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Why feeling unsure of yourself might be your best asset

Confidence, Making Decisions & Finding Passion

A few weeks ago I went to see a network chiropractor that a friend had recommended.

I got a weird vibe from him straight away.

He seemed arrogant, perhaps a bit too sure of himself and his method.

He was also extremely “woo”.

In the past I’ve been very sceptical of anything “woo” whatsoever, to the point of scornful disdain.

But then 11 years ago, somewhere in the midst of the Adriatic Sea —

probably while grumpily re-ironing a king sized bed after a Russian Billionaire had sat on the edge of it

— mindfulness snuck up on me and transformed every facet of my life.

Mindfulness has previously been something that I’d loudly scoffed at (on many occasions). Now it’s the most important skill I’ve ever learnt, bar none. I even quit a career in architecture in order to teach it.

So these days, when I’m faced with seemingly “woo” concepts, I initially say “Shhht” to sceptical Nev (my mind) and try to get him to stay open to what we don’t understand.

So despite some hesitation about the arrogant “woo”, I decided to give this chiropractor another shot.

At one point during the second treatment, he stood near me and then rapidly backed away four paces and exclaimed dramatically “Oh WOW, this is the edge of your energy field out here. Your energy field is huge!”

Neville responded “Fuckin hell bro, calm down with the wide eyes.”

I kept this to myself.

He continued talking from 3m away: “You feel the emotions of everyone around you. You can read people easily. You like being alone as you get overwhelmed by others’ emotions sometimes.”

He said it with complete authority.

“This man is on crack” Neville giggled.

Meanwhile another part of me nodded shyly. “Yep, can read others very easily. Yep need lots of time alone after I’ve been around people too long.”

“Is this like horoscopes” Pondered Nev… “He just says stuff that basically literally anyone can relate to and you get sucked in?”

I saw the chiro three times in the end. He made it seem as though he 100% definitely knew the answer to my lower back pain.

It was only a (short) matter of time, according to Mr Sure, before he permanently resolved this issue that I’ve had for more than half a decade.

After the third session with no improvement to my back pain, I was still deliberating over whether I should keep seeing this guy or find someone else. He seemed so sure.

My gut was saying “There’s something off about this guy. Too much ego. Too sure of himself. Not my kind of person”.

But for a while, his sureness bamboozled my sureness.

Since I gave up on Mr Sure, I’ve been seeing an osteo instead.

He’s been helping the pain a lot. He’s confident, but super humble, never makes me feel like he “definitely” knows the answer, and always tries new things.

In the appointments I can see him trying to work out the puzzle of my back pain in his head. He’s not arrogant enough to assume he already knows everything.

And he never makes me feel like I need to keep returning to see him.

During one appointment I asked why he left his previous practice and he shared that he didn’t like how there was a conflict of interest between helping patients, and wanting to make as much money as possible.

Osteos who don’t encourage their patients to keep returning week after week aren’t good for business.

We chatted about how much of a problem this is across our entire society.

Food that has all the nutrients we need and leaves people satiated is not good for business.

Addictive, nutritionally-devoid “food-like” food is good for business.

Social media that makes it easy for people to hop on and hop back off after a few minutes to go and do something more meaningful is bad for business.

You get the picture.

I trust this osteo, because we share similar values.

He values integrity and helping people above status and money.

He doesn’t make patients feel they need to see him weekly forever, like many practitioners I’ve met, even though he knows this means he could be earning more money.

When people book in for a free 30 min chat with me to discuss whether they want to sign up for Bloody Good Life 1:1 coaching, I don’t try to convince them that they need to work with me.

If they seem unsure, I encourage them to sleep on it for a while and go with their gut.

I only want to work with people who know in their gut that I feel like the right mentor for them right now. Helping people thrive makes me thrive, and it only works if we’re a good fit, which is why I offer these free chats, so we can say g’day before diving in.

If the BGL program doesn’t seem right for anyone I chat to, I tell them.

If they’re not sure whether they can afford it, I suggest they save up and come back to me if it still feels right. I actively tell people NOT to sign up if it’s going to cause financial stress.

I cannae get my head around how common it is for business coaches to encourage people to put $5K+ coaching packages on credit cards. Gag.

We love to trust people who seem extremely sure.

We gravitate towards people who are sure.

Which is probably why there are so many people who are high on the overconfidence/ narcissism spectrum doing extremely well in the coaching industry. (Alongside many great coaches too).

It’s a trap I’ve fallen into myself many times. Both hiring coaches who were way too “sure”, and being a coach who was way too sure.

We want someone who will give us the answers and take away our uncertainty.

But life will always be full of doubt and uncertainty.

And these people disempower us.

They are lost in their ego’s story.

I’m an OG know-it-all, from a long line of know-it-alls.

I’ve been very sure in my life, and I’ve been very, very wrong

So now when I feel sure, I ignore Neville and stay curious.

If someone is too sure, take their advice with a grain of salt.

Instead look for people who are confident, yet committed to staying open and curious.

As my mate Bertrand Russell once said,

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

And also as my mate Jaggi Vasudev once said:

“Idiots are always dead sure about every damn thing they are doing in their life.” “The sign of intelligence is that you are constantly wondering.”

The more we learn, the more we realise that we don’t know.

And the more we let go of needing to be sure, the more curious and open we become to all the possibilities.

So if you’re feeling a bit unsure in your life, and comparing yourself to people who feel very sure…

Remember:

You’re a genius.

If you’ve been thinking of doing the much loved Bloody Good Life program, this is your last chance. BGL will be closing its doors from July this year.

Learn to tame your overthinking mind and get clear on your direction (plus a handful of other benefits you won't expect).

→ Put your name on the Bloody Good Life waitlist here.

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