You’re listening to Mindfulness Weekends with Bruce Langford. Today I’m talking about confidence. I think confidence is like a tide going in and out, in and out. This is how I used to feel anyway. Some days pumped up, ready to go, feeling like the world was mine, other days, a lot more on the opposite side. More like, a little discouragement creeping in, a little frustration. You get the picture.
As human beings, that voice in our head can do surprising things to our emotions. In the last few years, I realize that more and more, and now I’m ready for it. I’m in charge.
As I sat down just now, I had a confidence flash. What I mean is, I thought of the word confidence and a precise moment in time popped into my head. It was a few years ago. I was in real estate. Not much was selling because the interest rates at the time were high. I can tell you; I went through some discouraging days in that profession. But I stuck with it, for awhile anyway and I did my thing. One day a woman called the office, and it was my turn to the take the call. She was calling about a specific home. She’d noticed the ‘for sale’ sign went on the lawn, so she phoned in right away. I chatted with her and made an appointment to show the house on the following Saturday. After the call, I did my research. I set up a time to show her the home, which was modest side split in a pleasant area of town, not far from the west end subdivision of Westmount, which was a highly desired area at the time. I also found two other homes to show her, which in my opinion were quite comparable.
The day came, and I realized I had some nervous excitement happening. I wasn’t familiar with the term mindfulness back, then, I don’t even know if it was used much, but I did know I wanted to be calm and collected when I showed the properties. I remember sitting in my car when I arrived at the office and deciding to take five minutes or so to close my eyes, take some quiet breaths and think about good things. Thinking back, I likely visualized this woman, buying the house, but after this number of years, I’m not totally sure whether I was into visualizing or not. I know I listened to a lot of sales training talks on cassette tapes, and I learned a lot of strategies that I didn’t know till later, would be considered mindfulness.
Anyway, I showed the lady the houses, and the one she had originally called me about was the third one. She was a quiet woman, with brown hair, kind of softly flowing around her face. She explained to me that she had inherited some money and had decided she loved this area, and it was in her price range. She had seen a number of houses with an agent in another company, but, she told me, she really didn’t feel comfortable with that particular agent.
She walked around the home, casually looking around in the various rooms. She said, I just like to get the feel of the place. She’d go to the center of a room, give herself a little shake, close her eyes and smile a bit. It was like she was absorbing the vibes of the house. She told me, “This feels right. I want to buy it. Can you fill out the papers for me?”
We talked about an offer price and right then and there, I completed the paperwork; she signed, and off she went with a big smile on her face.
“I’m so happy she said.” And you’re just the right kind of real estate agent for me. Not too pushy. You get me,” she explained.
I had no idea a sale could be this easy. I felt an immediate rush of confidence, joy, and satisfaction. She drove away, I gathered up my papers and picked up my briefcase. I was so ecstatic; I felt light on my feet as I walked down the driveway. Seeing that no cars were coming, I started to run across the street to my car.
Right now I can taste that exact moment in my mind. Suddenly, I was jolted into reality. My briefcase went flying and landed on the pavement. I was still holding the handle; it had broken off the case, and I was standing there feeling a little sheepish, a little embarrassed. I quickly looked around to see if anyone was watching and I didn’t see anybody. I scooped up the case and held it tight under my arms as I continued to walk to my car.
I was so glad it hadn’t burst open. Somehow I immediately thought this was a lesson to me. I had been feeling maybe a little too confident, or too proud, and it was like I was being given a lesson when that case came flying through the air, me standing there holding the handle in surprise. I didn’t think of it in terms of, ‘the universe’ sending me a lesson at that time, I just remember thinking, somehow this was a lesson.
“Bruce, you need to act more like a professional, more like how a real estate agent is supposed to act. Imagine what someone would have thought if they had seen you, a real estate agent, just having sold a house, acting like a kid, gleefully running across the street? Totally unacceptable.”
Now I know this was my inner voice scolding me. I was certainly well aware of the message I was getting from that inner voice, or I wouldn’t be sitting her right now, remembering this event in such detail. I mean there are some details I don’t remember very well, but so much of its crystal clear.
Maybe I was mindful back then. Maybe my mindset was in the right place, and I simply allowed this whole event to happen, without stressing about it, without worrying what might happen if she didn’t buy the house. Hard to believe this was twenty-nine years ago.
Anyway, Mindful Tribe, I hope you can take this little event of mine, and use it to help yourself, as I say, reach new heights of calm, focus, and happiness. Stay in the mode.
Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me an activity you did in the past which made you a more mindful person.
- Confidence is like a tide going in and out. – Bruce Langford
Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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