year.

I have three amazing children, a daughter and two sons. Both the sons, Ben and Jonna are expecting to be dads in the next month, and I’m feeling a little insecure as to what I may have shown them about dadhood.  We’ll see.

And that’s the point. What have I shown them? Regardless of what I might come up with now, it is the dadhood of the last 30 years that counts the most. I’m quietly reliving the years when they were small, the things we did and didn’t do through their teenage years, my dadhood whilst they were going through university, and their business careers, the lot. Thankfully there are few regrets – and they themselves are very reassuring as they talk about their upbringing.

The philanthropist Albert Schweitzer once said, “Example is not the best way to influence people. It is the only way.” Whether I’m being a dad, coaching dads in Powerchange, or thinking about the sort of dad I want to be in the future, I know it is what I show in my life that has the most influence. As Eliza Dolittle said, “Words, words, words – I’m sick of words.  Show me!”

Example – its the only way; especially when it comes to being a dad.