In this second part of this 3 part series, I will be discussing “Confidence”, and what it means to me to be a confident dog groomer. I believe that it is a crucial component to being an excellent groomer.
The following is the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition of the word Confidence:
: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
: a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
: the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true
“Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confidence
It’s obvious that having confidence in oneself is a good thing. We can all agree that it is vital to have self-confidence to do good at anything. But how does someone go about attaining a high level of confidence if they do not feel they have much at the moment? Or any at all? It’s not like there’s a store that sells “Confidence” where we can stock up when we’re low. Where does it come from? I believe that self-confidence comes from self-respect, which comes from self-discipline and integrity. Every time we do the things we know we should be doing (integrity), we start to respect ourselves more (self-respect). It’s not always easy to do what we know our higher selves would have us do, and that is the challenge we must be willing to face. That’s where the self-discipline comes in. To make myself do something productive rather than sit and watch TV shows or movies. One of my favorite mentors is Jim Rohn. He said, “Discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.” In order to have true confidence – not the puffed-up version that we call Arrogance – but true confidence that inspires confidence in others, we must have the discipline to do what’s right. “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” Jim Rohn. When we consistently do our very best in everything that is asked of us, we will develop a high level of respect for ourselves. The outcome is self-confidence.
We’ve all heard that Courage is not the absence of Fear, but the ability to act in spite of fear. I believe the same can be said of Confidence. It is not the absence of Doubt and insecurities, but the ability to take inspired action in spite of our own insecurities. Over the course of 5 years, I’ve been through more ups and downs than the Scream Machine at Six Flags! One day we’re giving each other high-fives, and another we’re digging through the change in our cash register to buy gas. There have been times where we would take our daughters to the community garden in Chamblee, and they would water the plants while my wife and I would pick veggies to make dinner with. Even when we had just a couple of lawn chairs as furniture and slept on warped floors, we never let ourselves get down. To someone looking at my life now, it would be easy to say that I’m lucky. I suppose I am very lucky and blessed. But it took years of pulling myself back out of the gutter. There were so many times that I wanted to walk away from this industry – especially when I knew that I could make a more secure paycheck doing something else. My family and close friends would also try to talk me into another career. There were too many nights where I would look up at the stars for answers while my wife and daughters were asleep. Sometimes things just seemed hopeless. I believe it was an inner confidence I had that kept me going. Just like Merriam-Webster describes, it was “a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something.”
Confidence comes from knowing that you did your very best every day, with every task. No matter how insignificant the task may seem, it all matters in the end. Jim Rohn describes two kinds of philosophies that will determine where you will end up in life. The first says, “If this is all they pay, I’m not coming in early and I’m not staying late.” That’s one philosophy to live by. The other is, “No matter what they pay, I’m going to give it my all.” That’s the philosophy of a confident person. He says, “Always do more than what you’re paid to do in order to make an investment in your own future.” Brian Tracy says it another way: “Always go the extra mile. You’ll never find any traffic there.” It’s not about being the best at anything. It’s about doing your best at everything. Trying to be the best will make you arrogant. Working each day to do your very best will make your confident. Why should we do our very best, especially when a Shih Tzu owner wants a show quality cut and complains that $40 is too much? Because that is the purpose of our lives. “Every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings. How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. Human beings, on the other hand, have been given the dignity of choice. You can choose to be all or you can choose to be less. Why not stretch up to the full measure of the challenge and see what all you can do?” Jim Rohn
To sum things up, if you want to be more confident you must start by having integrity. It takes discipline to develop a habit of doing what we believe is right. Once we develop the habit of integrity through practicing self-discipline, we will have respect for ourselves. This is the recipe for Self-Confidence: Integrity gives birth to Self-Rescpect. Self-Respect builds Self-Confidence. The more we repeat this process on a daily basis, the higher our level of confidence. Why is it so important to be confident? Because the clients will respect you more, and the dogs will be much more willing to cooperate. Imagine a dentist that is super friendly and nice, but is very timid and has shaky hands. No matter how nice he is, if his trembling hands approach mouth with those sharp tools I’m outta there! Now let’s say that another dentist is not so friendly, but he is calm and confident. I’m much more likely to put my trust in him.
To end this article, I’d like to share my Journal entry from May 26th, 2014:
“I reminded them that we all have a purpose & we are all capable of GREATNESS – actually we’re meant for GREATNESS! That is our purpose – is to realize our own unique greatness – our unique special powers. No two superheroes are alike – they are all unique with unique abilities. They don’t envy each other & even if two heroes have the same ability it is never exactly the same. The way each hero uses the ability & the unique combination of other talents and abilities makes it uniquely their own. We are like brainwashed heroes who go on each day never knowing who we really are or what our real purpose is. We never realize our full potential before we die. That is what should really scare us – not dying, but dying without ever knowing why we lived. What is my special power? I have so many abilities and talents – I should do whatever I can do with all my might.”
Thank you all so much for reading! I truly appreciate the time you’ve taken, and I hope that you enjoyed reading this article. 🙂