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A Fighter's Confidence




 

STEP FOUR: Act Like The Person You're Trying to Become:

One Small Step Into Your Desired Future


The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time

—Winston Churchill


We act consistent with who we believe we are.

Do you practise raising your self-image?


—Bob Proctor

 

 


Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if:


a) You never suffered the trauma/neglect/abandonment that ended up shaping you into the person you are today.


b) You had all the energy, motivation, drive, creativity, innocence and openness and resilience of the person you would have been, had it not been for those factors.


What would you do if that was true?


What would you do if you were still that person—the person you were meant to be, before your inner self and identity were assaulted, robbed and misshapen by life and its traumas?


What would you do if you could still live like that person?

And what would you do if I told you that you can still live like that person—not suddenly, of course, as with a flick of a switch—but to begin a gradual process towards that?

You can indeed begin a process toward the regaining of that ‘lost ground’—of the recovery of the things that you have lost, gradually, in the years since your birth.

The secret to living as a person you want to be, is in your mind. Once your mindset changes, everything will change. Once you feel like you are six feet tall, for example, you will walk like someone who’s six feet tall and behave like someone who’s six feet tall; and, believe me, because of the way you will carry yourself as a result of those beliefs, you will even begin to look like you are six feet tall. And people will perceive you as someone who is taller, and relate to you accordingly.

We’ve all met people who are ‘a lot smaller’ or ‘a lot shorter’ than we had thought them to be; but why did we think they were bigger in the first place? 


Because of the way they behaved. Because of the way they carried themselves.


We have all seen fighters who enter the ring behaving as if they were bigger and stronger, and even more skilled, than they really were; and this confidence and the way they carried themselves as a result of it, instilled respect in their opponents that other fighters—even some who genuinely were bigger, stronger and even better skilled—could not hope to have gained.

In my younger days in rural Bulgaria, there were many guys who had the respect—well, the fear—of others. Those guys won many fights, and most other ‘normal’ guys were afraid of them.


There was a problem, however: those fights weren’t really that; they weren’t really fighting contests—had they been so, those who were bigger, stronger or better at fighting, would’ve won. As it was, the ‘winner’ was always the man who had the confidence, and the reputation for being violent, and ‘crazy’. My friends and I, however, weren’t like most ‘normal’ guys; and, in the process of growing up and getting integrated into the night life of the village, eventually had to cross paths with some of those guys…


We soon found out that, although some of them were indeed violent, most of them were neither ‘tough’, nor ‘crazy’. It was all based on reputation; and their reputation was based on their confidence in themselves. That was no true confidence, of course—not in the case we’re discussing here—not a true faith in their inner selves. No; they merely trusted that their bravado, and the skills picked up in past street fights, would enable them to instil fear into others, so that they won’t even have to fight them. They used all of that to ensure that their inner weakness would not be exposed, and to establish their places in the pecking order of broken, fear-based masculinity.


Sure enough, that worked for them. For a while.


My friends and I were younger and, in some cases, ‘crazier’ than most of those guys. We were quiet, withdrawn boys, but deep down, we longed for battle; and whenever we were challenged by some of those ‘tough’ guys, we responded right away, with as much brute force as we could muster. And I was astonished to find that those legendary ‘warriors’, who had most of the peaceful population of the village in mortal fear of them, were nothing more than cowardly bullies—boys in men’s bodies, needing to exert power over everyone around them in order to feed their fragile egos, but afraid of everyone who appeared stronger and scarier than themselves.


The most astonishing thing was that my friends and I weren’t really much more aggressive, or scary, or even more able than them in terms of fighting skills; in fact, it rarely came to actual fighting: we were simply braver and more willing to stand up for ourselves and fight back, than most ‘normal’ people we knew. We also lifted weights, and looked bigger, stronger and perhaps more aggressive than the average man of our little village.


I keep using the word ‘normal’ here, for a good reason. My friends and I, though peaceful, fun-loving young men, weren’t normal. We knew that one day some of those guys would want to test us; and we were ready to fight back with brute force, as soon as that test came. The ‘normal’ people avoided fighting, and avoided those guys like plague. We, on the other hand, were ready, and waited for them to come to us. 


Why am I giving you this weird, crazy example?


Because, even in my youth, I was already a student of human nature; and I learned, back in those wild years, that there was something to those foolish, arrogant men’s confidence. They too were students of human nature; like sharks smelling a wounded animal’s blood, they could sense what might work in most situations. They were not afraid to take chances. They had the confidence to step into the fight, and ‘let loose’ their rage at anyone who would dare oppose them—so that they hardly ever had to fight anyone. Most people left those men alone, because they were either afraid of them, or simply didn’t want the trouble of messing with them: they knew there would be fighting if they did. 


Those lonely, scared, vicious ‘loose cannons’ were not good men—far from it! But they had the confidence that all good men should have. 


They had a fighter’s confidence, and were not afraid to enter conflict. They were not afraid to act.


And it worked. Most of the time.


My observation was that, if such a shallow, bravado-based confidence could fool so many good people and keep them walking on eggshells around those bullies, it was not a lack of goodness that was the problem with our world—it was the lack of action. My friends and I never wished to bully people; we were not as vicious or malicious as those men were; yet, we were never as decisive, never the first to act, never willing to be first and ‘take the fight to them’ in order to prevent bigger conflicts in the future…

And that allowed the bullies plenty of time to run around unchallenged and do damage, until we felt forced to act.


We did not act, because we were insecure. They acted because they felt secure. Yet they did evil, not good…


Whether or not we have full confidence in what we are and what they feel is right, there comes a time when action is needed. If foolish, cowardly, vicious, selfish men can act with staggering confidence and the appearance of iron will, what is stopping good, well-meaning people to act out of what they feel is right?


Confidence, that’s what. A simple lack of confidence in themselves.


How, then, is one’s confidence to be developed, if one doesn’t yet seem to have it? 

By action. Confidence does not come before action—action comes first, and it gives birth to confidence. Confidence begets more action, and action produces confidence and the ability to act again and again…


But it all starts with action. Actions must come before feelings. We live in a world full of bullies, imposters and greedy, opportunistic people most of whom have very little genuine concern for their fellow human beings—yet it is they who often have the loudest voices and the biggest confidence. 


Keep them in mind, whenever you feel that you can’t really act; keep those people in mind, whenever you begin to feel like an impostor and are immobilised by fear of being seen as that. I have seen notorious bullies flee before one small man who isn’t afraid to speak the truth and act decisively. 


You need to act. The world needs you to act. The world needs you to be yourself and act out of that being.


You need a fighter’s confidence, and that is available to you, as much as it was available to those bullies, and later to me and my friends. Such confidence does not come from expertise—if it did, frauds and bullies would have very little—but it comes from having taken enough action to know that your actions get the job done. Experience, not expertise, is what produces confidence.

 

Experience that comes from having taken action repeatedly.



 


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