One of my favorite quotes, and one I'm pondering on lately is Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin's famous line that, "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician".
Robert-Houdin, incidentally is the name of the magician that inspired a young Erik Weisz to morph his stage persona and adopt the pseudonym to Harry Houdini. Consider the quote. Firstly, a magician is an actor. Therefore a magician is not a magician. I am presenting myself intentionally as something I'm not. As a performer, I am aware of this; it's an adopted persona. Personally, I don't try to convince others that I am in fact magical. Believe it or not, some magicians do whether or not they come right out and say it or not. Furthermore, I do not try and "trick" my audience. I'm not attempting to pull one over on someone, or attempt to make myself look clever and my spectator appear foolish. No, I simply want to use sleight of hand, skill, and subtlety to entertain others. Or as I've said elsewhere on this blog. Incite Wonder.
An actor playing the part of a magician. If as a magician I am seeking to entertain and incite wonder, then what I am truly doing is acting in such a way as to accomplish that. For me, and here's where Robert-Houdin's thoughts apply to all of us, this is a matter of confidence. One could think of it this way, I am acting as though I can do the impossible in order to accomplish my goal. It's the old aphorism, "fake it, till you make it".
I have often struggled with self confidence, as far back as I can remember actually. Large groups that require interaction and small talk, make me want to crawl out of my skin. I avoid conflict like the plague. I often feel small, unseeable, and unknowable, regardless of whether or not those things are true. I am wondering though, could I be a confident man who is just an actor playing the part of a confident man? To some extent that's exactly what I don when I'm performing. To see me on stage, I doubt anyone would think that I often have little to no self confidence when I'm not on stage. It's paradoxical I know. But...what if I could play the part when I'm not on stage? Would that work? What if we all could? What if...
Want to be an entrepreneur, but not sure if you have what it takes? Consider this: "An entrepreneur is an actor playing the part of an entrepreneur."
Want to be a strong leader, but you don't quite trust your abilities yet? "A leader is an actor playing the part of a leader."
Want to travel and experience the world, but you're afraid to step out of your comfort zone? "A traveler is an actor playing the part of a traveler."
Believe you are an entrepreneur, convince yourself of it by any means necessary. Figure out the nuts and bolts of starting a business along the way. If you can do that and play the part, before long you will find that you have become an entrepreneur.
Believe you are a leader. Step up, make decisions, attempt to inspire others with a vision you believe in. As you continue to play the part, you will grow into the leader you wanted to be.
Believe you are a traveler. Buy the ticket, go. You'll discover new worlds, and eventually the skills you need to navigate them.
Act confidently until you are confident.