THE STRETCH ZONE – Confidence & Arrogance!

In 2008 I had the pleasure of coaching Helen within a leadership context and, talking about confidence under pressure, she raised her concern ‘about the dividing line between confidence and arrogance’.

Given our stereotypical ideas about confidence as the opinionated, pushy so-and-so we all too often associate confidence with arrogance – a very real and avoid-at-all-costs concern.

Arrogance is nothing more than a manufactured pretence, a desperate attempt to mask underlying fear and doubt with a façade of pseudo-confidence – an unnecessary waste of effort and energy.

Authentic confidence has nothing to do with arrogance – it is congruent, the same on the outside as it is on the inside, and in it’s consistency an unassuming, honest, genuine, real and sustainable confidence emerges from within oneself as Helen so clearly demonstrates with presence and impact in her understated way.

Question: When under pressure in your STRETCH ZONE to what extent is your ‘inside’ congruent with your ‘outside’ with confidence anchored in humility?


THE STRETCH ZONE – Living Anxiety in Advance!!

In his inspirational writings Seth Godin said: ‘anxiety is nothing – but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste’.

At the threshold of our COMFORT ZONE, under the pressure of those moments that really matter, we so often hold ourselves back unnecessarily imagining what might happen.

Hesitant at the threshold the mind is hijacked by fear and doubt about what happened last time or what might happen this time – repeatedly re-experiencing imagined failure in advance.

This reality is nothing but fiction – a fiction that so often dominates our reality. What holds back our potential is nothing other than conditioned doubt as we re-experience failure in advance. When we disconnect with doubt’s fiction and reconnect with the moment’s reality – opportunity happens with confidence!!

Question: When under the pressure of your STRETCH ZONE to what extent are you aware of your mind repeatedly re-experiencing imagined failure in advance – and what is the effect thereof?


THE STRETCH ZONE – Building, Boosting & Acting Confident

Following a recent blog post about the STRETCH ZONE Sara kindly got in touch reflecting her need ‘to boost her confidence’ at times when under pressure – just like everyone else.

No different to the rest of us, when under pressure to achieve beyond our COMFORT ZONE, we typically speak about the need to build, boost and act more confident – not recognising the conditioned assumption.

When we build, boost or act more confident what we’re really doing is projecting a façade of pseudo-confidence over suppressed fear and doubt – and it seldom lasts and is rarely convincing.

Language about building, boosting and acting confident reveals an underlying assumption that confidence is something we lack and need to learn and acquire. Confidence is not something we lack, it is our natural state, an imminent potential within – and rather than manufacturing what is already there it is better to channel our efforts and energy differently to where they matter most.

Question: When under pressure to what extent do you subscribe to the idea of boosting confidence over suppressed fear and doubt – and what is the effect on your performance and potential?


THE STRETCH ZONE – Questioning, Questioning, Questioning Oneself!

When the pressure is on to achieve a certain outcome we find ourselves outside our COMFORT ZONE and in the STRETCH ZONE – a space characterised by an unforgiving pattern.

Under the pressure of the STRETCH ZONE our confidence and composure seem to vanish into the ether, displaced by a relentless noise, clutter and distraction banging about within the mind.

What should I do? What might happen? What happened last time? Will I look the fool? Do I know enough? What are they thinking? Will they listen? Will I fail? Am I in control? Am I good enough?

Under the relentless pressure of the STRETCH ZONE we question, question and question ourselves in all sorts of different, yet unnecessary ways. So long as our mental faculties are hijacked by unwanted self-questioning – we’ll never be able to focus where it matters and be at our best!!

Question: When under pressure of the STRETCH ZONE in what way do you tend to question yourself and what effect does that have on your presence and composure when it really matters?