Chapter 14Increase Skills, Increase Confidence

When my nephew was younger, I'd hang out with him and be the cool uncle by showing him killer soccer moves. Growing up in Mexico, football wasn't really a thing, but “futbol” was, and I played at a competitive level throughout high school. Unfortunately, by the time he was a teenager—right after the Seahawk's first Superbowl win—all he cared about was football. Instead of soccer, he'd want to gear up and play a little football with me. Perhaps I could keep up with him as a six‐year‐old, but as the star wide receiver in high school, he could easily out‐pass, out‐rush, and out‐tackle me. Being in my forties, the idea of a friendly “turkey bowl” game against him was enough for me to feign a knee injury. But get me out on the soccer field, and Uncle Mike can still teach those kids a thing or two.

Here's my point. When you increase your skills, you increase your confidence. I'm confident with soccer because I have some skills. Not MLS level, but enough to know what I'm doing. I lack confidence with football because I lack skills there.

In the Introduction, I distinguish between false confidence and true confidence. Alcohol is sometimes called “liquid courage” because it lowers inhibitions and makes you think you can do something, but that doesn't mean you actually can. This book isn't a shot of “speaking vodka”; we've been developing true confidence by focusing on each of its three sources: identity, message, and skills. Using the sailing ...

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