August 25, 2014
Confidence Is A Magic Bullet
Why do some people always succeed, while others keep missing the mark? Everyone has different talents and abilities, but some people, even those without a lot of natural talent, seem to rise above the masses and end up at the top. And confidence is often the driver behind that success.
The best sales people exhibit confidence, and the managers responsible for hiring them know this, which is why in any good interview scenario the interview team looks for signs of self-confidence. Displaying your self-confidence is similar to tightrope walking. Lean too far to the right and you are perceived as arrogant. Too far left and you appear to lack self-esteem. But when you hit on all cylinders—then you’ve created magic.
Talk to any sales person who’s been around a while, and they can tell you how it feels when they come out of a presentation and they know they closed the deal.
I was fortunate to have been raised in a house where confidence was instilled in all of us. As a result, I guess I never gave it much thought until my wife and I started our animal sanctuary. Observing the animals has taught me a lot, and one of the most important things I learned is that confidence is not restricted to humans. It plays a big part in animal politics. Take a look at the picture of Kelly (above). You can even see the confidence in her.
During the past twenty years I have seen dozens of examples, but today I’m only going to show you one of them.
Let me give you a little background. On our sanctuary we have about 45 animals at any given time. About half of them are either potbelly pigs or wild pigs. As you might guess, when it comes to feeding time, there is a mad rush. For a long time the biggest and toughest pigs got the lion’s share of the food. But then…
Along Came Petey
• He’s smaller than all of the other pigs. • He’s older. • He came to us with a broken jaw, which causes him trouble eating. • And the biggest handicap of all—his deformities prevented his tusks from growing. In the pig world, tusks are the primary weapons.
But none of that stopped Petey. He had a few other weapons in abundance.
Determination, Persistence, And Confidence
The pigs are fed every day about noon. Petey is never late for lunch. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, cold, or 100 degrees. Petey is at the gate waiting for me to show up. If I’m 10 minutes late, he’s waiting, and he’s normally squealing loud enough to wake the dead.
It takes me a few minutes to prepare the food, and then place it on the feeding platform. The entire time I’m doing this, Petey is positioning himself. The pigs with the biggest tusks normally bully their way to the front and take the prime position on the platform. It’s very much like the game children play—King of the Hill. Once the food goes down, it’s a free-for-all.
King of the Hill
By all rights, Petey should be the loser in this game, relegated to sate himself on the crumbs that fall from the feeding table.
But no one seems to have told Petey that. He is so confident that he pushes, and shoves, and squeezes through—and if the other pigs stop him, he tries from another angle. If they stop him there, he tries something else. He does whatever he has to to get his position on the platform.
And he doesn’t seem to have a care in the world while this is happening. He’s almost nonchalant, as if he knows he’ll get what he wants.
By looking at Petey you wouldn’t think he could accomplish this. The other pigs are bigger, stronger, younger, and have far bigger tusks. And yet, every day, Petey wins the prime position on the platform. He’s determined, and he’s relentless. And before feeding time is over, he’s the king of the hill.
Getting Back To Confidence
The world seems to be getting tougher. People don’t look out for each other anymore, and everyone is on a fast-track in an effort to get to the top of…something. The people who have natural confidence don’t have to play this game. They have the luxury of going through life knowing that if they need to reach a goal, they can. And if they fail, they can start over. If you’ve ever wondered what confidence can do for you, the answer is—everything.
If you are raising kids, think about what you can do to instill confidence in your children.
The best gift you can give your child is confidence. It will let them live their life on their terms.
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He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.”