About vulnerability and confidence.
Ruby Wax is well known for her wackiness and boldness. I remember her programmes years ago (must be over 20 years ago, as I live in the UK for nearly that time now), where she interviewed famous people in a very direct and sometimes rude way. It seemed that she did not give a toss… She just spilled out what she thought and often it was funny, shocking and revealing.
Ruby came across as a very confident interviewer/presenter and she had always a quirky or humorous remark on the top of her tongue.
The last 20 years or so, she has used her time to study and she is now a therapist. Also a big fan of meditation. She has been very open about her mental health issues and still speaks her mind in an outspoken way.
But………. even though she comes across as a very confident woman, she loses it on a regular basis. In her latest book ‘A mindfulness guide for the Frazzled’, she tells the story of inviting Dr Robert Winston (the genial epigenetic scientist, who did some documentaries for the BBC) for lunch. And what is more amicable and non-threatening than lunch? Even though she initiated the get-together, it became a nightmare for Ruby. She felt totally incompetent (he has 16 doctorates) and tongue tied (I can’t pronounce those difficult words). The only two things she remembers of this meeting was that she thought Robert Winston would think she was brain-damaged (I can’t talk to him about science) and that she desperately tried to be funny (her default survival tool).
I wonder what Winston thought of their lunch?
What does this teach us about confidence?
- Confidence is a mind-set and a momentum. It is flexible and even the most confident person can lose it temporarily
- Do not compare yourself with others; there are always people in the world who are more clever, more successful and richer than you. But no doubt, there will be areas in their lives that are less positive; they just don’t show those
- Know your strengths and hold on to them
- Behave and present yourself in a confident manner; ‘fake it to make it’ and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy
- Stay in the present moment; if you stay, you can’t lose it. Ruby was off on thoughts that took her away from the here and now and just being and that was undermining her confidence
Feeling confident is great; it takes the stress out of any situation and makes you feel in charge of your life.
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