If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I assisted my wife Karen in writing and publishing her unique cookbook Be Your Own Chef, and that I regularly help her with marketing and booking speaking opportunities. I’ll be the first to tell you that cooking is not my passion. I’m more passionate about eating the delicious, finished product. However, Karen is extremely skilled at cooking and writing her own recipes, and she is incredibly gifted at turning an ordinary meal into something creative and extraordinary. Even though I’m not particularly skilled at either one, I am thrilled to see her offering her strengths to the world through cooking demos and speaking opportunities where she has the opportunity to convey her powerful story of overcoming a chronic health condition to publish a cookbook.
One of the main aspects of living the intentional life is in serving others as they pursue their goals and dreams. Even though I can’t cook (except perhaps grilled cheese and burgers on the grill), I possess skills that Karen does not, and hence, we complement each other pretty well. I’ve been able to assist her with creating a web presence, shooting videos and photos, and using coupons to save money at the grocery store, to name a few.
Nonetheless, neither of us had ever published a book before. My marketing experience was limited to Ebay. With any new adventure, there will always be the unknown. And with the unknown comes fear - fear of looking ignorant, saying the wrong thing, losing money, failing. The list could go on forever. The unknown has a way of derailing us if we allow it to consume our mind.
Yet, when we face those situations that are uncomfortable and downright scary, one helpful approach is to fool our own mind. We must fake confidence. By this, I mean to act confidently even though our brain is screaming, “DANGER! Run far away!” More than likely, no one will be able to tell the difference. And as you practice overcoming the fear, the confidence builds until the practice becomes a little more natural.
I’ve always dreaded making cold calls. It’s still not one of my favorite things to do, but it’s become a necessity in order to build relationships with people who can book Karen for speaking engagements and cooking demonstrations. In the past, I would stare at the phone, pondering whether to call someone I didn’t know. Now, I now pick it up and dial the number without giving my mind time to over-process. Then I talk naturally and conversationally, knowing and conveying that we have something to offer them that will benefit their customers, members, etc. After repeated practice and pushing myself to make those calls, I’m finally to the point that I’ve developed real confidence when making initial contact.
To date, Karen has spoken at numerous churches and has recently started offering cooking demonstrations at several Curves women’s fitness clubs, inspiring women to cook healthy and to overcome difficult circumstances to live out their own own dreams.
This journey has progressed further than we’ve expected because we’ve both been willing to fake confidence until we’ve developed it. At what point in your life have you faked confidence until it came naturally to you?