False Confidence and Three Small Decisions

Do you recognize the woman above?In June 2011, she graced the TEDx stage in San Francisco with a presentation entitled “How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over.”  

That talk was the genesis of a best-selling book.

The five-second rule is a decision-making strategy that can alter behavior. It emerged from Mel Robbins’ life struggle. One dark winter morning in Boston, unemployed, financially strained, and battling addiction, Robbins started her day differently. Instead of succumbing to the temptation of the snooze button, she began a countdown from five. This rule helped her sidestep harmful instincts by diverting her focus from worries toward more constructive tasks. And it can work for you and me. Repeating this practice can break negative patterns and form healthier habits. The concept aligns with the locus of control theory by psychologist Julian Rotter, which posits that individuals who feel more in control are typically more productive.But this isn’t about her Ted Talk, the book, or the 5-second rule….

This is about something she talked about on her podcast three days ago – false confidence. 

The title of the episode is “3 Small Decisions That Make You Feel Incredible: Do This Every Morning After Waking Up.” Well, there’s some click-bait copywriting genius if I’ve ever seen it 🙂 Of course, I hit play. Sure enough, she clearly articulates the three small decisions:

1. Get up when the alarm goes off. No more snooze.
2. Get natural light before artificial light. Sun before screens.
3. Get water before coffee. Caffeine first thing in the AM isn’t the best choice.

Now, that’s good advice – and if you have the time, you should check out the full 60-minute episode, but those three things are not the genius or even close to the most important thing (MIT) she says in that hour.

It’s how false confidence shows up in all three of those AM routine decisions and many other decisions in our lives. In short, false confidence is when we think and act on the premise of, “Oh, the rules don’t apply to me.”

“I don’t need to go to bed early to be able to get the right amount of sleep. I’m stronger than that.”
“I don’t need to fuel my body with healthy foods as fuel. I can eat crap and get away with it.”
“I don’t need regular exercise. My body will keep working without strength, endurance, or flexibility practice.”

“I don’t need to prepare for my team meeting. I can just figure it out when I get there.”
“I don’t need values-driven job descriptions and training outlines. That stuff is just fluff.”
“I don’t need a morning opportunity meeting. That’s for teams that need minutia.”

I see false confidence almost every day in my marketing work with dentists and their teams. They think the “rules of marketing” just don’t apply to their practice. And when they don’t follow them, they get frustrated at the outcome—double whammy.

Can you identify the ways false confidence is showing up in your life? More importantly, can you get rid of it with one simple decision you can start making today?

“Hard decisions, in the moment,
usually make your life easier in the long run.
Easy decisions usually make your life hard.” 
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