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How to be confident in any situation

“If you know what to do, it’s easy. If you don’t know what to do, pretend it’s easy.”

This article explains how I learned that bullshitting yourself through the scary moments in life and business is a rockstar tactic that practically guarantees success. How did I arrive at this conclusion? I’ll tell you…

Recently, I spent some time with a group of people studying to become ass-kicking coaches and therapists. I hung out and witnessed these people expand their professional tool kit and learn the practical “how-to” side of helping people.

It was a fascinating experience to be on the outside looking in, watching people learn new skills. I noticed that everyone was focused, above all else, on learning as many techniques as possible.

It seemed as though these trainee therapists felt that learning just one more tactic would make the difference. That just one more technique would guarantee that they’d feel ready and confident to face anything a client could throw at them.

The funny thing was that each time the group learned and mastered a new technique, they’d move on to the next with the same attitude.

It quickly became clear that they could never get enough. It was a serious case of “just gimmie one more tip… then I’ll be good to go.” From the my outsiders perspective, it’s easy to see what a mistake this belief is, but…

Entrepreneurs are just as guilty

In business, entrepreneurs are just as guilty of the same attitude that the trainee therapists had. They often hunt around for the ultimate tool to learn and master… hoping they’ll then be confident in their abilities.

Entrepreneurs are dead keen on getting just one more secret or one last technique to make all the difference. They search hopefully for the secret sauce for the latest product or a marketing tactic that changes the game or advice from a real guru that’ll work for sure.

When it comes to the crunch, none of that matters

The trainee therapists finished their workshop with a “client day”. The training school brought in volunteer civilians to work one-on-one with the trainees. It wasn’t serious therapy, but the trainee’s would be working hard to help coach their new “client” to resolve a mental roadblock and change his or her life in some way.

The trainees were scared shitless.

The trainees spent the days leading up to “client day” scrambling to revise all their notes. They attempted to memorize as many of their new techniques and strategies as possible.

The thinking made sense, I guess. They were trying to equip themselves with as many tools as possible in the hope that they could deal with whatever the client threw at them. They were trying to prepare for every possible situation and challenge.

When Client Day was over and the dust had settled, the group gathered together and discussed some very interesting learnings.

They had all done well, more or less, but almost everyone had forgotten something. They learned that having hundreds of techniques at their fingertips was useful, but it wasn’t what guaranteed success. What really influenced their performance as therapists was their state of confidence.

The people who lost confidence found that nothing would go right… until they got it back. When they were able to feel confident, even without knowing exactly which technique to use, their consultations seemed to go easily. Smart therapy would just flow.

One of the trainees said something so poignant, that I decided to write this whole post based on this single sentence. Upon reflecting on his Client Day experience, he said:

“If you know what to do, it’s easy. If you don’t know what to do, pretend it’s easy.”

Why the “as if” attitude guarantees a win

It’s not so much our tool kit that wins us success. It is the state of mind we’re in when we use the tools.

By pretending you’re confident, you can trick your brain into feeling good about the challenges you face. There isn’t anything deep and meaningful about confidence – it’s just a state that you swing in and out of. Pretending is often all it takes to win the golden prize of business success.

When you’re in a confident state, it’s easier to tap into the resources buried deep in your unconscious mind.

Fear causes us to freeze. It makes it hard for us to remember the clever techniques we learned days or years ago. In a state of confidence, we can rummage in our tool box easily and find what we need. Confidence means we’ll always give a challenge our best shot.

Entrepreneurs live on the edge and face big challenges on a daily basis. If you know what to do, of course, it’ll be easy…. but if you don’t know what to do, you might as well pretend that it’s easy.

Even though the pretense might not be true, it’ll put your brain in a better, more resourceful state and you’ll deal with the challenge far, far easier.

Knowing the answers is important. Having the confidence to take action is what counts.

What do you think? Have you ever succeed, despite not knowing all the answers, through confidence?

PS If you really struggle to find your confident state, click here to take a look at my Demystify your Fear e-guide. It’s jam packed with fear-destroying techniques that make confidence effortless.


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  1. This is such an inspiring and insightful post.

    I’ve always believed in the fake it till you make it. Not in the the bedroom of course, there are some things you just can’t fake.

    But out in the world where a whiff of fear will have the dogs devour your baby steps.

    I believe there’s a place for tips, I regularly google for tips. But, to not venture out unless we are tipped up to our eye balls, is nothing more than pride afraid it will appear foolish or amateurish.


    1. Hey Catherine, thanks for stopping by… And thanks for the candid comment – it’s good to know you don’t fake the important stuff 😉

      Googling tips is a great example of exactly what I’m trying to say here… It’s a much more accessible “answer-searching” tool that I think many are in the habit of over using.

  2. I help people to create online businesses. I see people all the time buying guru product after guru product in the hopes of finding a new way to make money. It is like they just can’t buy enough products. They keep wanting to learn more and more. But, they never DO.

    They own the products, but never focus long enough on one technique to start actually making money.

      1. Interesting terms floating around the industry. Some seem silly and annoying, but probably harmless. Are you really a rock star if you’ve never gyrated on stage in front of 50,000 screaming fans? Can you call yourself a ninja when you want everyone to be able to see you, or a guru when your wisdom does not lead to enlightenment?

  3. Another advantage of appearing confident is that you project that confidence onto others – they percieve you as comfortable, firm and knowing what you’re talking about, so their trust increases. They have confidence *in you*.

    When you question yourself and show your nerves, all you’re showing is that they shoudn’t have confidence in you.

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