This is a transcript of the building your confidence webinar held on Tuesday 22 June as part of the Future You series
Host: Adam Crosbie
Speaker: Suzie Sharpe, career and wellness trainer and coach at Key Change Training
Adam: Without any further ado, I will hand over to Suzie now and she will just introduce herself.
Suzie: I will. And good morning everybody. My name is Suzie Sharpe and I am a motivational trainer and life coach and I've been going for 23 years and I've got endless, endless 1,000s of hours of coaching under my belt. But one of my main topics is confidence building. One of my main topics is literally getting people to think like a winner, which is why my program is always called The Winner's secret.
And first question I want to ask you, is it confidence that makes you a winner? Or is it being a winner that makes you confident? Let's look at this in greater depth okay. Now there's a question for you. Have you ever listened to them? How many of you got if you've got more than two, then please speak to me later.
First of all, we have a right side voice. Now your right side voice is filled with hope and optimism, the vision of the future this is your inner coach, this is helping you to build that vision of a brilliant future. If I do this, then that will happen and then I can do this and it will be fantastic in the end.
Then we have our dark side voice on the other side and your dark side voice is there to keep you safe to hold you back. What if it goes wrong? What he looks stupid? What if he can't do it? No, don't do anything. So it's there to almost sabotage you into not taking a step outside of your comfort zone. But if you start listening in just being aware of those arguments that are going on in your head, because your inner coach is going to spur you on to greater things. But your inner critic is going to be a bully. He's going to bully you. Just listen in to the things that you say to yourself and you'd be absolutely surprised.
Now, going back two years before lock down before life became the way it's become. Your bright side voice was probably extremely dominant. The bright side voice was looking at your bigger future, was looking at a fantastic social life, was looking forward to going to university was looking forward to everything that goes with it having that part time job. So you've got money in your pocket, all of those things that were natural, but over the past 15 months I'm sure you like absolutely everybody else that dark side voice has become dominant. Because that dark side voice is all about inner fears. All of our inner confidence or lack of it. That dark side voice is going to bully you into feeling bad. Now this is both voices. Are you talking to yourself? First way to start looking at building that confidence and getting yourself back out there having a fabulous social life going for it is to literally start listening. And if that that dark side voice starts to become dominant, replace it with the bright side voice. Do not listen, nip it in the bud, don't let it take a hold of you.
Now you consider somebody that you can you think is a winner? Think of some sports person, sports personality, somebody who's at the top of their game. Do you think they have these two voices in their head? Yes, they do. They have these two voices in their head, but which one will they allow to dominate? Just imagine having to build that vision of your future. If for instance, you are a gold medallist, you want a gold medal, you build the vision not just of a gold medal but that whole essence of what it would feel like to receive it go into that a little bit later. But what about that dark side because they’re under a lot of pressure and a lot of stress to perform. But that dark side voice isn't allowed to speak it is nipped in the bud it's only a habit and the habits that we've all got into over the last 15 months, or to feel anxious about doing anything outside of our world, because it feels like our world has shrunk. It hasn't. It's just our perception of it. So start to think like a winner.
Now, over the years, having performed The Winner's Secret workshops all over Europe, these are the guys that have been the ones that come up time and time again as winners. Now, what do they have? What are the values? What values do they have that makes them become a winner? Okay, they've got a talent, you start with a talent, there is first of all that talent. And then secondly, they have determination. They commit themselves to it. They’re totally driven towards that purpose. That is the outcome. They know what their vision is of the future and because they know what their vision is of the future, they won't let that dark side voice come in. It's pure bright side. Just think of the people that have got so far with their career, and then something's happened and it's gone wrong. And the first person I think of is Madonna. How many times does she reinvent herself? She didn't let herself think I'm not popular anymore. Okay, she got a bit weird in the end, but hey, you know, that's her deal. The whole thing is the most important factor that they all have, the one thing that is that makes you feel confident, and starting to go for what you want according to Albert Einstein is imagination. The second part of that quote is, knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world. Starting to build the vision of what you want, starting to think, okay, let's say the incoming stimulus is there's a party in the park. Now, if your bright side voice is there, and you're using your imagination, you start to build the visualisation of how fabulous that party is going to be. How absolutely excellent. You will have a great time you get to meet new friends, it's going to be fabulous. If your dark side voice gets in, your dark side is going to be saying to you, I'm scared. What if I get sick? What if nobody likes me? What if I don't know what to say? When your world has shrunk a little, it's really difficult to actually find all of those things to talk about. But if you use your imagination to build bright side, self talk, then you'll start to realise those voices aren't real. Both of those voices are you talking to yourself and you have a choice which one you want to listen to. Do you want to listen to your bright side voice? Or do you want to listen to your dark side voice? Because that argument is going on in your head all the time. If you're listening to your dominant bully voice, then you're not going to feel confident at all. You're not going to go to that party in the park. You're not going to go and find that part time job in a bar. If your bright side voice is there you're seeing exactly the way you want things to be and you're believing that you're going to get it to happen. If it doesn't happen dark side voice will say I'm a failure. If it does happen bright side voice will say yeah go for it but you've got to listen to that bright side voice.
So there are two key factors to thinking like a winner - confidence and resilience. Now when I'm talking about confidence and you think about a winner thinking about the way they talk to themselves, that is what gives them that confidence. It’s their confidence that makes them win rather than the other way around. So I was talking to a coachee of mine just last week, and I said to her well, what would a confident person look like? And she said to me, well somebody that doesn't take any notice of what anyone else thinks, they know what they're doing and they think enough of themselves to start building what they want to do and no one else will ever put them off. I thought that was an excellent, excellent example of what confidence is. But once again, it brings you down to how you're talking to yourself.
And the second thing is emotional resilience. Now, emotional resilience is a bit of a hot topic at the moment. It's one of those things that people start to think about, since I know because resilience is about having an incoming stimulus and instead of reacting in a negative way, and it ruining your day, incoming stimulus, thinking about it, how do I want to feel about this and choosing your emotional reaction. So those two keys, emotional resilience is one of the major factors. It's all about being emotionally tough. It's all about being able to just get over something, fall down, get up, brush yourself off and start all over again that is emotional resilience. And it all depends how you're talking to yourself.
Now, classic moment of stress. We've all been there, you've been there a lot more recently than I have, by the way, but we all know what it feels like to be in that hall. We all know what it feels like when that voice at the front of the hall says you may now turn over your paper. Now if your dark side voice is dominating the things you're going to be saying to yourself are gonna be I can't do this. What if I don't know any other questions? This is rubbish, I want to run away I feel sick, you'll be having a really bad emotional reaction absolute anxiety could be even fear. But if your bright side voice is in action, you'll be saying to yourself, this is a challenge, this is going to be great, I'm going to show what I'm made of, I know this topic, I can do my best, I'm really going to give this my all. Now which way are you going to be able to function better dark side voice, making you feel anxious and fearful so your brain literally goes on holiday. Or are you going to be talking yourself up, talk yourself into a state of confidence. It all starts with those two voices.
Now I'm going to show you a method which is as far as I'm concerned, it is magnificent. I don't know if you ever heard of a guy called Steve Peters. Steve Peters is a psychiatrist, not a psychologist and he literally took the workings of our brain, our emotions and our behavior and he made it really, really usable. Now he took a guinea pig group, they gave him a magnificent guinea pig group they gave him Team GB on the run up to the 2012 London Olympics. Now he coached with this particular mind management system he coached the cycling team, the rowing team, the swimming team, Taekwondo and women's boxing. How many medals were won in that 2012 Olympics, because he coached them in his own mind management method. And this is something that I think is the most incredibly easy and usable thing. We won something like I think was 69 medals, and 29 of them are gold and so many of them said it was all down Steve Peters now, the book he wrote after it if you're going to buy one book and read one book, that’s outside of your syllabus, in the next few months, for goodness sake, this is brilliant, and I'm just going to give you a little taster and literally take you through it. But if you can buy the book, it will really show you how to get in charge of those emotional responses. So we take the three brain model, very, very simply we have a reptile brain, which goes right the way down our brainstem, and that is literally for survival. Second part of the brain to evolve was the mammalian brain so that is purely based on emotions that's when we started to sucker our young and started to work together in groups to actually stay alive. So once again, it's survival mode it was only later that we formed the neocortex, which is our modern logical thinking brain but we still have this emotional, incredibly responsive emotional brain as well, which is in the limbic system. Steve Peters made it very simple. He called our emotional brain and our survival brain, our chimp. He called our human brain, our logical, problem solving, rational consciousness, our human. And everything was then programmed into our computers that keeps us running on neutral. Now, very, very simple imagery. We have the chimp. Now I'm going to read you exactly what Steve Peter says about chimp. Your chimp wants to keep you safe at all costs it is filled with those fears for his survival he's 10 times stronger than your human brain, 10 times faster to respond to incoming stimulus. The chimp is an emotional machine, it works completely independently of us, it is not good, is not bad it is just a chimp. It can be your ally, as much as your enemy, the choice is yours. Your chimp can overwhelm and paralyse you into a state of self sabotage, trapped in a comfort zone of your own making. Wow. Now, that is because chimp is ruled by the laws of the jungle it's all about survival and keeping you safe. So you have an incoming stimulus. And the first thing that will respond to that incoming stimulus is your emotional state, your chimp responds immediately. It's only after your chimp has responded that you think about it, and your thought processes kick in. So when he's an unhappy chimp, you can imagine what happens to your human.
So next, we have our human. Easily overpowered if you allow it to be because fear takes away all of the power of your human logical, conscious brain. So the biggest challenge to human is to live with an animal determined to live by the laws of the jungle, with extremely powerful drivers and instincts, especially when in a state of fear. Now, you can use your human to help your chimp out to help build that fish, you think which one is dominant in a winner? Is it the emotions or is it the human? Because both of them program your computer. Now, if you're human is going to be building the most fabulous vision of the future, which is what Steve Peters did with all of those Olympiads he got them to get the chimp building the vision of amazing ending, the amazing feeling of actually receiving that gold medal. He helped them to reprogram all of the fears in their computer because when you look at consciousness, your rational consciousness is literally just this 10% of the top, your subconsciousness and all of your emotions and feelings and everything you've ever experienced is in your 90%. So chimp is all below the surface, it's all emotions. Human is all your rational consciousness but both of them program your computer.
Now, if you are wise, if you want your bright side voice, because your human rules your bright side, and your dark side voice, if you're going to be tuning into your dark side voice chimp is going to be agitated. Chimp isn't going to be functioning well. Chimp is never going to be a winner. But if you're bright side voice, think of that bright side voice making your chimp feel excited again, making your chimp think I'm going to have a fabulous social life, I'm going to get back on top of it, or I'm going to let go into lectures, I'm going to really, really enjoy a part time job. I'm going to be looking at my future and everything to do with the working environment, I'm going to look at it because I'm going to be a winner. Talking to yourself, you can reprogram your computer. So the process of your perception of your world is literally any incoming stimulus. If there's no threat, and your human can talk your chimp into a feeling of yeah this is great, this is going to be good, all this well in my world. That is a happy, content, chimp. This incoming stimulus, your chimp feels threatened and you don't actually start talking to your chimp and making sure that your chimp doesn't feel threatened that's when chimp takes over and you have a very, very angry chimp.
So the choice is yours, confidence comes from the way you speak to yourself confidence comes from understanding your emotions, and understanding how you feel. And understanding how you want to be feeling in any, any given situation. Because the power of negative thinking can actually overpower absolutely the whole of your life. But the power of positive thinking is exactly where you need to be. Talk yourself up, ignore that inner bully, start being soothed by your human brain, because your human brain will actually make sure that you build a vision of the future, and that you too can be a winner. Thank you. Any questions?
Adam: Thank you so much, Susie. Yeah, so please, please send your questions in. There's no such thing as a silly question. There's also the capability to ask anonymous questions if you don't want to put your name to it. And just another thing as well, this session will be available to download afterwards. So fantastic. So without further ado, let's move on to the questions. Lauren would like to know, what should one do if they have more than two voices in their mind? She has many different negative and positive ones.
Suzie: Okay. Yeah, that's that is quite common. Invariably, we have the two main ones, which is the positive and the negative. Of course, we've also got our parents voices in our ear. And we are constantly talking to ourselves in habitual patterns so those are scripts from the past. Now, the whole thing is, if you've got more than more than the two, do you need the others because these two guys are enough. If you want to actually be looking towards the future, you've got to start just mainly tuning in to that bright side voice, that inner coach that's wanting you to want the best for yourselves. But it's time to eliminate all of the others, because the others are not going to be helpful at all.
Adam: Very true. Acoma would like to know, what is emotional resilience?
Suzie: Okay. And emotional resilience is whether an incoming stimulus can actually take you from feeling okay to not okay. Now, if something is incoming, and it causes me to have an emotional reaction, because chimp will react first. So of course, we have an emotional reaction that makes me not think straight. The whole thing is incoming stimulus, and emotionally resilient person will think okay, what do I need to do with this? How do I respond to this? It's like any politician, someone asked them a really bad question, and the politician thinks about it goes interesting, then he repeats the question back. And during that time, he's literally put together the response that he wants to give. So he's the one that's in charge. Emotional resilience is building that confidence to not let anything else change your mood.
Adam: Fantastic. Shalini would like to know, she says, I've been listening to the devil voice for years, and it's become too familiar and almost comfortable. How do I end self-sabotage as soon as I hear the voice?
Suzie: Oh, that's a really good question. Everybody, right at this moment in time has got a very, very dominant dark side voice very dominant because of we've been living on fears, we've been living on anxiety. And now that the world is looking like it might go back to normal, it's even more dominant. Now, the thing being, if you know what that dark side voice is saying to you, start writing those things down. Get yourself a nice little A5 hardback book and start writing what your dark side voice is saying. When you've actually looked at it written down and you think, oh my god, what am I saying to myself? Imagine looking at someone you love, you say to them, you're a bit rubbish you are what makes you think you're going to be able to do that. All of the things you've written down, because why are you allowing yourself to say all of those things to you, when you wouldn't say it to anybody else in the world? Nip it in the bud, start replacing it, it's only a recording on a loop. It's a habit. Get out of the habit, create a new one.
Adam: Great advice. And so Amelia would like to know if someone's trying to focus on that bright side voice but they've got external voices such as friends and family who were just being disapproving or putting them down, what would you advise those people to do?
Suzie: Oo those people should I be polite and say go away. When you've got other people finding fault you know for a start it's just their opinion it is not a fact and an opinion can be wrong. The whole thing being if you're really believing in yourself and confident that what you're doing is the right thing, then obviously, you're not going to let anyone else have any interference with your plans. Start building that vision, build that fantastic vision of the future, and anyone else that wants to put in their voice into the mix it's nothing to do with them belief in yourself is where confidence comes from, not what other people are approving of.
Adam: Exactly. Someone would like to know, how do you manage trauma and the negative voices resulting from residual fear?
Suzie: That's a really big question. That is, you know, that was that would be a talk all on its own. The whole thing being when you have a trauma, you probably need some help, because your dark side voice will be so so dominant. And if you're outside voice is dominant, it's helping your body to produce all of the really negative chemicals. So you will be producing a lot of adrenalin, a lot of noradrenaline and even worse cortisol. So you're keeping your body in a toxic environment, so you can't feel joy. It's always a really good idea to either talk to somebody, or go and see your GP so that you're at once your chemicals are rebalanced, and you've got all of the endorphins available to you. Only then will you able to be able to silence that dark side voice. But that is a big question.
Adam: I'm sure would be the basis for another session. Lydia would like to know how do you handle rejection and not let it get to you personally?
Suzie: Well, once again, it's all down to do you want it to be you're absolutely bright chimp with your human and your bright side voice or do you want it to be you're really upset, rejected awful, oh my God, oh my god chimp. So once again, it's using that bright side voice to soothe the chimp. My chimp likes music, the best way that I can some people like to go for a run or go to the gym but it gets things back into perspective. It isn't rejection, it's the other idiot that had no idea of how amazing you are. Right.
Adam: Exactly. How do you mitigate and manage risk when you only listen to the bright side?
Suzie: Well, I think the dark side voice and your chimp is going to know whether it's dangerous. Okay, people who are, you know, the ultimate winners, they're willing to take really big risks, but they're normally calculated risks. So if it's something that you think might be putting you in danger, your chimp will be wrestling its cage well, and truly, no matter how much your bright side voice can talk to chimp and reason with chimp and have a conversation with chimp. Yeah, the conversations I have with mine are unbelievable. You know, I actually have been known to go to bed for a day just to check to my chimp and soothe it a bit. But you know, you always come out of it feeling good at the end of it.
Adam: Exactly. And Mahalia would like to know, what would you say to people with speech impediments such as stammers coming back after speech therapy, confidence killers, even when positive?
Suzie: Once again, that is a huge topic. The topic that we're covering here is really to do with positive psychology rather than pathologies. So once again, if you can use your bright side voice, to keep chimp calm, and to literally be as serene and calm, use your breathing a lot, and we didn't get to go into if you use your breathing, you can actually bring down your blood pressure, bring down your heart rate, and start to relax all of your muscles just by doing three or four really deep diaphragm breaths, because that actually massages your vagus nerve, which goes right the way down your spine and calms everything down. But then the positive voice as well. Hope that's helpful.
Adam: It's definitely helpful to me anyway. And Allene would like to know how do you be externally confident without appearing arrogant?
Suzie: Right, confidence and arrogance. There's a very fine line isn't there? I'll put it this way a confident person knows that they themselves are okay they're genuinely feeling okay at all costs. Now, when you slip over into that arrogance, is that really feeling genuinely okay, or is it just telling people that you're okay? There is a difference. If I'm feeling quietly confident in myself, I'm going to feel no matter what is going on I can deal with it I'm okay at all costs. But arrogance is something else. Arrogance is dominant behaviour. It's moving against people behaviour and isn't really confidence.
Adam: It's great advice. Someone would like to know what some other methods of combating the devil voice if you know like writing it down hasn't worked for them in therapy, for example?
Suzie: Okay, if you've written it down and it doesn't work, if therapy doesn't work, I would suggest some getting yourself involved in some deep meditation. Now I call that an alpha state visualisation where you bring your breathing rate down, which relaxes all of your muscles and you go from beta state, which is dark side voice like me, me, me, me, me and you bring it down to alpha state where everything is creative and calm. And then literally, maybe taking yourself to a favourite place like a beach or a garden from your childhood and just being that will silence that dark side voice. But doing it regularly will start a new set of habits. It's only a habit listening to a dark side voice habit you've got yourself into, and we can break a habit within 30 days. Meditation.
Adam: Very reassuring. Someone's said, I suffer from imposter syndrome I put this down lack of confidence, I generally listen to the good voices day to day but struggle with academia and work, how to break thinking that I'm bad at everything?
Suzie: Now imposter syndrome once again, huge, huge, huge topic. And I will give you my total reassurance that I've worked with people like I worked with the managing director of Addidas Area North and he suffered from it more than anybody else. Everybody at every level is always going to allow that dark side voice to say, I'm not good enough. What if I fail? Once again darks ide voice, if you're bright side voice is saying I've got this, I'm smashing it, this is brilliant, I'm doing my best, this is a challenge, I'm loving it. But the dark side voice will constantly put you on the backfoot. So the whole thing is if chimp is agitated, then chimp takes over and human can’t think straight. Buy the chimp paradox, it's an excellent book. And no I'm not on commission.
Adam: Just following on from that someone else has asked if you got any other book recommendations?
Suzie: I think I've already sent you a reading list. And I've sent a sheet saying what emotional resilience is. There's a Times article as well, which is all about self talk and the way you get to understand your voices that was a Caitlin Moran article. But yeah, you should have a reading list if anyone wants one.
Adam: Fantastic feel free to email us and we'll pass it on. Right we've got time for one or two more questions. Someone would like to know I'm a naturally shy person so I can't become confident as my shyness holds me back and becomes a vicious cycle. How do I break past this?
Suzie: Is that saying that everyone who is shy or introverted hasn't got any confidence? You can be shy and confident at the same time. Once again, listen to the voices. Shyness is a natural state for many, many people. You'll never go from being introverted to extroverted. But you can actually by the way you talk to yourself and the way your chimp feels, you can be quiet, be confident and be able to achieve whatever you want to achieve whether you are shy or not.
Adam: Fantastic, right I think we'll have to end it there for today.
Suzie: Oh boo. I'm enjoying myself.
Adam: I know. I do apologise to everyone who didn't get their question answered. Unfortunately, we had over 50 questions in the inbox and we managed to answer about 15. Sure we will be running these sessions again in the future. If you have any more questions, feel free to either email firstname.lastname@example.org or Suzie Sharpe herself I'm sure she'd love to continue this. But thank you so much to everyone who's turned up. It's been great to have everyone's input. And if you'd like to access the session again, just feel free to email us and we'll provide it to you. But thank you, everyone for coming along. And we will see you later. Thank you. Have a great day.
Note on transcripts
These transcripts are produced using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. The audio version is definitive and should be checked before quoting.