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

Use The “Bridge Hack” To Master Self-Confidence — Here’s How
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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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