self confidence


Just for the record I have never seen the numerous films involving competing cheerleaders!

But some measure of this attitude of BRING IT ON (TO WIN IT!); this Rocky Balboa spirit of ‘get up and get at it’; this Winston Churchill “never give up, never give in” attitude is absolutely essential if you want to make your dreams come true.

I love it when people who already possess this attitudes come to me for professional effectiveness coaching because either they are going places or know they should be – and are prepared to do something about it!

But what if you want to develop more of this ‘bring it on’ spirit? How do you do it? Well, the bad news is that the answer will be somewhat different for everyone because everyone is starting from a different point. However, the good news is that there are patterns that can help you install the right resources, once you discover what they are.

So it is possible to develop it yourself and one of the routes I know of that can really help is to learn Neuro-Linguistic Programming or Neurosemantics and apply it to your self. Another route is to go to an expert coach or practitioner and get him or help to help you develop it.

As for me, after 16 years of personal development work I am now strongly cultivating that spirit and the green shoots are producing fruit. Why did it take so long? Well, if it will encourage you to realize that you can start from a seriously down-and-out position – and get up – I will tell you why.

As a young man, I grew up in a household where my youthful independence was crushed out of me by a mentally ill parent who couldn’t stand any opinions other than her own. I was emotionally and physically abused, and no-one did anything about it.

I was severely bullied at senior school, to the point of a nervous breakdown. My first marriage broke up; I lost my sales job, my flat, my church and my children all within the same year. As I sat in the ruins of my life, hard didn’t even describe it.

After a year or so of being separated, I went to Wales (next to England) to climb in the mountains and I didn’t fully expect to come back alive. As I stood on top of the Skirrit watching the kestrels soar and wheel the wind came up and nearly blew me off the top. At that point, I realized I didn’t want to die.

Fast forward a few years and I am remarried, to an awesome woman who loves God and loves me; we have a child on the way, and business is better this year than the last three years. I have a successful coaching practice, and am working for the charity sector, and soon the National Health Service. (No I am not a millionaire (yet!!))

But I have absolutely been to the bottom of the barrel, wallowed in the muck, and decided to climb out. So I think I have something to say worth saying. You decide.

To me, there are several components to a ‘bring it on’ spirit.

•    Having beliefs about what is important in life (values)
•    Forming those beliefs into a relatively coherent vision
•    Dealing with fear of loss
•    Learning to take risks
•    Developing an optimistic thinking style
•    Taking action

The Cheshire cat in the book/film Alice in Wonderland told her “If you don’t know where you’re going then any road will get you there”. You need to decide what is important to you or you need to decide what you would like to be important to you. This second point is important because so many books tell you to “find what your values are” but sometimes you may not value what you need to in order to succeed.

For me, I have had to raise the value of serving God wholeheartedly. I have had to raise the value of serving others and making money. I have had to raise the value of taking my wife seriously even when she is talking about something I did that upset her (that I didn’t even know about!)

These were not values I was just born and raised with: I have had to find ways to adopt them in order to succeed. You my ask: “How can I value something I don’t care about!” Well, that’s kind of the point – you have to find ways. And there are ways, believe me. They may not be easy but they exist.

One simple way to raise the importance of something is to write 100 plus reasons why this new activity/way of thinking-acting should become important to you. That can work powerfully!

When you know what you REALLY want you can say to any obstacles ‘You’re not stopping me – BRING..IT..ON!”

Second, a vision is made up of values (beliefs about what is important) and putting your values together can help you form a vision. Yes, it is a bit of a puzzle but when you have, for example, the strong conviction that people should have access to basic amenities as a right, the belief that all people are created equal, a colour-blind attitude, and a desire to travel that you might go build water pipes and wells in a foreign country. I certainly want to!! This is part of my vision. What’s yours?

Don’t be afraid to build your vision up piecemeal. Very few people get flashes of complete inspiration and even fewer know exactly what they want to do. That’s ok. What is not ok is to settle for a life of mediocrity because you don’t know yet. Putting it bluntly, the sperm and egg that made you weren’t selected for you to spend a life of depressed smoking drinking and television watching.

A vision helps you discard unnecessary activities and the more you know what you want, the better you can decide your priorities.

Dealing with fear, and the fear of loss is the one that stumps most people. Most people have a dream, or are capable of dreaming a dream.  But as we grow older, acquire stuff, have a family to provide and protect, we can get scared of loosing what we have. Oh, I wasn’t just talking about physical possessions, did you think I was?

What about fear of loosing one’s reputation? What about the fear of looking like you have it all together? What about fear of looking stupid? What about fear of valuing yourself less because you made a mistake. What about fear of what other people think? What? What?

Let me tell you something. If you feel afraid, you have a number of choices:

You face your fear. Sorry, no whitewashing it here. I have faced myself (which is where my fear originated) after the breakup of my first marriage and although it wasn’t my entire fault, admitting the parts that were, was the hardest thing I ever did. But I survived the pain, and if you think you can’t stand something, let me tell you – you can because you are already thinking about it. You HAVE to stand it to think about it!

You do some (or maybe a LOT) of inner work and you trace your emotions back to their origins. Books like : Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy are great for this. I recommend them often.

This is something a good coach can help with. If a client is willing to explore what is holding him back, before long he will be going forward. A coach shows you what you don’t want to see, and tells you what you don’t want to hear so you can become the person you truly are.

The greatest thing I learned after all these years is that it’s all in your head. No, really. You may say you know that but do you really?

Successful people don’t necessarily get even but they do get mad.  How much is that fear costing you? How many more years are going to slip by, how many more opportunities are going to the wall because of YOUR fear? Yes, YOUR fear. It belongs to no-one else but you. People do not make you fear, you respond with fear to their words and actions.

Taking responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings is the first and foremost action you can take. Even if you don’t know HOW to manage your feelings you can learn. I’ve spent 15 years plus learning and falling, and getting up again. When I was younger I acted like a victim because nobody taught me that is was possible to think otherwise. Now I believe “Don’t let yourself down: you’re all you’ve got!”

In the Holy Bible God says to the people of Israel “I will give you every place you set your foot”. Boy is that motivating to me. Because I intend to set foot in some places where others don’t think I can go. I also intend to set foot all over my mind and break down the strongholds in my mind, and go mash up (that’s a technical term) any more limiting beliefs I can find. That is part of the ‘bring it on spirit’.

Why should you be afraid to walk around your own mind? Get really upset and ticked off about this. It is said an alcoholic cannot start full recovery until he or she is disgusted with their life.

•    Are you disgusted with being so passive?
•    Are you man or woman enough to start seriously dealing with your fear?
•    Are you just a certain way? If so, tough break for you – because it’s not true.

After these years of learning, I know I can make these changes. It’s just a matter of time and perseverance until I do.

Life involves risk. It’s a matter of degrees how risky something is. It is said of Donald Trump that if he could cope with the down-side of a property deal that he wanted he would go for it. How did he know he could cope with it?

Mostly with information: He knew the situation, and worked out the relative risks. Risk is not just a feeling; it’s about facts as well. I have a friend who is able to cut to the heart of any situation I talk to him about and make it seem to me like it’s all going to be all right.

He can help me see what information I need to go forward, and what I can and can’t do if I have this information.

Sometimes you just have to decide to do something despite how you feel.

I am all for working out new and more effective ways to think but occasionally you have to leap before you look.

It may be an odd examples but when I decided to assume that people were made in God’s image and therefore basically inclined to do good (despite most evidence to the contrary) it was a huge step for me. I had grown up NOT trusting people but that approach just doesn’t work. It was poisoning my relationships. So I decided to leap, and have not regretted it yet. And the people I am thinking about are still the same, I am just thinking about them in a more useful way!

Developing an optimistic thinking style is essential and sometimes seems like impossibility! You can read An Argument For Optimism on my blog ( for more details about why it’s so necessary but here’s the bottom line. You don’t have to BE an optimist to think like one.

Optimistic thinking involves taking on a certain point of view: that things will or at least can) turn out how you expect, or maybe even better. Even if you don’t want to think like this all the time, think of it as a tool to get a certain job done.

If you even consider the pragmatic value of this perspective you will see how helpful it is. Why? Because without it, you will be doomed to shooting yourself in the foot before every enterprise you attempt. So if you even want to give yourself a chance to succeed – you have to be able to consider that you might.

So much has been said about taking action so I will just quote Chris Cardell, a UK expert on business success:
“The key difference between Millionaire Entrepreneurs and the rest, is that the Millionaires FAIL more than the rest.
Why? Because they take more action.
They take massive action, day in, day out. It doesn’t matter if they fail, even the majority of the time, because they’re just looking for those few ‘home runs.’
Compare that to the typical business owner, who is paralysed by fear and inaction – particularly when it comes to Marketing.
So a Millionaire Entrepreneur is someone who understands this and is prepared to implement strategies without a guarantee of success, or fear of failure. They implement, test, review and then implement again; Millionaire Entrepreneurs are willing to do more, take more action, try more, fail more, fall down more… then get back up, dust themselves off and start again.
In contrast, most business owners, some 95% of them in fact, prefer to agonise over the detail, worry about “what if it doesn’t work?” and end up implementing or trying nothing – simply because they’re still in the “thinking about”, “learning about” and “planning to” stages
What they don’t realize, of course, is that they’ve already failed. No one truly fails until they stop working to make something a success, and by failing to do anything, they’ve failed in the most spectacular way imaginable.”

According to Timothy Ferris in his body The 4 Hour Work Week 99% of people believe they are incapable of achieving great things. All of those 99% of people are wrong, but they don’t know it. If you are on this site, then you are part of the 1% that believes they can. And the playing field is a lot more level!

I want to encourage you – it’s ok to be human and fallible. It’s also ok to reach for the stars.

You just have to believe that.

Douglas Cartwright is a trained Meta-Coach and NLP Trainer. A professional Meta-coach will get straight to the heart of your problem, and you can start to feel the results of your changes far faster than you might on your own.

•    Do you want to get unstuck and feel free?
•    Do you want to deal with distractions and get more focused?
•    Do you want to feel more valuable and confident?

Read about a free Explore Your Breakthrough session at

If you are interested in the upcoming audio product: “Outrageous values: how to find them, feel them, and live them” then send me an email and I’ll let you know when it’s launched.

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