It was whilst listening to Kenton Cool on Saturday Live a few weeks ago, describe the moment when he was told how he would never walk again without the aid of a stick, that made me ask. “What happens to people when they are told this?”
Today Kenton Cool is ‘one of the world’s leading altitude climbers’ and the author of ‘One Man’s Everest’, but I was struck by the idea of ‘key moments’, when people hear words along the lines of:
- ‘You will never……………..’
- ‘It’s not quite right for you’
- ‘Perhaps you need to be more realistic’
In those ’key moments’, it seems to me that the recipient of this type of comment in relation to their work, life, aspirations or dreams, has a choice. They can either choose to accept the comment as truth and settle for something that is ‘more realistic’ or they can ‘grab’ that moment and decide to move forwards, anyway.
The image of ‘pearls’ popped into my head, whilst listening to Will Young in the same programme, describing his ‘moment’ when he was told by Simon Cowell that he was ‘average’ as a singer. Listening to both guests it occurred to me that we can take our ‘moments’ like ‘grains of sand’ and use them to create pearls.
The trick I think is to use your ‘moment’ and gain from it rather than allow it to drain and demoralise you.
- We could use our ‘moment’ to, release some energy, ‘fire ourselves up’ and move forwards.
- We could use our ‘moment’ and learn from it, take on the useful and leave the rest.
- We could use our ‘moment’ to marshal, our ‘stubbornness’, ‘grit’ and resilience and work towards our dream, regardless.
- We could use our ‘moment’ to take hold of and harness for ourselves the power behind the words
In the ensuing discussion about their experiences I also noticed both guests talking about conviction and confidence, using the two words almost interchangeably.
So I let my fingers do the walking and googled the two terms:
- Confidence: – belief in oneself, one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance
- Conviction: – a fixed or firm belief.
It feels to me that that ‘conviction’ might be more about the internal ‘force or stubbornness’ that pushes us toward our dream or aspiration. Confidence on the other hand may be more about the ‘how’, so in those ‘key moments’ when we are told, “you will never” our confidence might be shaken but not necessarily our conviction.
May well come back to this in future posts.