More than four years ago I was challenged by a friend to write 30 blog posts in 30 days. At that time I thought that it was an almost impossible task. Now I am on blog post 288 of this blog and I think back to those 30 in 30 days.
Anyway, I was reminded today from this video about my blog post from September 16th, 2012.
I would like to publish that blog post again today because surprisingly it is very relevant to what I have been writing about in the last 288 days.
Here it is below:
I was given a challenge by a friend to write 30 blog posts in 30 days. He challenged me to summarise an article and then incorporate inside the summary 10 ideas to solve the problem.
My friend half jokingly suggested I might choose from cricket articles. I laughed at this and said that I would take this challenge seriously and not to do that. I had a few days until I published this first blog but I couldn't go past this article from Cricinfo.
Cricinfo is one of the most popular websites in the world and you can find your daily cricket fix on it. But the aforementioned article really struck a chord with me. Why? Is it about my life? Quite possibly. The article was written from a cricket angle but could quite easily be applied to many walks of life and many if not all groups in our society.
Iain O'Brien, a former international cricketer for New Zealand says that a cricket player may look confident behind their sunglasses and that confident, almost arrogant strut but that could possibly be a facade because behind that could be insecurities and fears and all of those nasty things that prevent us from being all that we can be and entering as the aforementioned friend likes to say, the winners circle.
O'Brien says that behind his sunglasses he was always analysing people. Analysing their words, their body language just to find out where he stood in the grand scheme of things. So how does he get away from the uncomfortable part, he doesn't make eye contact and avoids conversation. Unfortunately, this makes you appear arrogant and of course it is the exact opposite of what you are really feeling.
This is a very interesting article and I suggest after you read this post to click on the link above and read O'Brien's article.
So, what's this got to with me, Blair Leighton? Everything!!!! Everything that he writes about I am guilty as charged. Not just in cricket but in life in general. Has it hold me back? You bet your life it has. You ask people that know me, do I talk a lot. Not really and in 2012 that is not good. We do live in an extroverted society and we can't really afford to be introverted but that discussion is for another day. This is interesting that I wrote this in 2012. I must have known something about 2016 and 2017.
Do I sit back and analyse people? Up until a few weeks ago I would have said no, I just try and figure out who I am talking to so I can communicate with people on their wavelength. But when I really think about it yes I do and have even been accused of it by a current work colleague. Of course I want to tell her that I am fundamentally shy and that unlike some of my more extroverted colleagues I can't talk bullshit all day long but I can't tell her that. Why? She isn't going to listen.
As I am writing this I am thinking why should I care? I shouldn't. However, it is a little bit more difficult than that. Telling a person to just not care is about as useful as telling someone to just be confident or JDGAS (Just Don't Give A Sh*t) it means nothing and isn't going to fix the problem.
What is the problem? The problem as I have said is all those insecurities and fears that are holding you back.
So, what's the solution? Wow, I ask myself the difficult questions. I suppose I am challenging myself with this blog and coming up with kind of a solution is all part of it, so here goes:
1. Admit to yourself that you are inside you head and that you are indeed playing a character and not being true to yourself. You are trying to "fake it to you make it" and making yourself look like a wanker or even a perceived wanker in your own mind in the process.
2. This is particularly difficult for me but believe that it is very important for me to do and that is to say hello to people as they walk past, whether they are people you see everyday or people you have never seen before in your life. You don't have to spend the rest of the day or night with them. Just say hello. What are they going to think? "What a bloody twat!!! How dare he say hello to me?"
3. Look people in the eye and LISTEN. (Difficult for me as I'm not generally listening and am waiting to say something anyway.)
4. Do something once a day that is slightly out of your comfort zone. For me, talking to a woman I find attractive walking down the street may be that particular one (not that I have venustraphobia. look it up if you don't know what it means. It was a question on the bottle top of the Tui beer I had yesterday.)
5. I have joined a Toastmasters group recently. This is helping me with confidence. It is a very supportive environment for improving your public speaking and your leadership abilities. You get to meet a great deal of people who I would have to say are in the same boat who are not comfortable in their own skin.
6. Find things that you are passionate and see where you can take them. If you are passionate about boxing for example where can you go with that?
7. You are half assed. I know you are, maybe not all of you but a lot of you. When you do something, give it 100%.
8. Do an inventory of your strengths. We tend to think about our negatives and dwell on them when we all have strengths. It is a waste of time trying to build up your weaknesses when you should be highlighting your strengths and working on them. I'll use a cricket analogy, do you think Sachin Tendulkar works on his hook shot as much as his cover drive? I don't think so. He will just duck under the short ball and cream the cover drives.
9. Get rid of any negative influences in your life. I have done in the past and it does work.
10. Look after yourself, try to increase your knowledge. Look after your health (I'm terrible at this). You will start to feel better, have more energy and that confidence will return.
Confidence is the goal and working on it everyday will bring results. Just don't think of a quick fix. Work on it over a long period of time and you and I will see each other in that winners circle and maybe even in the future we will see each other in The Hall of Fame.
There you go. I did know about this stuff a few years ago. Isn't it amazing that you have it in you but you don't know at the time.