A Lack of Confidence
Believe it or not, I’m not the most confident person in the world. Much of the time, I’m self-conscious about my crooked bottom row of teeth, my thinning hair or that little bit of belly that I can’t seem to trim down. (Give me a break – I’m trying. Okay… I’m really not). I’m so worried about saying or doing the right things that I will often say or do the wrong things as a result. I can’t tell you the amount of stupid things I’ve said or done on account of getting up into my own head.
I used to try and convince myself that my lack of confidence comes from humility. But you don’t have to be a bumbling idiot to be humble. And you don’t have to be humble to be confident, though I wouldn’t sacrifice the former for the latter.
The Search For Confidence
To this day I am in awe of people who have an innate confidence. It’s something I wish I had. Whether it’s the power to sell, the strength to firmly position your own arguments, or to just get out in front of people and do what you do – I’ve always wanted that.
For years I’ve tried to figure out what it was about a given person’s experience that made them more confident than me. What did they do? What did I miss? Is there something they’ve done that I could apply to my own life? Am I too late? Am I damaged goods?
Was there anyone universally known that I could access or understand fairly easily? Someone I could emulate?
Then it hit me —
— James Bond.
The Confident James Bond
Who is James Bond? A gentleman spy, sure. But how does he do what he does? What is it about 007 that we love so much?
More than anything, I would believe it to be his confidence. James Bond can walk into any room and know that that room is his. James Bond can get himself into any situation and just know that he can get himself out of it. There is very little, if anything, that particularly worries James Bond. If you could bottle his sweat and call it “Confidence”, I’m pretty sure people would drink it.
But look, I’m not suggesting you put on a suit and tie, order up a martini and speak with an accent (though, if you’re a Brit you’re obviously good to go). And I’m certainly not recommending that you change your name or hit on every woman you see.
What I am suggesting is this: when you’re about to meet new people but you’re too nervous or shy to say anything (or you’re afraid you’ll say the wrong thing), when you have an upcoming presentation that’s giving you terrible anxiety, when you find yourself onstage about to perform and your stomach is doing flips – in nearly any everyday experience that foments within you an immobilizing fear that seeks to shut you down – imagine you’re James Bond.
You will have the confidence to handle any situation.
Becoming James Bond
Here are some suggestions that will help you become James Bond.
- This may seem like heresy, but have a little fun. Instead of “WWJD?”, try “WWJBD?”.
- Keep in mind that this isn’t about discovering clever means of escape, it’s about confidence in where you are, what you do, and how you interact. Walk straight, and own the room.
- While this may come off entirely ridiculous, something that really gets me in that James Bond zone is playing the theme music in my head when I enter a room. It works. I’m not kidding.
What things have you tried in order to feel or be more confident? Have you imagined yourself as someone other than James Bond? Who and why? Do you have a story about this experience? Share below!
Parts of this article were originally published in Operation: Joy – 30 Daily Missions To Inspire Joy In Yourself & Others.