Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover the topic of repetition and how it builds confidence at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about how to be more confident – how do you build your confidence? And really, I only have one thing to share with you, but it’s an important thing and then there’s an implication afterwards.

So let me just describe this in broader terms. Imagine that you’re standing on a beach, you’re standing on sand and you put a line around your entire body and that’s your comfort zone. You’re comfortable in that space. This is a metaphor for life. You’re comfortable doing those things within that circle. Now, if you stop pushing yourself to push that comfort zone out or do things you’re not used to or doing things that are hard for you, then that circle is going to start to shrink around you. It’s going to start to collapse. Your comfort zone is going to collapse. In other words, staying, keeping your comfort zone as it is – if you do nothing, your comfort zone will not stay as it is. If you do nothing, your comfort zone will retreat towards you. The only way to keep your comfort zone where it is is to keep pushing yourself, and the only way to get your comfort zone to grow is to really push yourself. You have to take action.

So how to be more confident just boils down to one thing, which is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone repeatedly, and ideally in immediate succession. Not once a month, not once every two months or even once every two weeks – go out and do something like 10 times in a day if you can. Let’s just talk about what it could relate to. Maybe this is speaking in front of people. Maybe that’s where you want to be more confident. Maybe you’re a salesperson and it’s making sales calls, visiting people’s offices or making cold calls even. Or maybe not cold calls, warm calls, but making calls to either existing customers or prospective customers. Maybe this is just about meeting people in general, like let’s say business networking events or even in social settings. Maybe you want to meet a certain person. Maybe you want to approach a woman to introduce yourself if you’re a guy. How do you do that?

Let’s just take the approaching a woman because it’s a great example. If you approached 10 women in one night, by the tenth one you would feel completely different than you did on the first or the second. Your mind, your comfort zone adapts very, very quickly to a new situation. But here’s the problem: The first one is the hardest. They do it the first time and maybe it goes well and maybe it doesn’t go well, but either way, like if it goes well they try to stick with that one situation and if it doesn’t go well they just abandon the effort and they give up, but that’s the worst time to give up on a task. Do it the second time and the third and the fourth and the fifth. If you just did it one night, you go out and approach 10 different people, by the tenth person you would already feel completely different than you did on the first.

With public speaking, when I first started speaking myself, I spoke at 47 rotary clubs. I spoke at every rotary club in the area. That’s not true, but a lot of them, because believe it or not in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, those two cities, there are over 150 rotary clubs in that area. It’s astonishing. But I spoke at about a third of them. I spoke everywhere. And so you immediately start feeling differently, and you get used to it and you build your comfort zone out.

Now, what happens when you do that? What is confidence? Confidence is comfort. It’s when you’re relaxed in the situation. What happens in that first situation? Like let’s say you’re at a business networking event. At the beginning, you’re all tight and you’re stiff and you’re comfortable. Your mind’s working overtime.

Like when I first learned to rollerblade—skating—at the beginning it was harder than running, but when I got better at it it was easier than walking. Why is that? Because at the beginning, I was freaking out, I was scared, I thought I was going to fall, I was stiff, I was using all my muscles, I didn’t know which muscles I needed to use. But as you get better at it, you start to realize which muscles are required, you get a sense of balance, you start to realize how it functions, and then you realize how easy it is. Well, the same is true in any skill, including public speaking, meeting businesspeople, doing sales calls, approaching women, it doesn’t matter what it is: Your body will adjust very, very quickly, and when it does you start to relax. Confidence is relaxed.

Just think about right now you’re watching this on a computer screen. Relax. Just be completely relaxed. Consciously, just try to relax. Now, specifically focus on your shoulders and relax them more. I’ll bet you anything you could relax them more. You thought you were relaxed before, but you actually could be more relaxed. We can almost always be more relaxed, and that’s what confidence is.

And the difference between a confident posture and an insecure posture might be three millimeters—it might be a tiny difference—but you see, the human mind, we interpret those subcommunications, we see those subtle cues, we don’t even notice we’re doing it. Even a baby that’s like a few days old can already distinguish between a smiling face and a frowning face. In other words, we came equipped with this. They do studies on this kind of stuff: People react very differently to someone who’s confident and relaxed than they do to someone who’s uptight and thinking in their head. And they don’t even realize what they’re noticing, but they do notice it and they react to it.

So when you’re in life, if you’re in your head, if you’re uptight, if you’re nervous, you don’t know how it’s coming out but it is coming out. People notice it, and the only way to get past that is to do that thing that you’re scared of or nervous about, repeatedly. Do it many times in a row and you’ll immediately start to adjust. That comfort zone will immediately start to push out and you get an increased comfort zone.

You know what it is? It’s tolerance to social pressure. That’s what it is. It’s tolerance to social situations of this kind or that kind or wherever you might be – there are pressures in social interaction with other human beings. There are things that are intimidating. But when you do it a lot of times, you get that comfort, you get tolerance to social pressure. That’s a very attractive quality to other people. They see your comfort. Subconsciously, they don’t even realize they’re doing it. But they realize that you’re relaxed, you’re confident, and they’re happier talking to you about things. They feel less of a need to be defensive against you because that comfort is very inviting.

So how do you be more confident? Do the things you’re afraid of many times right in a row. Just commit to whatever it is in your life, commit to yourself, even if you just do it for one day and take one day out of your life. What’s one day? It’s nothing. Take one day and go and do that thing as often as you can.

If it’s public speaking, maybe you can book like—I remember one time I did like four different speaking engagements in one day because I spoke at a couple of rotary clubs and something in the afternoon and something in the evening, so the whole day I was speaking. Even in that situation, by the final one… Even these videos, when I do these videos, I don’t record one in a day. I try to record eight or 10 in a day, and by the tenth one—the one I’m doing right now is the third one of my day. So I’ve done two before this one, this is my third, and I can already feel it that I’m starting to get a little more comfortable again. It happens every time, and by the time I get to the tenth one I’m more relaxed. Your mind adjusts, your body adjusts, and that comfort zone expands very quickly if you push yourself out of your current comfort zone and build it further.

So take that challenge. Take that challenge and build your confidence in whatever it is that’s intimidating for you today.

Thanks for watching this video. My name is Patrick, reminding you as always to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.