EP 52- How to be Confident in your “Yes”
Welcome fellow confidence crusaders, neuro nerds and success equalizers. This is your podcast, Real Confidence. I'm your host, Alyssa Dver, and I'll be sharing a bit of basic brain science, some surprising social secrets and a touch of tough love. Why? Because I believe confidence is everyone's fundamental right and choice. So let's get to it.
This is a sister podcast or brother podcast to the one I did that talks about how to say no with confidence. We're going to talk about the opposite, which is how to say yes with confidence. Now, I would make the case that yes is often easier to say than no in many cases, because yes is allowing us to belong, is allowing us to join something, allowing us to confirm somebody else and subsequently have them like us better. So in many cases, we might really want to say no, but we say yes instead. Sure. I'll go to that movie. Sure. That looks great on you. Yes, of course. We can see your parents this weekend. What? Chinese food? Yeah, that'll be great. And all along, all we want to do is stay home by ourselves. Reading a good book or something of that nature. Right? So we say yes to appease, to fawn, to give somebody else reason to think that we like them. And subsequently they should like us. Right out of the gate you can see the difference here. When I talked about when people say no, there are some reasons why they typically do it. Either they are defending their expertise, their ego, or they're constantly saying no. But when we say yes, there could be very different reasons. And the reason that we say yes to something again usually is a sign that we want to go along with somebody, that we want to agree, that we want to be part of the pack. We don't want to ruffle somebody’s feathers. We don't want to create disruption. So in many cases we are going along with something even though we don't want to. But there are reasons that it can be very hard. Sometimes to say yes can be very hard when there are things that you really don't want to do that you should do. And yet you are having a hard time saying, Yes, I'm going to do it. So let me give you three examples.
In some cases, we may say yes and be terrified of what this new thing, this new activity, this new food, this new whatever it is we're being asked to do. But we're going to really want to say no and say yes because maybe we like the thrill of it. Maybe that little endorphin drip of novelty that trying something new, giving it a go, accomplishing, defying what we don't want to do is actually something that turns us on. And so as much as we want to say no, in reality we'll say yes because we don't want to be wimps. We don't want to. Defer to our negative comfort level. Kind of a funny way of looking at it, but it's very true.
In some cases people really like having that limelight. They like showing off, in fact. So that even though their heart is pounding and they really don't want to do whatever they're being asked to do here, try this slimy, ugly looking food. They'll do it anyway just to come across as brave. Just to come across as somebody who's adventurous and who doesn't fear anything we actually will wind up saying yes. But whether we're doing it as a way of showing off or getting that adventurous dopamine drip, those are not really confident decisions. Those are by definition, reactions to things that our brain wants to get that adrenaline going. We want that thrill. And subsequently I will make the case that those are not conscientious confident decisions. When we made the decision to say yes, despite our fear, despite our concern that we may look or feel stupid afterwards despite our fear that we actually may fail. When we make the decision to say yes to something that's unknown, that's scary. But we do it anyway because we say to ourselves, “I will learn from this. I will have an experience that will benefit me somehow, some way then we're saying yes with confidence.
So again, if we are saying yes because we're just trying to be, quote, brave and I very, very very big difference. Want to state the big difference between being brave or courageous? And trying to have bravado, if you will, saying, I'm going to do it anyway. I'm going to run into the burning house and rescue the cat because I'm going to look great and it's going to make me feel good or I'm going to run into the house because, you know, I got to just do this. There's no thought involved. When you're courageous, you're really just doing something to overcome the fear, to get through it for whatever reason, that may not even be in your head at the time. Save the cat, look good, be a hero, Have people like me get a little bit of dopamine up, climb the mountain because it makes me feel like I'm, you know, super strength or whatever. That's courageous. That's courage. That is different than confidence. Confidence. The difference is very, very significant.
Confidence says I really don't want to do this. It doesn't feel like I want to do this, but I'm going to do it. I'm going to say, yes, I'm going to try this new dish. I'm going to go and try this new thing. I'm going to do something that somebody is asking me to do because despite my fear. I should do this. I want to learn from it that's the difference. Now, how to do it is a whole different story. So, as usual, we're going to take a quick break, give our sponsors a little bit of love, and we're going to come back and talk about how to say yes with confidence. We'll be right back.
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Okay. So, the steps to having the confidence to say, yes, I will do this thing even though it scares the poop out of me. Is very similar. In fact, it's identical. The process to what I went through on the other podcast and we talked about how to say no with confidence. And it starts with a very simple thing that I can say, but I recognize that it is not always easy to do which is stop yourself in your tracks when you're starting to wig out, when you're saying to yourself inside your head, really don't want to do this, but I should do this and you're having that internal conflict. That's the moment your amygdala is screaming at you saying Hey, you may fail, you may feel regret, and you may actually be rejected if you say yes to doing this and you look like a moron or you hate what you're about to eat and you can't swallow it, or whatever the consequences of saying, yes that's your amygdala saying, Beware danger. If you say yes, now, that feeling, that itchy feeling, that discomfort, it's a split second. But when you start to recognize it, it's almost like being in the matrix. It starts to slow down.
The more often that you start to catch yourself and you start to get really good at feeling that. And when you feel that discomfort, that nervousness, that anxiety. That's the moment of truth that you're going to say to yourself why don't I want to say yes? Or why do I want to say yes so I can conscientiously make the decision if I really want to do this and if I really want to do this, why? What is the motivation? What is the outcome? What is the value of doing this thing that is making me feel nervous? So, let's just say somebody said to you hey, why don't you try this ugly gross looking thing that smells bad? Because I think you might like it. You're like, oh, I really don't want to try this. But I don't want to look shy. I don't want to look weak. I don't want to miss the opportunity to try something new. Whatever the excuse is and you're going through in your head, you're saying this. I don't know if I really want to try this you might come back and say to the person that's interesting. Why do you think I'm going to like this? Like, what is the rationale? Why do you want me to try this? Or can you give me more information about what's in this dish? Again, you start to ask yourself more discreetly, like, what is it that I am worried about? Is there a spice in here? Is there something that I might be allergic to that I don't like that I don't want to try that. I'm not interested in trying.
I am a very adventurous eater. My family knows this. I'm out there and needless to say anything is pretty much triable as far as I'm concerned. With the exception of strange or I should say, unusual meats, I'm not terribly adventurous with meat. Whether it be rabbit or venison or even snake meat or shark meat or anything that’s meat oriented like that causes me to wig out. Now, why? I don't know, honestly, if I've had a bad experience or what, but it just is that moment of, you know, if I want to eat this. Give me a weird vegetable. Give me a red fruit, a weird drink, even if I'm all in but a weird meat, oh, so it is that moment of reckoning. Oh, do I really want to try this? And in that reckoning moment, the question I always say to myself is what's the worst thing that can happen? I'm not going to be allergic to it. Most likely I haven't been allergic to any meat so far. Do I really want to try something for the sake of trying it? And my answer to myself is always like, Yes, if you don't like it, don't eat any more. Or if you're really not in the mood you have an upset stomach your or too full, whatever. That's okay. Punt. Maybe next time. But be conscious about why you're making that decision to say yes or to say no.
Now, part of the time, it can be really easy like that, but part of the time it may be a lot more complex. Let's say that you're at work and somebody is saying to you, we have this new job or this new task that needs to be done and we think you should do it. And you're saying to yourself, I don't know what the hell to do with this. I've never done this before. Why me? All these questions, right? So again, that itchy, scary, nervous, anxious moment, your amygdala screaming at you. If you do this, you could really fail. You could look like an idiot. And you're going through the permutations in your head and all the excuses why you shouldn't say yes. But if you say to yourself a time out before I say no or before I jump into this Yes, because I don't want to look stupid before I give an answer, I'm going to get more information. I'm going to ask the person or other people, give me a little bit more information. What? Why do you want me to do this? What are my skills or what's my experience that points you to me? That may give you confidence why you could do this. You could ask people what's the outcome expected? What happens if I do this? What happens if I don't do this? And again, the more information you have is always better, but more importantly, information to give you the confidence to make a decision. If this is something that really is going to be a great learning experience for you. If it's going to give you some more skills, if it's something that has high visibility whatever the reasons are, you've got to figure those out. So when you say yes it's legitimately, I want to do this. Now in that process, asking for help, asking for somebody to kind of be a thought partner for you, all those things can really be invaluable so that you're not trying something you're not being courageous just without any help, without any scaffolding. But again, if you're asking enough questions, not crazy amount, but enough questions up front so that you are confident that your decision is a smart one. You can say yes with confidence.
Now going back when you fail, if you fail and acknowledging that it was a really important learning experience, that was one of the things that you that was a possible expectation. And here's the things that you learn from it that can make all the difference in the world. So that next time somebody comes and says hey, here's another new project even if the last one was a disaster, so to speak it didn't come up with the way you are hoping for. You can still, again, not bring that trauma forward, but utilize the lessons of trying something, learning from it and getting better so that the next time when something new screams at your amygdala, don't do it, you say to yourself, Hmm. Well, it's a different situation. I know some more things than I did last time. I learned some really good things from last time. I might learn some really good things this time and you can make a confident decision if this is something yet again, you want to give it a go. So, my friends recognize that feeling. Think about what's causing that fear. What? Why your amygdala screaming at you figure out some ways that you can get more information and make sure that you're doing something with confidence or not. And get on with it. For now, saying yes, doesn't have to be so scary.
Before we totally wrap up. I want to let you know that full transcripts and show notes for this and other real confidence episodes can be found on www.AmericanConfidenceInstitute.com/podcast. I also want to remind you once again that the best way to get confidence is to give it to others. And you can do it just by liking and sharing this episode on your preferred podcast and social media channels. You can even give me some confidence by noting topics you'd like me to consider for the future. So, for now, this is Alyssa Dver. Thank you for helping to bring more confidence.
Master editing done by Ben Weinstein with original music performed and composed by Jeff Mitchell. Real Confidence is a production of American Confidence Institute. All rights reserved.