BOOK: Barking up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker: Chapter 5

The Surprising science behind why everything you know about success is mostly wrong

Chapter 5: Believe in yourself.. sometimes. What can we learn about walking the tightrope between confidence and delusion from chess masters, secret military units, Kung Fu con artists and people who cannot feel fear.

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  • Sometimes the mere appearance of confidence can be the difference between wining and losing.
  • In ‘Self Esteem and Earnings’ showed that your level of confidence is at least as important as how smart you are when it comes to how much money you end up making.
  • More confidence provides more benefits. Studies show overconfidence increases productivity and causes you to choose challenging tasks, which make you shine in the workplace.
  • Why is confidence powerful? It gives us a feeling of control. People who believe they can succeed see opportunities, where others see threats. They are not afraid of uncertainty or ambiguity, they embrace it. They take more risks and achieve greater returns. Given the choice, they bet on themselves. They see their success as a function of their own motivation and ability – not luck, random chance or fate. They carry this belief even when luck does play a crucial role in the success.
  • Displaying overconfidence makes others feel you’re both competent and higher in status. The secret of leadership was the ability o play a role, to pretend, to be skilled in the theatrical arts .. to come across effectively, we need to master how to convey power. The perception is all that matters.
  • Confidence can improve performance and success. It can make others believe in you. But confidence can also be extremely dangerous. It can lead to delusion and hubris.
  • Dunning Kruger Effect is the odd phenomenon of people with the last experience being the most confident because they don’t have the experience to judge just how challenging something is.
  • When we’re less sure, we’re more open to new ideas and we’re actively and passively scanning the world for new ones. Listening to other people’s ideas increases brainpower. Social interactions can actually make us smarter. But there’s a catch: to get the cognitive boost, you need to take the other person’s perspective.
  • Two benefits of humility; it’s a reality check and it keeps us from being arrogant. Humility can actually drives self-improvement because we can see the gap between where we are and where we want to be.
  • We need optimism and confidence to keep gong and convince others to join our cause, but negativity and pessimism help us see problems so we can make them better.
  • Abraham Lincoln: ‘so with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. I destroy my enemies when I make them my enemies.

How do you develop self – compassion?

  1. Talk to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up or be critical when things don’t go your way.
  2. Learn to accept your humanity. You are fallible.
  3. Recognize your failures and frustrations without either denying them or seeing them as the end of the world. Then do something about them.

 

  • Believing in yourself is nice but forgiving yourself is better.
  • Adjust for natural level of self-esteem.
  • Don’t be a faker. Be you on your best day and the people will see the real you.

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