When it Comes to Confidence, Size Matters!
“Easy the I” my teacher Robert Nadeau , 8th dan aikido master tells his students. His instruction helps build confidence, although his new students may not understand this.
Most of us equate confidence with a strong ego and thus seek ways to bolster it. If I just had a new dress… a thinner body… bigger muscles… a hot honey… I’d feel more sure of myself. Or if I just made more money, won that competition, got promoted, or was recognized for how special I am, I’d feel confident. Easy the I.
These desires only temporarily alleviate one’s self-doubts. In time, the dress is yesterday’s news, the thinner body now requires a smaller nose to go along with it, and the promotion seems like no big deal. The more we seek things outside of ourselves to build our confidence the more we go round and round like the mouse on the wheel. I know. I’ve been there.
But what if we have it bass ackward? What if it is not about making the doubter confident? Instead, what if confidence is generated from shifting to a larger version of ourselves which is opened and aligned to the intelligent universal energy field? And what if that process is actually much simpler and more comprehensive than trying to fix ourselves?
To help his students understand, Nadeau uses himself as an example. He calls the versions of himself, Bobby, Bob, Mr. Nadeau and Sensei Nadeau. Bobby is the kind of guy who might get sand kicked in his face at the beach, He takes up very little space, has a hard time articulating his thoughts, is introverted and very unsure of himself. With each upgrade he becomes more spacious and thus his energetic capacity, presence, power and confidence increase. At the level of Sensei Nadeau he has the presence and lethal capacity of a master samurai, expresses himself exactly, and has the multi-perceptual ability to map out states of consciousness.
How does he do this? Instead of operating from his thinking mind, which like most of us, is habituated to play old tapes of not being good enough, Nadeau shifts completely into his mind/body/energy field and becomes a vessel for power in service of the greater good. As Sensei Nadeau he is so centered, grounded and spacious that he doesn’t think about confidence; he just is it.
Similarly, at each upgraded version of you, as your presence expands, you’ll shift into someone who is wiser, more perceptive and confident.
The truth is, you’ve experienced this shift more times than you can count. It is in the moment when something brilliant comes out of your mouth, and you think to yourself, who said that? Or you recognize the larger one in you by the depths of your compassion and heart. At other times it shows itself when you make that impossible basketball shot or feel the wonder and peace of being alive as you walk down a quiet country road.
That doesn’t mean that your efforts to enhance your self- awareness are worthless. But without the spacious hereness or energetic presence to go along with it, insights don’t necessitate change. Making the shift into the larger version of you effortlessly brings a new level of awareness and combined, these elements produce confidence and skillful action.
Of course you won’t operate from the larger identity 24/7. When life whacks you on the head, you’ll probably revert to the smaller one in you. But if you acknowledge it , get out of your head by breathing deeply into your back and lower belly, and then let your energy radiate 360 degrees around you like the sun, you’ll expand and find an ease that enhances your confidence.
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Aimee Bernstein is the president of Open Mind Adventures which specializes in executive coaching, collaborative teams , wide scale change events, and mindfulness-in-action training. She is a psychotherapist, keynote speaker, and the author of Stress Less Achieve More: Simple Ways to Turn Pressure into a Positive Force in Your Life ( AMACOM 2015) www.stresslessachievemore.com
Aimee can be reached at Aimee@OpenMindAdventures.com
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