Is life all about confidence and faking it till you make it?
I sit in the camp that feels faking it is like a stuck record, people get into the habit of coasting and thinking it works – when it doesn’t – then they stop trying to find their genuine because it takes more work.
Who doesn’t love them some Judy Dench sass and honesty?
Apart from other signs, like how considerate you are with people who won’t make a difference to your career trajectory, the voice is a big fat giveaway. Shrill broadcasting mode is high octane, sucks the energy out of the room, and only hears what it wants to hear.
Not that people won’t be absolutely lovely around it, but there’s nothing quite like being able to relax into yourself when you’re around the genuine article of someone who’s properly present and responsive, which brings out a warmth, humour and rapport that invites closeness.
What’s your back story
However, it’s pretty common in the UK to lack self-confidence, especially for women, which wavers depending on the situation you find yourself in and the people you find yourself with.
For example spending time with good friends and family as opposed to an opening night. What is it about other situations that prevents you from relaxing and just being you? Is there something about perceived expectation – theirs | yours – perfectionism, or do any of the following factors play in like:
- Your mood on the day
- The situation,
- Whether it’s social, professional, strangers, friends, family, or a.n.other
- How well your day runs
- How you generally take care of yourself
- Self-deprecating talk you’ve bought into
- Triggered past experiences
What’s your back story – the one you’re comfortable with?
Do people need you explaining before you meet
Do your people feel a need to explain you away?
How does that make you feel?
My Booky Wook
If there’s one thing you know if you’ve been following Russell Brand’s career from as far back as the BBC Radio 6 days where he co-hosted a show – 3-4 yrs after getting clean from rehab – with Matt Morgan and Trevor Lock, is that when you’re willing to bring your past story into the public arena it loses the power to be used against you.
This generally happens when you’ve freed yourself of the emotional charge – which incidentally – eats up a great deal of your emotional bandwidth and daily energy.
He bases his act on this and does it well because it’s become it’s own therapeutic tool although his YouTube channel shows he’s not quite got his head around the why, even today (2019).
What I like is his bright, playful, openness, articulation, the absurd lengths his playfulness travels, and the confidence he exudes regardless, which has calmed in recent times. I prefer the calm enquiry he brings in his video’s these days. His deeper dive stand-up had a therapeutic quality that was refreshingly honest, despite other foibles where self-deprecation worked in his favour. And there was a sense of making it up as he went along.
His road to fame is fascinating and you can read his autobiography My Booky Wook to get the full and compelling story.
A friend gave it me the book recently when it was released, she really disliked him, but years on she’d finally come round, read it and loved it.
In his stage act he’s not one to shy away from vulnerability, which he uses randomly and as he’s stated in interviews is the alter-ego that he brings out to examine in his work. It’s reassuring for the audience as not many have been as far out-there as him – not even me – and I’ve had many bonkers moments in a chequered past. Who hasn’t I hear you say.
Russell Brand’s lifestyle
He makes it easier for people to access what being completely lost and out of step with yourself can feel like and the level of recovery that’s possible for people. Although I have some beef with his beliefs around how recovery can be made easier, nor do I buy into an addictive gene, this is just housekeeping as it were, as all roads lead to Rome.
I’ll just add here in updating this in October 2015 that there’s still a sense of loss with him, having got it all so to speak having returned to the UK to reconnect with his roots. Things have changed for him, but I now feel comedy is his downfall, and letting go of that is what needs to happen for him to find what he’s looking for, but he’s so invested in that thing he does of displaying everything in public that could become as addictive.
But whatever you think of him (and he’s got plenty of detractors) what he does really well is set a fine example by being open, having a physically healthy lifestyle, practicing yoga and meditation (two personal favourites) on a regular basis.
He’s sober, clean from drugs and alcohol, with a healthy ambition for success and he’s not afraid to take risks. Here’s a task you can try out next time you have an event that you want to grow into your full height of self confidence for:
When you know you have a situation coming up that usually gets the better of you, and you know it by the feeling you get in your stomach, chest or throat when you tune into it, try this instead:
- Take a few minutes out to sit quietly and tune into the feeling
- Now think about the confidence of your favourite people, whether they’re in the public eye or not. It has to be someone who really exudes confidence and takes everything in their stride
- What qualities do they project that you really admire, step into it, as though you were trying on some new clothes
- How does it feel? What does it look like? How does it sound?
- Do this every day in preparation until you really experience a shift in how it feels for real, and begin to look forward to going to the event
- The more you practice it the quicker it becomes a reality for you
Good luck, you’re about to start playing your mind at it’s own game!!! Let me know how in the comments below once you’re done it and how it felt to shift those feelings.
Step up to the mark
PS – Directing your own destiny begins by arranging a quick 15-min chat which kick-starts having more energy to develop what you really, really want.