Confidence begets confidence

Learn to become more confident!

34°12’40.8″N 35°52’39.0″E

A rock climber’s life is in the hands of the belayer. The belayer is the person who controls the safety rope at the bottom of the mountain.  When the climber shouts: “Belay”, the rope should be tight, holding the climber’s in his position.
Before any difficult or long reach move, the belayer needs to ensure that the climber’s position is safe and secure. Some holds are even hard to reach that the climber might jump to get it. Two scenarios emerge:

1. Either the climber succeeds and the belayer has to pull the rope and secure the rope again
2. Or, the climber failed at making the move and a fall will happen.

During the fall, the climber has only one way to stay alive, to rely on the belayer’s ability to pull the rope and keep him in place. The confidence of the climber comes from his courage and technical abilities in climbing, but no climber would risk a jump without trusting the belayer at the foot of the mountain.

Confidence: /ˈkɒnfɪd(ə)ns/  the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

The etymology of the word comes from: con (with) and fidere (to trust).

Confidence can be tackled in two categories:
Basic Confidence and Extended Confidence

Basic confidence is a quality of trust that you have in your abilities. This may vary from one person to another, naturally confident people can generally speak up, state their opinion meanwhile, less confident people might have a difficulty at talking to a stranger or need to think about it before doing it.
Both confident and less confident people within the basic confidence spectrum wouldn’t dare taking that climber’s jump. In fact, having a very high basic confidence allows you to explore everything within your common abilities. For example, a trapeze gymnast could perform all the tricks within his abilities, but he needs to know that there is a net beneath him before performing a new jump.
In order to reach to your extended confidence area, and start outdoing your skills and improving your abilities, you will need to rely on confidence generators: the belayer for the climber, the net for the gymnast.
Extended confidence is what will give you the power and the momentum to get out of your comfort zone and explore new areas. Confidence is knowing that someone is watching, someone has your back and will be there if you fail. 

Improving your confidence requires you to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to get out, grow and take the jump!

3 steps to avoid Panic!

Can you do something about it?

34°12’35.0″N 35°55’47.3″E

We all go through periods in our lives where we feel like we lost control. Mary felt like she lost control when she got laid off her job due to an unexpected turn of events. Even though it wasn’t her dream job, and she was planning on quitting one day and pursuing her passion of becoming a chef, she didn’t see it coming. She wasn’t prepared. She didn’t have a plan and the changes around her were scaring her. She had no idea what to do. Mary started having panic attacks and her anxiety made her doubt everything she knew about herself. She had fallen deep into the rabbit hole.
Falling into the rabbit hole is finding yourself in the unknown.

So what can you do to avoid the rabbit hole? What can you do to avoid the unknown?

1. Do a threat assessment

Stop asking yourself ‘What if’ questions and stop visualizing alternative comfortable situations. This is not going to happen, and you will never be able to go back in time. Instead, make a logical and clear assessment of the situation you are currently in. Break down the problem and analyze different parts of it, leverage prior experience to calmly size up challenges.

2. Emphasize the positive and focus on what you can control

Ask yourself whether you can change anything about the situation you are currently facing. If the answer is no, look for other areas where you can do something. If the answer is yes, then focus on gaining back control of your situation. Mary had definitely lost her job; and she really wanted to become a chef, so what could she do about that situation, how could she become the chef she has always wanted to become?

3. The secret to calm and focus is in knowing the next step

Remaining calm and focused can be difficult in situations of panic, in fact, many people believe claim to have lost their path and have no idea where they’re going. Ignore unhelpful thoughts: thoughts that are leading nowhere and are feeding on your fear of the unknown. Make a decision and focus on the next step, stop trying to solve the large problem and the big picture; knowing your next step will put you back in the driver’s seat.

Every time you find yourself in an uncomfortable or panic situation, ask yourself: What can I do about it? Detail and write down your answer, it will reveal every step that you should take.

Follow this Recipe for Change

Why do you want to change?

34°09’46.7″N 35°48’03.1″E

In anthropology, human beings are constantly changing, always evolving into hopefully becoming better versions of themselves. Every year, month, week and even every day, we wake up in the morning with a set goal in mind aiming at achieving it.

There are two types of daily goals: Finite goals and infinite goals.

Finite goals are in general short-term goals. They have set metrics, with a clear deadline and a clear concrete proof of achievement: buying groceries, or getting a haircut, sending an email or making a phone call.
Infinite goals are long-term goals without clear metrics, no set date and to achieve the goal you will be have to perpetuate the state in which the goal is achieved without necessarily reaching the ultimatum.

The same goal can be both finite and infinite, for example getting fitter: you could be getting fitter for your wedding next summer, or you could be getting fitter period.  In the first example, the metrics are set, the deadline is your wedding, and on your wedding day the goal could be achieved. The second example however, the goal is in a perpetual state, you will be getting fitter indefinitely for the rest of your life.

Any change you want to apply to your life would require of you to set your goal, and most importantly know which type of goals: finite or infinite. Setting goals put 3 parameters in play:

1. Why do you want to change?

You need to understand why you want to change and how bad do you want it. What is the pain and in staying the same and what is the pleasure in changing? This step is very important because it will give you leverage on yourself to remind yourself down the road why you are doing what you are doing.

2. Monitoring your change

Add Rituals to your day: rituals put you in a state and put you out of a state. For example, waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning will help you get ready and be at the office 30 minutes earlier, which will make you feel more productive and help you plan your day better. Reading a book or writing your goals first thing in the morning will ignite an intellectual satisfaction in your brain and help you kick start your day.

3. Consistency

Focus on what you want and you will get to it. Focus on your diet, and it will get better, focus on your marriage and you will succeed, focus on your job and you will get the results you wanted. Focus is the key to maintain results and aim at better ones.
Rituals should become habits, waking up 30 minutes earlier for a month will eventually make it a habit, your brain will start waking up before the alarm every day.

To change your life, you need to change your physiology and focus. Life is like a camera, your lens can only see what you focus on.

How to choose your Leadership buddy?

Trust . Integrity . Forward thinking

34°12’30.3″N 35°55’40.0″E

Many athletes have taken upon themselves the will to travel into a world where the biology of the human body is not made to survive.
Scuba divers, free divers and mountaineers have chosen to stretch the limits of their bodies and fight extreme pressure, lack or complete absence of oxygen, temperature change, environmental challenges and physical difficulties.
Our human bodies are simply not designed to survive these conditions, and athletes know that with each journey, they are putting their lives at risk. Equipment and trainings help them increase their levels of survival, but one main factor remains their only chance at succeeding: A buddy.
Scuba divers, free divers, climbers and mountaineers all have one thing in common: a buddy. A buddy is a person whom you trust and has the ability to act in response to any situation that you might be in.
Similarly, leaders should have buddies, people with whom they could talk about problems or situations that they are currently having, trust them enough to share everything with them and listen to their advice.

How do you choose your leadership buddy? Who are the candidates and what is expected from a buddy?

Choosing a leadership buddy might look difficult at first, but it is not.  These are the main 3 aspects of what your leadership buddy should have:

1. Trust

A buddy could be a subordinate, a colleague, a level-up manager or a friend. Your buddy doesn’t have to be older or have more expertise than you, although these qualities might be tempting, but a buddy’s trust is more important than his performance. Focus on choosing someone you trust.

2. Integrity

Your leadership buddy should have integrity and be honest about what he sees and how that makes him feel. Avoid people pleasing attitudes and personalities, go towards someone who is great at stating his opinion.

3. Forward thinking

Being honest, having a clear opinion, and criticizing might lead to a destructive attitude. A leadership buddy’s most important quality is to have a forward thinking mentality, to be constructive and push you forward towards achieving your goals.

Leadership is a practice, it is a sport, endurance and consistency are important but having a buddy will keep you in line with your vision, your goals and will help you overcome problems and obstacles that you may face.

Tips on how to ride the waves of your environment

Bail . Dive . Take off

34°18’02.4″N 35°40’07.4″E

Out in the ocean, waves may vary in intensity and volume; however one thing is common, they all come in series of 8-9 waves. This pattern is what surfers study and wait for to ride the perfect one.

Our daily environment is structured in a similar manner; our daily challenges, obstacles, encounters, meetings and relationships are the waves in which we swim. They also come in pattern, in various intensities and volume. Just like a surfer, we need to choose carefully the waves on which we take off, the ones we duck dive under, and finally the ones we bail and observe being washed out at a distance.

Human beings, in their nature, are afraid of the uncertain. As a result, we end up stuck between the waves of life, being held down or washed out to shore.
Ask yourself: Can you do something about it?
If the answer is no, you need to accept that you cannot control the situation.

1. Bail

In fact, we have almost no power over what happens around us, only how we react. From this point forward, what we do will define our position in regard to the situation:This is a common and easy solution. Bailing out is simply letting go and watching the problem wash out by itself. It requires no energy from our side, and very little intention.
Deciding to bail comes from two main incentives:
-The lack of skills in response to the situation
-The absence of relevance to our goal.

If the wave you are facing, or the situation that you find yourself in does not serve you and advance you or your cause in any way, then there is absolutely no point in spending time, energy and resources on trying to ride it.

2. Duck dive

On the contrary to bailing, duck diving is addressing the situation with a clear intention. It is having the will to look at the problem and snake around it in the smoothest and safest way possible.
This decision comes from your ability to face the cause and the consequences of the situation, and your belief in advancing your character and skills.
Duck diving might be a way out of the problem, but it is not surrender, it takes power, energy and will.

3. Taking off

Life will throw waves at you that are strong in intensity, large in volume and powerful enough to keep you going. These are the waves that you want to take, the waves that surfers wait for. Taking off requires confidence in one’s self and the skills to tackle the challenge and surf the journey.
To take off you will have to believe that this wave will bring you closer to your goal. Understand that you might fall a few times, but this will not damage you, but will only take you back to square one.
It will be hard, and it might look impossible at the beginning, but your will and your confidence will help you stand tall and ride the challenge.

At the end of each scenario, your decision will help you gain maturity, experience and skills: Bailing will feed your maturity in deciding where to invest your energy. Duck diving will arm you with experience to learn and pick your battles. And finally, taking off will grant you skills and bring you closer towards achieving your goal.
Which is it going to be?