Toolkit for Building Unstoppable Confidence (According to Research) - Transcripts
Hey, it's your friend Mel, and I'm confident that you're going to love today's episode of the Mel Robbins podcast. Okay, you ready? I'm ready. Can you tell I'm in a great mood? I'm so excited about today's episode of the Mel Robbins podcast. Before we jump into it, I just wanna welcome you if you're brand new to the podcast. My name is Mel, and I'm a New York Times bestselling author and one of the world's leading experts on change, motivation, and habits. And I believe there are simple things that you and I can do based on the research and common sense that will help you create a better life. And that's what we're talking about here on the Mel Robbins podcast. And today specifically, we're gonna dig into the science of confidence. I'm not gonna give you a PhD in it. I'm going to teach you the relevant accessible research that a normal person like you or me can apply to their life.
And I got a promise to make to you. By the time you're done listening to this episode, you're not only gonna understand confidence in an entirely new way, you will know exactly what to do in order to build more confidence in your life. Because one of the things you're about to learn is confidence isn't what you think it is. You're gonna leave this conversation today with a whole new definition of confidence that's based in the research. And I can't wait to share it with you. And I'm so excited to talk about confidence today because you've been asking me to. You have been flooding MelRobbins.com with all kinds of questions and topic ideas. And I wanna thank you for that because I always say this is not my podcast, this is our podcast. And so we are going to kick off the topic of confidence, our podcast with a question from a listener named Heather.
Hey Mel, it's Heather. I'm curious if you would consider doing a podcast on confidence and actionable steps to gain confidence. For instance, in the workplace, when your role has expanded and currently are doing big things, but do not always feel confident or in line with the idea that you want and deserve to be there in that role. Love your podcast more than you'll ever know.
Thank you. Heather, I absolutely love that you asked this question. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love the topic of confidence. The very confident Mel Robins that you see right now is not the woman I used to be. And I have spent years researching this topic and also teaching it. And so everything that I am going to share with you today is grounded in decades of research, the latest studies, and it all comes from a big body of work that I've published. One of the most popular courses on LinkedIn is called the Science of Confidence and your friend Mel Robins created it and teaches it for LinkedIn. There's a lot that I have to share about this that I can't wait for you to learn. And I also get asked all the time, Mel, how are you so confident? I mean, I see the photos of you in arenas giving speeches. I see the virtual events that you do that are broadcast to millions of people.
In fact, I was on the Today Show with Jenna and Hoda. So many of you reached out because you saw me live on TV and it was thrilling to get your DMs. And a lot of you commented, Mel, whoa, you just laid down on the couch on live TV to make your point and you looked so at ease. How did you get so confident? Well, I'm telling you all of this, not to brag, but because I not only understand this topic and the research, I have taught myself how to embody what I'm about to teach you. So Heather and you listening, when you have more confidence, you get paid more, you will have a better job, you will be more admired by people, you will be listened to with more intention, you'll have greater influence and confidence is a topic and a skill that I want absolutely everybody to learn because based on the research, confidence is for all of us. Anybody can learn the five simple tools that are grounded in the research in order to build greater confidence, in order to break through self doubt. The more that you build confidence in your life, the greater the ability to say no and not even be bothered by what other people are gonna feel. Why? because you realize you would rather be respected than be liked. And see, this need to be liked or to look good is part of the reason why you doubt yourself all the time. I want you to bring that power back internally.
That's what the skill of confidence does. So I think it kind of begs the question, if confidence is something that we all want, why is it so hard to master? I'll tell you why. Because when it comes to the research around confidence, it is some of the most dry, boring, no offense to the confidence researchers and writers out there. But I'm talking, if you have trouble sleeping, just print out a study about confidence. That'll put you into deep REM sleep. It's also confusing. And even Google isn't much of a help on this topic. If you search how to be confident, you know what the top results, one of them says? Be true to you. What the hell does that even mean? Be true to you, and honestly, be true to you.
That is not what the research says. The problem and why it's hard for people to develop the skill of confidence is the research has not been boiled down into tactical information that you can apply to your day-to-day life. And that's where your friend Mel Robbins comes in. So here's your first assignment on today's podcast, because you know we're not just listening here. This is a doing podcast, and we're gonna make this tactical and relevant immediately. Assignment number one, I want you to listen a particular way. I want you to listen and think what's in it for me. And so let me ask you a question. If you had more confidence, like I could go, and boom, you have more confidence than you've ever had in your entire life, how would your life be different? How would your future be different? Now Heather has already shared that she has this awesome promotion, which she clearly earned. I mean, businesses don't just give those out as charity.
If a business has promoted or hired you, they believe in your ability to execute. But now she's freaking out. Now, when you think about confidence, how would more confidence help Heather's life be different? Well, confidence would allow Heather to step into that role, right? And she would be able to lose the self-doubt in the imposter syndrome and the panicking, and she'd be able to act like the leader that the organization promoted her to be, right? Without all the like nervousness and crap going on in her head, what about you? Let's get selfish. What would more confidence allow you to do that you're not currently doing? Would you be able to say no? Would you be better with boundaries? Are there more risks you would take? Is there a conversation you've been avoiding with yourself or someone else?
Would you be able to stand up for yourself, advocate more for yourself? Ask for what you need, about work? Would you be more visible? Would you speak up more? All of that that you just envisioned, it's all within your reach. And so let's talk about something that Heather said. Heather said in her question that she doesn't, quote, feel confident in the new role. I don't feel confident. And so I want to start by giving you a definition of confidence that will change your ability to build it as a skill. This definition of confidence I've been sharing for years. And I think I created it based on the research because I haven't really seen it out there before. And this definition is going to surprise you because it's a definition of confidence that puts the research into action.
See, here's the mistake that everybody makes. Heather made the mistake because she said that I don't, quote, feel confident. And I bet you're making this mistake with confidence, too. Based on the research, that's where we get it wrong. Confidence is not a feeling. Confidence is embodied in action. My definition of confidence is confidence is the willingness to try. I'm going to say it again. Your new definition of confidence embodied by the research, confidence is the willingness to try. Confidence is an action. That's what it is. And this phenomenon has been heavily researched by social psychologists.
See, there's this positive feedback loop that happens when you're willing to try something before you feel ready, when you're willing to step into that leadership role and put yourself out there and take risks and make mistakes and shove that self-doubt to the side. When you're willing to try, neuroscience research says that you create something called a confidence-competence loop. And let me explain this to you because there's a lot of common sense here, right? Every single time you try something new, you're either going to be really good at it or you're going to be terrible at it, right? But you always learn something, but you have to try. So Heather is going to step into this new role. She's trying out a new role. She's either going to be really good at it or she's going to be miserable at it. But here's the thing. If you try something for the first time, you're either going to fail or succeed, but you always learn something. And that's where this confidence-competence loop and the neuroscience research comes in because even when you try, when you learn a little something, you gain a little competency, right? So the second time, because of everything that you learned the first time around, it gets a little bit easier.
It gets a little bit better, but it all begins with being willing to try. No matter where you're starting from, because if you are the kind of person that's always willing to try, you will always grow and you will always learn. And the more that you try and the more that you learn, the less you doubt yourself, the less resistance that you have. And bada-bing bada-boom. All of a sudden you feel confident in this new role, all of a sudden you feel confident doing a backflip off a boat, because you tried a thousand times and your belly flopped and you embarrass yourself and you got a wedgie. And then what do you know? Because you were willing to keep trying, all of that gained of trying over and over and over and over again, it's how you gained mastery. Feeling confident is kind of, it's almost like the wrong way to say it because that's what you feel after you've done it over and over and over again, but true confidence begins the moment you're willing to try, okay? And so I really think it's important. I can give you another example. The first time somebody handed me chopsticks, I had no idea how to use them. Was I nervous about picking them up?
And I couldn't get like my fingers to twist in the way that you're supposed to. And it was super embarrassed and they kept like flipping across the table. And here's the thing. I didn't know how to use them, but isn't it common sense that there's no way I was gonna learn how to use them if I wasn't willing to try? See, being confident and the skill of confidence is the difference between saying, sure, hand me the chopsticks. I'd love to try. I'm willing to look like an idiot. I'm willing to be a beginner first versus going, can you get me a fork? I don't know how to use those. Do you see the difference? The skill begins with being willing to try. So many of you saw me on the Today Show today.
That is the culmination of 10 years of being willing to try, being willing to walk on a stage and have a panic attack or a neck rash, being willing to get behind a microphone and make terrible content or say stupid things or look terrible in videos. You gotta remember what you're seeing is a person on the Today Show who has been working hard for 10 years, trying over and over and over and over and learning and failing. That's what you're witnessing. You're witnessing competency, but the skill is something different. The skill of confidence is trying. Let me remind you of a fact. Everybody starts at zero, everyone. Whether you're trying to learn guitar or you're building a social media following or you wanna get into the YouTube space or you're writing a book or you're selling, everybody starts at zero. That's how I started. Zero speeches given, zero television experience, zero social media following, zero competency in front of a camera or on a microphone. I mean, even take this podcast. Starting this, I started at zero.
The tech is intimidating. There are 5 million podcasts on Spotify alone. I'm 54 years old. I don't know how to do that. I haven't done this before. I haven't been in the seat of the person that hosts, but here's the difference with your friend, Mel Robbins. I'm willing to try. I lean on this skill of confidence that I've built because I have the definition that's grounded in research. And so do you. You're not going to feel confident. You're going to act in accordance with the research of confidence. You, my friend, are willing to try.
That's the secret. And it took me a long time to learn this secret for myself. And I'm going to tell you all about the old Mel Robbins before she knew this, when we come back. Welcome back. I'm Mel Robbins. And you and I are talking about building the skill of confidence by being willing to try. And so I want to go back and tell you a story about the old Mel Robbins. A lot of you have seen my TEDx talk. So I have one of the most popular and most viewed TEDx talks in the world. I think it's got almost 30 million views at this point. It's a TED talk called How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over. And if you watch my 21 minute long TED talk, you know what you're witnessing?
You are witnessing a 21 minute long panic attack. That was the first official speech I had ever given in my entire life. I was terrified of public speaking. I've always been terrified of public speaking. And most people are terrified of public speaking. When I was in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, law school, whenever I got called on in class, bright red, bright red. My mind would immediately go blank. The only job I got out of law school was working for legal aid as a public defender in New York City. And when I had to stand in court all day, talking to a judge and a bailiff and police officers and the prosecutor, I was so afraid of speaking out loud as a new attorney. I would get these monster neck rashes all over my neck and chest. You know, the kind of rashes that people get when they're nervous or they've had too much to drink or they get an allergic reaction to food. That was Mel Robbins, the early years.
You know how I dealt with that neck rash and that fear? I would wrap a scarf around my neck or I'd wear a turtleneck as an attempt to try to hide it. In fact, even when I became an on-air commentator for CNN, I was part of their legal team in terms of providing commentary for CNN. I did that for four years, incredible experience. Never done that before. Why was I willing to do that? Knowing that half the time my cheeks would turn bright red, half the time I'd be worried that I might say something stupid. I'll tell you why. Because I understand the skill of confidence. You build it by being willing to try. You have to start at zero and nobody wants to start at zero, you want to step into this new role and think that you have it all figured out. Well, guess what, you don't because you've never done this before.
But if you're willing to try, if you're willing to make mistakes, if you're willing to understand that by showing up every day and trying and trying and learning and failing and falling on your face and dusting yourself off and putting in the work, eventually the competency catches up. And what neuroscience says is what you're actually experiencing when you can stand on a stage and you don't have a neck rash that looks like you just got stung by a bee and you're about to go into anaphylactic shock. When you can do that, you wanna know why you can do that? It's because the number of times that you've tried have lowered the resistance in your own brain and body to doing it. And so it feels easier, it feels effortless. It's not that you quote, feel more confident, it's that you've built up the competency so that you know how to do it without even thinking about it. By being willing to try, by taking the actions over and over, you removed the doubt, you removed the resistance, you built up knowledge and competency. Isn't that cool? This is so important, I wanna give you another example. So I was on the way to the airport the other day and I had this great Uber driver and we got to talking because it was kind of a long way to the airport. And I hear all about her life and how she immigrated to the US when she was two and was in an orphanage and came here from Poland. And we get to talking about dreams.
And this woman, let me tell you, she is a survivor, she is a fighter, she could do anything she put her mind to. And I said, so what's your big dream? And she said, I would love to have my own home. If I could buy my own home, a place to call mine, that would just be amazing. And I said, well, what's keeping you from working on it? And she said, well, I just don't feel confident, I don't feel like I can do that, I doubt myself. I doubt that I have enough money. And I said, I think you're making a big mistake. And she said, what do you mean? I said, well, you're sitting here talking about confidence as a feeling. What if I told you that confidence is an action? The definition of confidence is being willing to try, being willing to step towards something before you feel ready.
The Uber went silent. You could almost hear the wheels in her head turning. And all of a sudden she goes, oh, that part you just said, confidence is an action. Confidence is being willing to try. I never thought about it that way. That's incredible. And I said, well, what did you just get? She said, well, I've been sitting around, doubting myself, I've been sitting around waiting to feel like it's gonna like be a certain time and that when I feel confident enough, then I'll start looking. Are you saying that I just need to start looking now? Are you saying now that that confidence means I'm willing to check this out? I said, yes. I said, if you were confident, if you felt ready, what are the actions you would take, what would you be trying to do?
She said, well, I'd be going to open houses, I'd be looking at houses online. I might even walk into a bank, but right now I'm so full of doubt, I think they'd laugh at me, so I won't even try it." I said, exactly. You have to take the action first. And the more actions you take, the more the feeling catches up, but it begins with the action. I said, in fact, and I pulled out my phone, and I typed into Google, how do you buy a house with no money down? Hundreds of thousands of videos popped up on YouTube, and I said to her, I said, look, most of these are going to be complete crap. But there will be one, two, three, four videos in there that will give you the next right step. And if you keep taking the next right step, you will be taking the actions to create the dream that you have for yourself. That's how you do it. It was so freaking cool. And if you look at me and you're like, my friend Mel, she's so successful. How did she get that way?
It's the exact same thing. It's because I'm willing to try. I'm willing to start at zero. I'm willing to keep showing up over and over and over again and trying and trying despite my doubt, despite my fire engine red cheeks, despite my flush neck. And over time, by doing exactly what I'm teaching you to do, I went from somebody who was terrified of public speaking to becoming one of the most talented, respected and requested and unbooked public speakers in the entire world. And that's what's available to you today, myself, whether you want to buy that first house and you've been doubting yourself or you want to get over your fear of public speaking, or there's something else that you believe confidence is going to help you do. The other thing I want to talk about really quickly is I know that what you think you're up against, Heather. And if you're struggling with confidence is that, oh, imposter syndrome, I got imposter syndrome. I know shit you have imposter syndrome because you haven't done this before. See, I see imposter syndrome is a really good thing because when you feel like an imposter in a role, that's just a fancy way of saying you're trying something new. And so starting today, if you're in the game of building confidence, everybody, you got to open your arms. You got to reach out for that imposter syndrome, because if you don't have imposter syndrome, you're not doing anything uncomfortable.
And if there's one thing I've learned in life after 54 years is that it's only by making yourself face things that are uncomfortable that you're going to grow into the best version of yourself. If you always do the things that you're comfortable doing, you will never, ever, ever experience what might be possible because you're not pushing yourself. And so I don't want you to fear imposter syndrome. I want you to see it as a good thing. Oh, I feel like an imposter. Great. I get you. This is confidence building. Here we go. And speaking of the myth that imposter syndrome is a bad thing. No, no, no, no. You're learning.
When it comes to building confidence, you got to embrace that imposter syndrome because it means you're trying and you're learning and you're gaining competency. And we love that around here. I'm going to teach you three other myths about confidence. I'm going to use a question from a listener named Alex to help us unpack it, but first we're going to take a quick break for our sponsors because they helped me bring this toolkit to you at zero cost. And then we're going to be right back with Alex's question and those three myths about confidence. Welcome back, everybody. I'm Mel Robbins. And today we are talking confidence, the science and most importantly, five tools that you need in your life to build the skill of confidence. And we're about to jump into three myths related
to confidence with a question from a listener named Alex. Hey, Mel. It's Alex here. Can you talk about how to thrive around high achievers when you're not naturally an extrovert or someone with great confidence? I'm trying to succeed at
university and this is something I find super challenging. Alex, great question. And this allows us to talk about myth number one about confidence. And that myth is that confident people are the loudest and most extroverted in the room. So first things first, Alex, stop beating yourself up because you're a little bit more introverted. And what I can tell based on your question is that you do want to be more visible. You do want to have a breakthrough in the skill of confidence because you do want to be somebody that's contributing your ideas. So I want to tell you the truth about confident people. Confident people are very often the quiet people in the room. There's a huge difference between confidence and bravado. You know, they're not the same thing. Confidence has nothing to do with swagger.
It has nothing to do with how much you talk or blab on and on in class. If you're truly confident, you don't have to prove anything to anybody because you know that confidence is simply being willing to try. It's not about being extroverted or introverted. Confidence is not a personality trait. Confidence is a skill that you can build. And so I want you to also be honest with yourself. Go back to being selfish in this episode because you're talking about these high achievers and you're not naturally an extrovert. If you're selfish, Alex, how would the skill of confidence change the way you're showing up? Because if you answer, oh, I would talk more in class. Oh, I would advocate more for my ideas. Oh, I would raise my hand and I would put my name in the ring for certain opportunities before stopping myself and thinking about it. Great.
Use the definition of confidence now to push yourself to try those things that you believe that more confidence would be having you do. That's how you're going to build competency in those things you're not doing now. Let me tell you the second myth about confidence. See, a lot of people believe that confidence is built when you're winning. Not true. Not true. The truth is that confidence is like steel. It's forged in the fire of your life. You don't create the skill of confidence when life is easy. Confidence, that reserve, that skill that you build. It's created in the moments that are hard. Confidence requires you to try.
It requires you to feel like an impostor. It requires you to start at zero. It requires you to do things that you've never done before. If you're naturally more introverted, sometimes speaking in class can be as scary as skydiving, but that's okay because you can try and you can fail and your cheeks can turn bright red and you know what? You're not gonna die. It's gonna be okay because you're willing to try and learn and that's what's at the heart of this skill. It's curiosity. It's leaning forward. It's trying. It's action. And here's the third myth about confidence. You know, I often hear people say, I lost my confidence.
Nope. Nope. You didn't. The truth is you cannot lose confidence. See, you're just blocked from the feeling of it because you stopped trying, which is the source of it. So let me give you an example. If you sit there and say, you know, oh, I must have lost some confidence along the way because now I'm around all these great achievers and they're always talking in class and I feel like a complete idiot. No, no, you haven't lost anything because what's the definition of confidence? Confidence is the willingness to try. If you're around all these high achievers, it's because you belong there and it's because you're meant to grow and that resistance and pressure that you feel internally, do not aim that at yourself as if something's wrong with you. There's no difference between the high achievers and you, Alex. The only difference is your willingness to try something that's a little scary, to show up, to be seen, to share your ideas.
You know, there's this TED talk that I absolutely love called Who Are You Really? And it's by Dr. Brian Little. He's a professor over in the UK and the entire 20 minute talk is all about the fact that he's profoundly introverted in his life, but because teaching matters to him, he has taught himself how to be profoundly extroverted when he's teaching a class. Now it's wildly draining for him because he's an introvert, but I'm trying to tell you you're not in a fixed place and confidence is a skill you can build if you're willing to try. And I can tell you are because it matters to you. Okay, I'm now going to teach you the five simple tools that help you build this as a skill. Tool number one, take action. This is obvious. I understand we have the definition of confidence. Confidence is the willingness to try. You're not going to change your life or build confidence by thinking about the things you need to do. You must take action.
The number one tool for helping you take action in those moments where you feel imposter syndrome or you feel nervous or you're embarrassed or you start to doubt yourself or you feel anxious, whatever the feeling is, screw the feeling. We got to take action in those moments because remember we're building confidence. It's going to require you to try. Just use my five second rule. I told you the whole story about how I created it, the science behind it in the episode we released way back in the day called motivation is garbage. I'll link to that. But if you're brand new to the podcast, let me give you the shortcut. When you're in a situation where you start to doubt yourself, you're just going to count backwards five, four, three, two, one, and then you physically move within five seconds. So here's how you can use it. Heather's talking about the fact that she wants to build confidence in this new role where she's been promoted. There are things that she needs to do as a new leader, but she doesn't have the competency yet. Instead of thinking about those things, she can use the five second rule, five, four, three, two, one, to interrupt that self-doubt.
It will help you tap into your courage. That's it. That's all that it is. For Alex, who is surrounded by all these high achievers, the next time she's sitting in a classroom and she has something that she wants to share, instead of shrinking in her seat, she's going to try. And the five second rule is going to help. Five, four, three, two, one, and then she's going to shoot that hand up in the air because you know what, Alex says something to say. And even though she doesn't feel comfortable, even though she might get a neck rash, even though her cheeks might go fire engine red, and even though she might stutter or stumble or have dry mouth or whatever might happen, five, four, three, two, one, she is willing to try, because here's something I want you to understand. You can tap into courage before you start having that feeling of assuredness. Courage is what you tap into. Confidence is what you're building over time. I'm going to say that again, courage comes first, courage, 5'4", 3'2, 1'. You start counting backwards, man, that is an act of courage because you're going for it.
Courage comes first. Confidence is what builds over time. How cool is that, right? I absolutely love this because what I'm ultimately teaching you, and this again relates to all the research, is that there's two types of people out there. There are people who think about what they want to do, and then there are people that find the courage to take action. And that's what I want for you. Because the fact is, you have greatness inside you. And I want you to start tapping into it. It's only through action that you unlock that power inside you, and you become the person that you're meant to be. I mean, that's how I created the life that I have now. If I didn't learn how to 5-4-3-2-1 push myself to try, I'd still be sleeping in a bed, staring at the ceiling, consumed with anxiety, feeling like I had ruined my life. That's how you change your life.
You have to take action over and over and over again. 5-4-3-2-1, stop thinking and start taking some risks. Start trying. Put a bet on yourself. Let's frickin' go. Now let's do rule number two. Rule number two is if you just tremble in your boots when you think about doing the things that you'd love to do. Let's get selfish. What is it that more confidence would have you be doing differently? When you think about those things, speaking up at work, launching your business, tackling your health issues, putting your online dating profile up and getting yourself back out there because you're ready and you're ready to have some fun again, when you start thinking about how confidence would change your life, I guarantee you, you're still gonna feel a little nervous. Here's a second tool that's gonna help you try. You can use the power of objectivity.
Create an alter ego. This can be fun, you know? We don't have to white-knuckle this confidence thing. Let's have some fun with it because there's a study out of Johns Hopkins that I love, and it's about letting go of self-doubt. The study suggests that when you use an alter ego or you create a vision of the future you, the person you want to become, it gives you distance from the scaredy cat you who's never done this thing before. You know what I always ask myself? I go, well, what would The Rock do in this situation? I just love Dwayne Johnson, The Rock. I constantly use him when it comes to confidence. What would The Rock do in this moment? And I always get an answer, and it feels less personal. You can use The Rock.
You can use me. What would Mel do if you're feeling unsure and you want to tap into the confidence that you kind of pick up on for me? And this also taps into behavioral activation therapy. Drains of research show that when you start acting like the person you want to become in the future now, in your present life, it's one of the fastest ways for you to change your mindset, for you to create new habits. Why? Because when you start acting like the person you want to become, you start acting like that person today. What are you doing? You're trying. You're trying to act like the future you would act. So let's go back to our first question, Heather. When she acts like the Heather two years from now, who has now gotten another promotion because she just slayed it in this role, the Heather today is trying to be the Heather she wants to become. Isn't that cool?
Alex sitting in the classroom, surrounded by all these high achievers. When she acts like the Alex she wants to be two years from now—who's earned her doctorate, who is able to express her ideas. And she acts like that version of herself, she's trying. How cool is this? It all just ladders right back to the research. That's why you can trust what I'm telling you. Another tool that you can use to build the skill of confidence is prepare. Because the more that you practice something, the more you're trying and the more competent you're going to be. So if you are nervous and you can't shake the nerves, double down on preparing. That's right, do rehearsals, run through it. Why? Because every time you rehearse something, you're trying it and it gives your mind and your nervous system the ability to lower the stress because your mind and your nervous system have prepared so you know what's coming.
See practice doesn't make perfect, practice prepares you. And what's one other thing about practice? What's the first thing that you learn about confidence? Again, I come back to the definition, it's the willingness to try. That's how you put the definition into life by practicing. Preparing for something, practicing something over and over and over, whether you're like the Williams sisters who literally stood there and hit balls and hit balls and hit balls and hit balls and hit balls before they were even allowed to enter a tournament, what were they doing? They're building the skill of confidence. You want to be confident, prove it by preparing. I use this all the time. I laugh like you see me get in front of a YouTube camera or you see me walk onto a stage or you listen to one of my audio books and you're like, how do you do that? I've prepared. I mean, just think back into your own life.
Think about those moments in high school or college where you weren't prepared for the test. How nervous were you? You were shaking in your boots. You couldn't even concentrate. You knew walking into the test that you were screwed. Now think about a moment when you actually studied, which is just you practicing. You feel calmer, more assured. Why? Because you were willing to try by sitting in the stacks in the library instead of going out. And that's what I'm talking about. This is something you build. Let me tell you about tool number four.
I love this. This is a mindset reframe because you got the five second rule. You've got the power of objectivity. What would Mel or The Rock do? You've got preparation. And now let me give you a mindset trick. I love this. I tell myself all the time why it's worth trying. Why is it worth trying something if I'm only gonna fail? Why is it worth going for it if I can't make my dreams come true? I'll tell you why. Because everything that you do in life is preparing you for something that hasn't happened yet.
What did I tell you about confidence? Confidence is not something you build when you're winning. I think oftentimes when we're winning, what gets built is arrogance and bravado. And we forget what went into winning at something in the first place. True confidence, the skill of confidence, it's forged in fire. I mean, I've failed more times than I have time to tell you. You guys know that a decade ago, talk about failure, 800 grand in debt, unemployed, drinking my way through my problems. And all of that heartbreak and headache and breakdown in my life, which was horrendous to go through, it led me to the five second rule. If there was no debt, there was no drinking, there was no heartache, there would be no five second rule. When I was a talk show host, here I was taping a talk show at CBS broadcast center here in New York City. It was a dream of mine to be able to have a daytime talk show. It gets canceled.
It was leading me somewhere. Where? To this podcast, which is my most favorite thing that I've ever done in my career. I choose not to stay in a place of self-doubt. I choose not to wallow in failure because I know that life is always preparing you for something. And I know that your greatest failures, your biggest heartbreaks, they always teach you the most important lessons in life. You know, and I keep getting questions from you guys, oh my God, you're so confident. Like what, you're 54 years old. You keep reinventing yourself. You keep trying new things like this podcast. What is it inside you, Mel? What is it inside me that makes me take all these risks, that makes me constantly try new things, that makes me willing to fail to do something embarrassing or even disastrous.
I'll tell you what it is. I want to get as much out of this life as I possibly can. And if you look at the math, I'm halfway through it. And it scares me to think that I could be on my deathbed and look back on my life and say, I wish I had had the confidence to try that. I do not want to die and have regrets. And so while I'm here, while I'm breathing, while I'm able to, I am going to follow my curiosity. I am going to follow my heart. I am going to try new things. I am going to do absolutely everything that I can do to grow, to feel, to learn. And that's gonna require me to take risks. That's gonna require me to fuck up things. That's gonna require me to look stupid.
And I'm willing to do that because I know on the other side of the biggest heartbreaks of your life are the most amazing, heart-filled moments. I know that in the middle of every failure that I experience, and boy, I experience them, oftentimes of my own doing, every single failure has honest to God equipped me with the lessons and the skill or the wisdom that I needed to be able to do something even cooler down the line. And I can prove it to you. Just look back on one of the scariest moments of your life, one of the biggest things that you just blew. I bet you can tell me that that horrible thing that happened, that really hard thing that in the moment you're like, why is this happening to me? That right now, no matter what your life looks like, you can sit here and you know exactly what you learned from it. You know that you would not be the person you are today had it not been for that thing that you experienced, that you survived, that you learned from. And so what drives me is just wanting to experience as much as I can from this one life that I have. And it's not all gonna be a joyride. And so I'm willing to take the risk. I'm willing to try. I'm willing to look stupid and I'm willing to do it because I think the payoff that you get, it's worth it.
It's so worth it. So this moment, it's preparing me for something that hasn't happened yet. And that reframe, what it does is it helps me put failure and heartbreak and all the hard shit in life into a box that is something that stays by my side as I move forward instead of a wall or a block or an obstacle that stops me from continuing to move forward. Because that's how you move forward. You continue to try. And the final tool when it comes to building the skill of confidence is you have to focus on you because nobody's coming. Like nobody's going to try for you. Nobody is gonna be there to motivate you to try. Nobody's gonna be there to give you the pep talk. I'm here twice a week. It really is my mission that our relationship through this podcast is one where you feel empowered and encouraged and you're reminded of who you are. That this is like a little reset, a pep talk, that you get the tools and the encouragement and the high five that you need.
But ultimately it's up to you. And you gotta learn how to stop looking at the world around you and what everybody and their mother is doing. And you gotta look right back in the mirror because you are the one person that you're gonna spend your whole life with. And it's time that you start to focus on that person and getting into a better relationship with that person called you. And that brings me to a question from one of our listeners named Skye.
Hey Mel, it's Skye here. I would really love for you to talk about on your podcast about self-confidence and the relationship among my generation, which is Generation Z, along with younger generations. And honestly, everyone on how social media and technology in general can kind of get in the way of your own personal self-growth. I recently went through a rough time and decided to remove all social media because I just wasn't in the place to be on it. Anyways, Mel, I love your podcast. It's what got me through this rough time. Thank you for all you do for me and your listeners, you rock Mel. And everyone be kind to yourself.
Oh, Skye, I love how you ended that question. Everybody be kind to yourself. Let's take that because it's true, Skye. So first things I just wanna say, Skye, really proud of you. I'm really proud of you for having the self-awareness to realize that your own habits around social media were impacting you negatively. You did something about it. And you also notice that taking positive action based on your self-awareness, I bet it started to build a little bit of confidence back, right, right? Absolutely. So I wanna say something about social media, everybody. Social media is not good or bad. I'm gonna say it again. Social media is not good or bad.
I think how we use it is terrible. Most of us are complete idiots when it comes to social media because we give our number one commodity mindlessly away. What is our number one commodity? Our attention. When's the last time you've curated intentionally based on your goals and your dreams? When is the last time that you curated the accounts that you follow? If you wanna have a massive breakthrough in happiness, in confidence, in your goals, in your mindset, in your mental health, let me tell you something, delete every account that you follow, write out what your goals are, how you wanna feel, and then curate a list of accounts that you follow based on their alignment with the way that you wanna feel and the things that you want to accomplish in your life. I say that most of us are complete idiots about social media, because we follow stuff and we give our attention to content that makes us feel like crap. And so you're doing that to yourself. If you were to delete all the accounts, the celebrities, the mindless crap, the memes, the supermodels that are crazy thin that make you feel like shit about yourself, the people that are driving lambos that make you think that you're a loser. The only thing you'd be missing out if you delete all those, is the self-doubt, the self-sabotage, the self-criticism, and the loser mentality that that shit creates in your mind. A lot of times what happens when it comes to confidence is that the stuff that you're allowing into your brain is decreasing your willingness to try, because it's making you feel like you're a loser compared to everything that you see, which by the way is fake, and that you feel bad at the end of the day because you blew three hours mindlessly looking at crap when you got big dreams and goals to fulfill for yourself.
You think Beyonce, who has now won more Grammys than anybody else on the planet, you think she weighs three hours a day on social media? I don't think so. Do you think the accounts that she follows are for her goals and her dreams and for her mental health and confidence or against them? Just ask yourself that. And so number one, you got to focus on you and that means getting serious about what you let into your mind. And so take away now like delete who you follow. If I make you feel bad, do not follow me on social media. Don't do it. Only follow people and accounts and content that help you, that inspire you, that lift you up, that entertain you, that make you feel good. You're giving them your attention. You're making money off your attention. Please take it seriously.
And here's one more thing. Think about what you put out. Does what you post create self-doubt? Or are you willing to try using social media in a way where you can be yourself? Where you don't need the filter. You don't need the perfect photo. You don't need to worry about getting the right thing up so that people saw that you were at the party and the right look and the this, that and the other and you're so worried about it, you're in the bathroom posting and you don't even enjoy the party. Are you willing to just be you? Because so much of the self-doubt that we all feel is because we spend so much of our time and energy and attention focusing on things that don't fucking matter. And so I'm not surprised, Guy, that getting off social media helped because you realized the input was making you doubt yourself. You realize that you were wasting time and you realized that there was some crazy power that came back to you when you were willing to try a different way. And so again, I don't think that social media is good or bad.
I think how we use it is terrible and you can use it for good. And I just explained that if you are willing to try and get very serious about your goals and how you want to feel, social media can be a huge, huge additive in helping you achieve those things, because you'll see examples of people that are also trying. You'll see The Rock or other people that inspire you, that will inspire you to try bigger things. You'll see positive accounts that remind you that, yes, you are bigger than this moment, but this moment is leading you somewhere and you have within you not only the willingness to try, but you have the willingness to face absolutely anything in your life. And you have the ability to take action, which is what changes everything. Confidence is your birthright. It is a skill that you build. It is a habit that you keep. Shit is going to get hard at times. It does for all of us and you are going to fall. You are going to fail. You are going to have dark moments.
You are going to feel lost. And what I want you to know is if you are willing to get up every single day and dust yourself off and learn the lesson and tell yourself that every day you're getting a little bit better and you are the kind of person that knows that eventually this is leading seeing you, where you meant to go, and you're just going to get up and you're going to try again, and you're going to do that thing. You, my friend, are not only going to be practicing and building confidence. You are going to feel it, too. In case nobody else tells you, I'm going to tell you that I love you. I believe in you and I believe in your ability to try of the things that scare the shit out of you. believe in your ability to tap into the power inside you in this one extraordinary, ordinary life that you have and make it everything that you want it to be because you deserve that. All right. I love you. I'll talk to you in a few days. Oh, one more thing. It's the legal language.
This podcast is presented solely for educational and entertainment purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician, professional coach,
psychotherapist, or other qualified professional.