Graham Proud Four Steps Training

An interesting comment that someone made on a recent training programme that just got me thinking:

When does faking it turn into a life skill you have learnt and now apply?

Interesting I had a similar conversation last year when I went to see Russell Grant in The Wizard of Oz. We had a tweet conversation about the show that moved on to consider the confidence that comes from wearing a costume at a fancy dress party.

Russell’s view was:

“I just love dressing up! Is that wrong? Who cares I love it”

My view is that confidence is a very personal thing and often needs reinforcing and nurturing over a period of time.

Many delegates will come into a training room with a view they lack confidence and everyone else seems to be far more self-assured.

This viewpoint is often very deep rooted:

  1. Based on our inherited personality type and make-up
    I will often share with surprised training groups that by nature I am exceptionally shy, which as a trainer could still haunt me if I allowed my natural self to take over when feeling under pressure.
  2. Impacted by things that happen in our early childhood
    As a child I was in the remedial class for reading as I was thought to be slow and in need of help. During English lessons I would be taken to another classroom and rather than coached, the teacher would remind us how we would struggle to pass any qualifications or amount to anything in life. Not the greatest message to remember when stood at the front of a training room!
  3. Due to life changing events – something that caused us to challenge how we see ourselves
    Early on in my career I had a manager who over a period of three years systematically criticised me and my work, leaving my confidence through the floor.

Many of us focus heavily on these negative self-beliefs which can cause us to be less influential or ineffective in certain situations.

There are many ways to help build self-belief and to ignore the negative inner voice that many of us listen to, and I have worked through them all!

Outside influences are always likely to be part of any of our lives, however we don’t have to take on board the negative views and beliefs of others.

Much of my role as a trainer and coach is to build confidence in individuals and rebuild the positive aspects of how they see themselves. Playing on the positive elements of their knowledge, skills and attitude are some of the first steps to building confidence.

I believe that to some extent all of us maintain and present a façade to the outside world. Some people may view this as faking it, sticking your chin out to the world, wearing a costume or just having a poker face.

So linking back to Russell’s comment:

“Love dressing up, it’s not wrong, don’t care what anyone else thinks and love it!”

Whatever works best for you then go for it!

We are all faking it on some level – or are we just learning life skills that we apply every day? It’s an interesting topic to debate.

If you are interested to hear about other practical tools to help with your influencing skills or ways to improve your personal impact then contact Four Steps at at or telephone us on 023 9248 1549.

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