One Way To Get Your Confidence Propeller Spinning

One Way To Get Your Confidence Propeller Spinning
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

One of my favorite running gags on The Simpsons is a washed up B-movie actor, Troy McClure.  Troy has fallen to promoting cheesy self-help videos, such as “Smoke Yourself Thin.” 

My favorite of his is a self help video called “Get Confident, Stupid!”

The irony of a video building confidence by insulting you cracks me up.

And yet, it is not too far off from how some of us approach confidence.

We tend to rely on confidence as the energy to step into something new, or get something started, whether it is a project, a business, or simply getting our day underway.

We think that when we get the confidence right, then we can take action. Confidence will overcome our doubts, fight off our fears, and propel us forward.

So we try to psych ourselves up, using affirmations, or maybe watching some Troy McClure videos.  We have not even defined what confidence is, but we think we will know it when we see it.

But that’s the wrong approach.  To quote Troy, it’s “stupid.”

Here is why:

Confidence does not lead to action…action leads to confidence.

Waiting to get confidence to get moving is a waiting game leaders will lose every time. 

I worked with a client recently who was launching his own design business.  He had the design chops–what he did not have was the confidence in his value on the market.  

Would people pay him?  Would he be able to support his family?  Could he survive leaving the comfort of the corporate world, with its consistent paychecks, to follow a dream of owning his own business?

Reasonable questions.  Understandable fears.  This guy needed his confidence pumped up, right?

No, he needed to take action.

Our focus together for him was centered on next steps.  What were the next steps he could take action on?  What were milestones he could set?  How could I help hold him accountable to progress and actions?

Because when we take action, it gets us moving.  And objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

Imagine a propeller on an old single engine fixed wing plane.  The kind where the aviator stood, wearing her goggles and scarf, grabbing the propeller.  She pulls down once, twice, three times, eventually, the propeller sparks the engine and it catches, and begins to spin on its own.

The engine starts running, the flywheel starts spinning, under its power, not yours.

This is the concept.  We fight fear and we build confidence when we grab that propeller and pull.  When we take the next action.  

This is one reason I encourage leaders to Kickstart their day towards Focus.

Because if you do, at least your day has started with the action that would MOST lead to confidence for the rest of the day.

One hack I used to practice when I fond myself procrastinating was to take action by cleaning up my workspace.  A 15 minute burst of energy directed towards accomplishing something not only made my workspace more work friendly, but got that propeller turning just a bit.

Other Actions that lead to confidence:

  • Getting out of bed without hitting snooze.
  • Starting your day with a routine (exercise, affirmations, devotionals, prayer, naming the Antelope).
  • Knocking out that project that will only take 30 minutes, but you’ve been pushing it off for days.
  • Zeroing out your inbox.

These are not always the most important actions, but they are things you can get done, that start the propeller spinning.

BTW, One tool that really helps me start racking up action is the Pomodoro Method, where you work in 25-minute stretches with five minute breaks. Each work interval is called a pomodoro, the Italian word for tomato.

However you do it, consider that just like a hot cup of coffee can kickstart your focus and energy, a hot cup of ACTION can kickstart your confidence, get the propeller turning, and then you can take flight.

What is the next action step you need to take to get confident today?

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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