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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Man walks into a Supermarket...

A man in a supermarket walks up to the check out and passes the assistant one small tin of baked beans, a small loaf, a banana, a pot noodle and a small carton of milk...

The assistant looks at the man and says;
"You're single aren't you...?"

The man replies;
"As it happens I am, how on earth did you know...?"

To which the assistant answers;
"Simple, because your an ugly £#@% er..."

The Moral to this story is that, regardless of what we choose to believe about ourselves, others may have a different opinion, our behaviour and appearance send out signals to people even though we don't realise it..

Whilst the Personal Development Master Wizards may tell you that other peoples opinion of you is none of your business; try that out when you are leading a Team, Managing a Business, Selling or doing a Presentation..

Other peoples opinions are your business - not everyone's, but certainly of those people that matter to you...

A surgeon who thinks they are amazing, but all his patients die in theatre, is not a good surgeon; regardless of his own levels of belief...

There are three personalities we need to contend with..

1. Who we think we are...
2. Who we display to the World...
3. Who other people perceive us to be...

Delusion is reality...

In around 1400 King Charles 6th of France held a belief that he was made of Glass and that he would shatter if touched by other people - he even wore reinforced clothing that protected him from bumps and collisions..

The psychiatric condition was so widespread in the Middle Ages that it became known as the Glass Delusion. In 1561 in Paris another sufferer was so concerned that he would shatter at the lightest touch that he attached cushions to his buttocks and refused to sit down to "relieve himself"...

He was cured by the administration of a good thrashing across the buttocks by his physician Dr Chris Lorch - sounds like a pre cursor to the English Public School system..

For these people, they held a conviction that they would break if they were touched or bumped into, there is no evidence of anyone actually shattering on impact, however, to these poor souls life became really fragile...

What we believe to be true about ourselves may not be true to others.


As any fans of the X Factor will know there is a broad gulf between self belief and actual talent. Contestants regularly have absolute conviction that they are gifted, talented and worthy of a record contract. 

When they attempt to perform however, it is clear to see that their confidence is somewhat misplaced..

The fact that a group of judges or an audience see through them seems to have little or no effect - the delusion simply continues and generally turns to hostility and anger at some point...

So What...

Whilst self confidence and belief are all good positive traits, necessary to enable us to perform to the best of our ability, we also have to be wary of the Glass Delusion ..

I have met a number of people over the years that have told me that they are either very good or excellent as Speakers, Presenters, Sales People and Entrepreneurs..

The fact that they tell me they are really good is probably a warning sign; if someone tells you they are brilliant, watch out...

I have seen them on stage, in meetings and at events and on a regular basis the person they described to me simply doesn't show up, and yet they continue to believe that they are amazing...

Who they think they are is not displayed to the world and therefore the perception of others is at odds with their intentions...

How do we change this...?
  • The first step is to refine your art; get good at what you do and get recognition for it from those that matter. Even if you do some pro bono work to begin with, achieving positive feedback is a great way to build real confidence...
  • Once you start to be recognised as excellent, begin to market yourself and attract new clients who will believe through "social proof" what others say about you..
  • Keep the ego in check and keep learning and developing your skills - humility combined with ability is much stronger than confidence combined with hope... 
  • Build your reputation and protect it - but never get carried away with the delusion that you are somehow better than anyone else.
By doing this we will actually display to the world the person we believe ourselves to be and better still, others will recognise the skills and abilities we have. 

Our personality, persona and third party perception will all be aligned; this is where magic happens...

1 comment:

  1. Very true Dutch, great Blog, remind me to tell you about the pilot who suffered carburettor icing 14 times', on the last time he succeeded in hitting a power line and taking out a large part of the Scottish National Grid. He had a strong belief about that is was the ice in carb that was the problem and not him showing off above a mates house.

    This belief continued all the way to court.

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