• Self-Confidence And The Inflatable Banana Boat Ride
    Monday, April 10, 2017

    Self-Confidence And The Inflatable Banana Boat Ride

    Banana boat rides are best done at speed; a leisurely pace just won’t give the thrill factor & you may as well be on a Pedalo.  The speed means boats have the tendency to occasionally lift off the surface of the water, which inevitably means it has to land- with a bump.  Just like life, it’s full of ups & downs, highs & lows & the odd bruise now & then.  Self-Confidence highs & lows.

    Very often, I find myself full of Self-Confidence, riding high on a wave, saying to myself “I can do that!” & before I know it I’m into a project or event that really sounds good...

    Then the self-confidence wave dips, doubts creep in & I spend the next few uncomfortable hours/days/weeks riding the waves.  “Can I, can’t I?” or “I can, no I can’t!” Stress levels up & down & that good idea has turned into a bit of a nightmare.

    Perhaps you’re reading this & thinking “but I don’t even have the confidence to say ‘I can do that’ to myself, let alone anyone else.” You are not alone. Confidence is a funny thing!  We can have confidence in someone or something, but have no confidence in ourselves at the same time.  Self-Confidence is the belief & trust that we have in ourselves.  Our level of Self-Confidence depends on many internal & external factors so although it sails on without too much to worry about most of the time, it can peak & trough depending on the factors – that’s perfectly normal. Self-Confidence is linked to, but different from Self-Esteem – how we feel about ourselves, which is another Blog altogether.

    The problem comes when we NEED to feel confident for say, a test or job interview, but we don’t FEEL confident.  Our cortisol (stress hormone) levels rise & our testosterone (male hormone that helps us behave with strong authority – women produce it too!) levels drop & we feel like a punctured banana boat instead of a fully inflated one.

    In order to believe & trust in ourselves, we first have to believe & trust in a few things before we can go out onto the sea & experience our metaphorical banana boat ride. We often need assurance & there is nothing wrong in seeking this – it’s your built in survival instinct.

    1. Believe & trust that it won’t be the end of the world if you fail by falling off or letting go
    2. Believe & trust in the process – it is possible to enjoy travelling at speed on a hard, wet surface, hanging onto an inflatable banana via a piece of rope (I confess, I find this one hard)
    3. Believe & trust that this will enhance your life – stepping outside your comfort zone is ultimately rewarding
    4. Believe & trust that policies (Health & Safety, particularly in this scenario) will protect you – always wear a life jacket

    Doing all of the above, doesn’t guarantee you won’t get hurt, dislike it, or hate yourself for getting into the situation in the first place.  It may be the worst experience of your life, but it won’t be the end of it.  You will return to land & be able to tell the tale whether it be good or bad. You will have increased your confidence just by getting on the boat.  If you’re there, you might as well enjoy it! You have to experience the ‘lows’ in order to appreciate the ‘highs’.

    It’s difficult to think of banana boat rides when you’re stressed about an impending event so the link below should help you out with boosting your Self-Confidence. I love TED talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) & here are 9 to choose from – you should find one that resonates with you

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