Building Personal Confidence: The Never Ending Story…

Being comfortable with ‘who you are’ is the foundation of confidence

I was playing golf a couple of weeks back and, in between wayward shots, we were discussing some low moments. Things that we were not overly proud of in our lives. One of the lads told the following (very non-PC) story. Are you up for this? It happened in the days when half of the country seemed to live in a flat in Rathmines and life was somewhat simpler. Our storyteller – let’s call him Alan – described a big night out. Enough alcohol for Guinness to have to put on a third shift. Close to the end of the night he made a ‘new best friend’ and they went home together. So far, so normal. The next day Alan woke up still semi-drunk and with a brutal hangover. He couldn’t face any conversation and decided to slip out of the flat without saying a word. Not a nice thing to do, but he did it anyway.

Looks Familiar: About 100 yards down the road he realized that the area looked familiar. As the fog began to shift, he realized that he’d slipped out of his own flat. So, he grabbed a bottle of milk, and went back to the apartment to make the tea and kick-start the morning after conversation. Even after 20 years, he didn’t seem to be feeling too much remorse. In his own words: “It was the saddest I’d felt since I heard there was no Santa”. When the DNA sequencing is finally cracked, I suspect that Alan will be missing the guilt gene.

Awful Moments: Now, perhaps you are not guilty of that particular crime. But, I suggest that we’ve all have moments that would not cover us in glory, incidents we wouldn’t like to see plastered across the front pages of the Irish Times in size 44 font. And if you’ve had one or more of those moments well… get to the end of a long queue.

Worldwide Experiment: Perhaps the best-known psychotherapist in the world is Irving Yalom. He has conducted an experiment across several countries, when he asks groups who already know each other, to respond to the following question: “What is the one thing that you would not like this group to find out about you?” Most people immediately think of some sexual misdemeanor or escapade – like the Rathmines incident outlined above. But that’s not the most common fear. The answer that most frequently emerges is this: “I would not like people to know that I am not as competent as they think I am”. In other words, the most common worldwide fear is around a lack of inner confidence.

Building Confidence: When it comes to personal confidence, we all need to keep topping up the bath. It’s something that everyone needs to work on (we’ve touched on ways to do this in a couple of previous blogs). The Message: Forgive yourself for after- hours misdemeanors. Let go of those past sins and start working on tomorrow. Because personal confidence is the foundation stone for happiness.

Paul Mooney

PS: Funny Golf Video for the addicts among you (this one courtesy of Tim O’ Neill)

PPS: Darwin Awards! Yes, it’s that magical time of the year again when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honouring the Least Evolved among us. Here are some the glorious past winners.

When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a holdup in Long Beach, California, would be robber James
Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked…

Honorable Mentions:

The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and, after a little hopping around, submitted a claim to the insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent one of its men to have a look. He tried the machine and lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.

A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his Vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus
Driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.

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About Tandem Consulting

Paul Mooney holds a Ph.D. and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Sociology from Trinity College, along with a National Diploma in Industrial Relations (NCI). He has a post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters in Coaching from UCD. Paul, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, is widely recognised as an expert on organisation and individual change. He began his working life as a butcher in Dublin before moving into production management. He subsequently held a number of human resource positions in Ireland and Asia - with General Electric and Sterling Drug. Between 2007 and 2010, Paul held the position of President, National College of Ireland. Paul is currently Managing Partner of Tandem Consulting, a team of senior OD and change specialists. He has run consulting assignments in 20+ countries and is the author of 12 books. Areas of expertise include: • Organisational Development/Change & conflict resolution • Leadership Development/Executive Coaching • Human Resource Management/employee engagement
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