Have you ever heard of the expression, “You make your own luck?”
Well, as it turns out, there’s now scientific evidence that a “good luck charm,” such as a rabbit foot, a special crystal, stone, religious symbol, or even that lucky t-shirt you take with you before you leave your house will give you a much-needed boost of confidence and courage.
According to the book The Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver, a German research team discovered that these good luck objects consistently boosted test subjects’ confidence, courage, cognitive ability and performance across a diversity of physical and mental tasks. In fact, people with lucky charms performed much better than those without one, specially when it came to improving their golf game.
So, am I suggesting you rely on your lucky underwear next time you go out on a date or a new job interview? Yes. But even better than that, that you take your luck back into your own hands.
You see, when it comes to luck, I believe there are two types of people – those who think that luck is something fleeting and random that “happens to you”, and those who think that luck is more stable and somewhat subject to personal control and that “you create it”.
Research in The Courage Quotient also found that people who believe that they create their own luck tend to indeed experience more positive outcomes on a regular basis. And there’s really nothing magical about it, because to these people, “luck is a stable factor, a resource they can count on,” creating within them “a sense of personal agency, a can-do attitude” that gets them the results they want.
The words confidence and courage mean two completely different things. To act with confidence means to act “with faith”. And, to act with courage means to act “in spite of fear” or the rage you feel in your heart.
What most people don’t understand – I certainly didn’t for many years, is that both confidence and courage are not a pre-requisite but rather the end result of taking action in spite of your fears, and overtime developing a new level of competency at whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. Both courage and confidence are muscles you develop when you do things that scare you.
For example, a person that wants to learn how to swim, starts out by being afraid of the water and that they might drown. As they face and feel their fear each time they enter the water, they little by little and over time develop their competency to swim, and with it faith or confidence that they can swim. Each time they immerse in the water in spite of their fears they grow their courage muscle. Each time they become more competent at swimming, they grow their confidence muscle.
The bottom line is, if you want to grow your courage and confidence muscles, the only way to do this is by doing things that scare you, and doing them repeatedly until you become competent at whatever it is you’d like to achieve. This means you have to put in the hours in the swimming pool, you have to immerse yourself, until you get good at it. There are no short cuts, no hacks so stop trying to find one.
So if you’ve been waiting until you have the confidence of courage to start a new business, ask someone out on a date, ask for that raise you want, submit that business proposal, etc, it’s time you stop waiting for Godot, and face the inevitable fear you’ll experience when you go after what you truly want.
To help you out, here’s a 7 step formula you can apply:
Step 1: Find out what scares you the most.
Step 2: DO IT!
Step 3: Breath deeply, and into your heart as you DO IT! (Remember, your heart is the key to help you neutralize, or surrender the feelings of anxiety and fear that may arise.)
Step 4: Celebrate that you did it!
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until you become competent.
Step 6: Find something else that scares you.
Step 7: Repeat steps 2-7.
Courage is a heart word. Therefore, The Path of the Heart is ultimately a path of where you repeatedly face your fears by doing what you’re afraid of doing, saying what you’re afraid of saying, and asking what you’re afraid of asking. Overtime, the more you face your fears, the more courageous, confident, competent and lucky you become.
Photo by Alex Wong
Here’s this weeks LCT’s…
Love: Yourself and Others
Far, far away, in a galaxy filled with 300 billion stars and trillions of soulmates…
Our modern version of romantic love is certainly not the first, and you know what, it’s probably not the last… That’s according Adam Westbrook, the creator of a series of video essays about the past and future. In this one, he takes us through a history journey explaining the history of romantic love, and how we will all, one day, meet our soulmate.
Create: Health, Wealth and Happiness
Foods your heart loves to eat
According to our scientists, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer in North American. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we now know a ton more about healthy eating, and living (like exercising) can make a huge difference. Here’s 18 Superfoods that you might want to chew on.
The Wolverine Principle…
What if talent, success, and optimal fitness aren’t as pre-disposed by genetics as it was previously thought? In this great article by Joel Runyon, the creator of Impossible HQ, you’ll learn 5 principles you can apply when you’re ready to start doing your life’s greatest work.
Is your heart trapped in a bottle?
If grief is already such a disorienting and crushing emotion for adults, how are unprepared children’s hearts expected to handle its weight? In this fable by the inimitable Oliver Jeffers, he tells the story of a little girl who locks her beating heart inside a bottle. Powerful and simple, I have no doubt it will touch your heart.
Transform: Yourself and the World
Gandhi’s favorite book…
While Hitler, Franco and Stalin forbid people from reading “The Story of Ferdinand” (1936), Gandhi said it was his favorite book. Written by Munro Leaf, “The Story of Ferdinand” tells the story of a little bull that refused to fight in bullfights. And he had a very good reason: he’d rather smell the flowers. Here’s the 1938 short film adaptation Walt Disney made which, by the way, won an Oscar that same year.
I hope you enjoy this week’s issue of The Heart Intelligent. Please feel free to share it with your family, friends, or anyone you feel might benefit from reading it.
Have an awesome week ahead and remember… the only way to grow in confidence and courage is performing acts that require confidence and courage.
What fear will you face today?