At the beginning of this year, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to achieve in 2011. I thought hard about what I could focus on that would have the most substantial impact across my life as a whole.
I kept coming back to one word: confidence.
When you’re confident in what you do, everything becomes easier.
Growing up, I was confident in small aspects of my life, but I wouldn’t necessarily say as a whole I was a confident person. When it came to skills I was good at such as tennis, skiing, or guitar, I could hold my own. Aside from that, I was pretty content to just follow what others were doing, not go out of my way to speak up, and make the easy decisions.
Over the last two years I’ve noticed the greatest positive change happen when I was confident in what I was doing.
In January I was down in Los Angeles visiting my friend Markus and others, and as I was getting ready to hop on a train down to San Diego, he asked me what I wanted to embody this year. What one word captured my essence and everything I wanted to be.
I had a hard time answering. We stood there for 20 minutes before anything came out.
After wracking my brain, two words finally came to mind that really captured the spirit of what the year should be about:
Freedom and Confidence.
So at that point, I dubbed 2011 “The Year of Confidence”.
I’ve kept this in the back of my mind for the last five months as I’ve gone about life, but it wasn’t until this past weekend where I really put serious thought into how far I’d come.
Most of you probably know that this past weekend marked the inaugural World Domination Summit here in Portland. Our team has worked our asses off for the last year to ensure the event went off without a hitch. And you know what?
There wasn’t a problem we didn’t have an answer for, and if there was anyone that wasn’t happy, I couldn’t find them.
However for all the fun that was had, I had a more profound realization.
The year of confidence is working.
It started on Thursday night. There were a variety of meetups going on as people showed up in town, and after wrapping up at the venue around 5, Chris, Adam and I began making the rounds to the various meetups.
This culminated with a group of about 30 of us crashing what was supposed to be a 10-15 person meetup.
Long story short, we had way too many people and nowhere to go. So being one of the only locals around I marched 40 people down the street to a local restaurant that I figured could hold us, and everyone proceeded to have an incredible time.
What sets this story apart is that similar things happened probably half a dozen times.
You can replace “restaurant” with bar, or “Sunday night event that shall remain nameless”, but the point is that people began to turn to me for plans, and rather than shrug it off, I embraced the role and proceeded to have a hell of a time doing it.
Later on Thursday I actually sang karaoke. Which I don’t do. Not only that, I kind of rocked it.
However, there were two highlights that really brought this full circle and allowed me to realize just how far I’ve come.
The first was actually due to an unfortunate event where one of our main stage speakers became ill less than 24 hours before the event and wouldn’t be able to go on. The team sat down and in half an hour we came up with a suitable alternative.
This ended up being an interactive session focusing on taking the bad, turning it into the great, and remembering the awesome little things in the process.
Through this process, I was actually given the opportunity to take two minutes and share my transformation story.
Yes, I got to get on stage and speak in front of the entire conference. Even if it was only for two minutes, it was still enough to allow me to cross off #97 on the bucket list: Speak in Front of a Large Crowd.
However for as incredible of an experience as that was, it was the talk that would come directly after that which is what really made an impact.
Andrea Scher and Jen Leman gave a talk about dreaming big, and thinking about the impossible. They had a course called Mondo Beyondo, which after hearing, I thought was pretty corny – so I wasn’t sure how to react.
However, what this led to was having everyone in the audience write a word on their body that they wanted to become a part of them. For as simple as it sounds, you know what? It worked.
This is also where it comes full circle.
For the next two days I would have a large “confidence” scrawled down my forearm.
Each time I looked down at it, I was reminded by it’s importance and why I should embody it in all that I do.
So all of that said, am I still the most confident person in the world? Not by a longshot.
In the last 5 months have I become more comfortable with who I am and the path I’ve chosen?
So, what is your word? What is one thing you want more of in your life, that you want to make a conscious effort to to strive for? Think about this question, because I promise, it will have more of an effect than you think.