A Magic Trick
Self-confidence, now you see it—now you don’t.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
A magician walks on stage, and after pulling rabbits from hats and birds from handkerchiefs, he asks for a volunteer to saw in half. You know the trick, you’ve seen it a dozen times. Would you volunteer? Assuming you don’t have stage fright, and you’re the adventurous sort, you might—you’re not really going to get sawed in half!
You give it a shot, you’ve got complete self-confidence that nothing terrible is going to happen to you and it’ll be fun to see how he performs the trick. As you climb into the box, staring at the magician whose making the audience feel like they are about to witness a bloody chainsaw massacre, your nerves begin to quiver. What could possibly go wrong? It’s just a trick, right? Ah, but the unknown starts creeping into what you thought was a no-fail situation. What if the magician makes a mistake? What if his mind wanders?—after all he’s probably done this trick hundreds of times and his concentration may be wandering off to what he’s going to order for dinner after the show. To boot, it sure looks like a real saw in his hands, a sharp one. You break out in a cold sweat and your breathing shallow. What the heck have I gotten myself into!
You went into this with absolute self-confidence it was safe. In a matter of just 10 minutes your confidence disappeared like the bouquet of flowers the magician had in his hand earlier. The thing is, nothing’s changed. It’s the same trick, with the same props, and the magician isn’t Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Your imagination concocted scenarios and outcomes that aren’t going to happen. You uprooted memories that aren’t remotely related to this situation. Why does that phenomenon manifest and capture your reasoning? Why did you stop believing the truth of your reality and lose the strength of your conviction? After all, you’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s really quite simple: events from the past that you had no control over triggered your ludicrous reaction. Your imagination ran amuck, just like it did from ghost stories kids used to tell around the campfire.
It’s okay to alter your thinking in response to what’s changing around you and pursue a different course of action, but it’s not okay, regardless of what’s been catapulted in front of you to waiver in the belief that you can achieve what you’re after. Self-confidence is the foundation of success, personal and professional. Your belief system, and the faith you have in yourself, is the magic carpet that can take you from where you are today to tomorrow. It doesn’t guarantee success, but if you’re properly prepared, you’ll have the conviction to succeed.
Here’s a magic trick: you’ve heard the old saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it?” Flip it around—you’ll see it when you believe it.
Ken Tasch is the inventor of the LAUNCH™ Selling and Business Capture System: a simple and easy way to significantly increase the odds of winning new business.
I retired this year from over 40 years of starting my own businesses and managing businesses for corporations. My goal is to help others succeed and grow to be everything they want to be; to give back and share my life experience.