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Use The “Bridge Hack” To Master Self-Confidence — Here’s How

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Use The “Bridge Hack” To Master Self-Confidence — Here’s How

We all want to become more confident in ourselves. Sometimes, this can seem like a stretch.

With that in mind, I’ve learned about a technique called the Bridge Hack, which is actually used to understand how people come to trust you. I’ve tweaked it so that it can also be used to help you gain more self-confidence. Read on to find out how this works.

The reason why we can’t become self-confident is because we don’t believe in ourselves. The Bridge Hack is a technique that I’ve adapted from a book that I’ve read multiple times, The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker.

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His book is all about trying to get people to trust you and choose what you have to offer. Everyone wants to be someone else. They have an ideal image of this person they want to become. It’s just difficult to get there. There’s a huge gap in between that they can’t make the leap across to.

It’s exactly the same as if you were talking about yourself. You are one person and you want to become someone else. The only difference is that instead of trying to persuade someone to choose what you have to offer, you’re only offering yourself something: the choice to be someone — in this case, someone who’s self-confident.

I’ll go through this strategy now so you have a clearer idea how to use it.

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Where Are You Now?

You need to know yourself. Who are you? What’s contained in your “cloud of comforting convictions?” This is the phrase Tom gives to the beliefs you have about yourself that you use to define yourself. If you’re trying to become more self-confident, you could have the following convictions:

  • “I’m shy, but I’m getting better at talking to the opposite gender.”
  • “I’m not as bad as some people who stammer.”
  • “I don’t need alcohol to talk to people, I just struggle to find things to talk about.”

They’re basically just ideas that you feed off to make you feel better about your problems. Identify what these are as the first step.

Where Do You Want To Go?

If your cloud of comforting convictions is the first step, the second step is to identify where you want to go. These are also things you believe, but instead of believing them about yourself, you’re believing that if you do or become these things, you can become someone better than who you currently are.

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Just like your thoughts about where you are now, it’s as simple as listing them down. For example:

  • “It would be great to walk into a room and know everyone in there, simply because I haven’t been afraid to talk to anyone!”
  • “Having more meaningful relationships is important to me. If I can be that friend who people confide in, I’ll be happier.”
  • “To be comfortable in my own skin all the time and not have to pretend to be someone else… that would make me so happy.”

Building The Bridge

The last step is building the bridge or “hacking” it together, as per the strategy. If you know on one side who you are and on the other side who you want to become, you just have to take steps to go in the right direction.

The “bridge” itself is just action and affirmation. It’s believing every step of the way that you can become the person you see yourself being. While it sounds simple, it’s harder to be consistent about. That’s because people fall off this bridge. Either the steps are too weak and you fall through, the bridge is too narrow and you lose balance, or conditions are too “windy” and you fall off.

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There are many reasons why you cannot make it to the other side, and people fall off all the time. That’s the important thing to note. The next most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s normal to fall off. You have to take baby steps, inch by inch — this sort of bridge is one you can’t simply run across on. You have to take it slow.

Build the bridge by reminding yourself of the destination on the other side. Take steps day by day that will get you closer. Hold on when conditions challenge you, like when people publicly embarrass you or when there are days you want to throw in the towel. Those inches add up and become feet, which become miles.

One day, you’ll get to the other side. Then, you’ll look back and realize that the journey was half the fun.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via hd.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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