Confidence is key. People are talking about it all the time these days. Success coach Graham Stedman discussed it in a recent interview with business mentor Ali Brown. Articles about confidence have appeared in places as diverse as Women’s Health, Seventeen, Inc. and Success magazines. Even celebrities like Katie Holmes are hiring confidence coaches, as Yahoo! reported she did in the wake of her divorce from movie star, Tom Cruise. However, one of my all-time favorite confident gals is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Old-fashioned example, I know but for the sake of argument, I invite you to take a good look at what she does in the space of those short cinematic hours:
1) Tells off the horrible Miss Gulch when that witch tries to *gulp* take her dog, Toto away
2) Strikes out on her own to seek her fortunes with nothing but what fits into her cute little basket
3) Kills the terrible Wicked Witch of the East without even trying!
4) Strikes out on her own AGAIN to seek the Wizard’s assistance, in a foreign land, with no GPS, no guide, not even a map!
5) Insists that the Scarecrow accompany her to Oz and assures him that the Wizard can also give him a brain
6) Does the same with the Tin Man and his search for a heart
7) Tells the Lion off for bullying the others, wipes away his tears and then convinces him he will find courage if he joins them on their quest 8) Let’s not forget her piece de resistance, when she tosses that bucket of water and melts the Wicked Witch of the West down to a puddle
9) Lets the Wizard have it for tricking them into thinking he had powers that could actually help them achieve their goals
There are more examples, but I don’t want to belabor the point. The point is, young Dorothy is a sassy little whippersnapper, right? Because she has so much chutzpah, so much confidence, she manages to round up some new friends, make her way through a very precarious situation in a very strange land and ultimately reach her goal of getting back home to Kansas and her Aunt and Uncle.
During the course of her journey, her confidence, strength and magnetism win the loyalty and love of her friends, help her persuade all kinds of creatures to give her what she wants and give her the push she needs to keep going until she reaches her goal. Interestingly, her confidence is so strong that it spreads quickly: Scarecrow follows her lead (and leadership) from the get-go, then Tin Man gets on board and finally, Lion steps up, too.
So what? I hear you asking. What's the big deal? How are Dorothy and her adventures in Oz relevant to our lives?
Well, as your Confidence Coach, I can tell you that without it, you're basically dead in the water (excuse the pun, Wicked Witch of the West), face down and floating pretty aimlessly. I mean, how can you swim if you think you can't, right? How can you thrive if someone throws a bucket of water at you when you’re afraid it might melt you??
Whether you’re wet or dry, locked in a witch’s tower or in an office, speaking in front of a bunch of Munchkins or just talking on the telephone, confidence can either make or break your day. Actually, it can really make or break your LIFE.
If you don’t feel confident, you will most certainly hold your Self back from doing all kinds of fun things. Just imagine: Want to go back to school to learn a new skill? Maybe you just need some courage. Tired of your ho-hum job but unsure of whether you can learn a new routine at a new job? Maybe you just need a brain (NB, You already have that. Just ask Scarecrow.) Dying for a date with that cute guy you saw at the grocery store but too tongue-tied to start up a conversation? Think with your heart, just like Tin Man. Really, all you need to do in every one of these situations is take the first step. What makes that possible? That’s right, a dash of confidence.
So now that you can see why it’s useful, want to know how to get it? Want to be as confident and sassy as Dorothy?
There are lots of ways to grow your confidence muscle right now, today. I help my clients with exactly that task, all the time. And I’m giving you three of the quickest and easiest, right here and now:
1) Be the Scarecrow...
Use your own smarts to decide on and set goals for your own progress through life
2) Be the Tin Man...
Be at least as nice to your Self as you are to others
3) Be the Lion...
Courageously take action everyday towards your own goals
Your achievements will pile up quickly and make you feel really good about your Self. Now tell me, how easy was that?? Kind of like clicking your heels together three times and saying something like, “There’s no one like me.”
(Previously published at LifeBusinessGrowth.com, October 2012)