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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Third Coast

    Default Driving Confidence, Creating the capability to succeed

    As per Gabe, reposting (though I know I am missing at least two correction cycles ;) Those that chimed in on the last thread PLEASE do so on this one, we don't want to lose the knowledge gleaned from many contributors. I will likely be editing this post some more as well.

    I get this a lot from my younger troops, and thought it might be appropriate to discuss here. I should note that my younger troops are early to mid-twenties and male. Everyone here knows that society as a whole has tried to preempt biology in all things concerning masculinity and this trickles into everything.
    Our job is to stem the tide and become a bulwark against this, not only to teach others, but also to reaffirm to ourselves that we are living right and providing an example to others and our family.
    My troops wonder about how to become more confident and competent in not only their jobs, but their life as well. I am blessed (and work hard) that I am both approachable enough and set a high enough standard that they come to me for advice.

    Driving Confidence

    Now, in our field I have lots of advice. The more I thought about it though, I realized that this applies to any man regardless of their field of endeavor. And while some may sound simple or obvious, folks are asking for a reason. Here are the tips and tricks for driving confidence.

    Firstly, decide that you ARE going to be the best at what you do, this is going to take WORK and you will have to put in the time and effort (things worth doing aren’t easy) to accomplish this. Depending on your field this may be bookish, or physical, but in most cases it’s a combination of the two. Break down the pieces that are needed for your field. There are folks that say “Work is what I do, not who I am” I am sorry that they chose a field that doesn’t drive them, and I’m happy that I did. But thinking that what you do (or did) for a living doesn’t define you at least in part is na´ve. I’m going to use our field (law enforcement) as an example of breaking down the pieces (though it is applicable in most fields).

    Physicality: You might be the best negotiator out there, but if the contact activates your dental plan before you get a chance to speak, you failed. You MUST be not only physically fit enough to carry the fight, but skilled in your body as well.
    This works for ANYONE, taking it out of the LE context for a moment. Let’s say you have a big project coming to a close, or have to punch code for 20 hours straight. A strong body allows you to push through the fatigue better and recover faster, you’re less likely to get ill, and will have a good attitude when doing so because you have pushed through with your fitness and were pleased with the results.
    Those with the physicality and skill ultimately end up having to USE it professionally less often. When the opposition is sizing you up on the contact, the confidence you have in your skillset bleeds through the noise in a nonverbal subconscious level. Being capable and confident enough to activate THEIR dental plan often precludes the necessity to do so.

    Mentality: You need to be a student of man. The ability to communicate is key, the greater part of this is understand that your target audience will vary. READ ! Read blue pill stuff, read the columns in Redbook and Cosmo. Read the Turner Diaries and Thompsons verbal judo. Read the latest DSM and the full decisions in the SCOTUS. Read the opposition’s websites as well as those that agree with your viewpoint.

    All of this goes into your mental hard drive and will be available for recall in a situation, either identifying the others position/argument earlier, or adding to a discussion. Knowledge (even of the flat earthers/ faux moonlanding set) is power. When someone declares that they are an “Article 4 free inhabitant” you need to know what that means to THEM and how to use it for YOU. Don’t skimp on this, it’s your lifeline personally and professionally.
    Being able to discuss things with an Engineer, Doctor, Lawyer, Mechanic, Caseworker, Programmer, Gangbanger, Hooker, Housewife, or Cop with an understanding of their position (Notice I didn’t say agreement with said position, only understanding) pays in spades in the likelihood of having a successful outcome (be it a contact, business meeting, date, or trial).

    Don’t underestimate the importance of music. I know it sounds a little hokey but it is vital. There was a reason beyond giving battle commands via horns (in the pre industrial era) that armies had pipers and drummers.
    Music drives our mentality. You have been conditioned to since birth, via exposure to movies (anyone remember “Eye of the Tiger” in Rocky), TV, or the internet. Understand this and USE it to improve your mindset for a given task.
    When working out (Disturbed-Indestructible), going to the board meeting (Billy Idol-Rebel Yell), getting ready for a date (Toto-Africa, TSFH- Blackheart, Pat Benatar-Heartbreaker), taking someone to something fun/silly (Men Without Hats-We can dance), or riding in the bearcat to take down a house (Drowning Pool- Let the bodies hit the floor). Theme music for YOUR life and goals. Even when just driving around and letting thoughts free form I am usually listening to something, usually instrumental, I favor Two Steps from Hell as it is mainly instrumental and they have done intros and theme music for just about every genre. Your tastes don’t have to match mine, but the music should be determined but how it energizes you for a given task. They were right in “I’m gonna get you sucka” every man should have his own theme music.

    Skills: This area has a lot of overlap. Obviously we have to be able to Fight, Fix, Shoot, Communicate (both verbal and written), and Drive in my field. And we can NEVER believe we know it all. We must ALWAYS be students seeking emerging trends, technology, and viewpoints (you don’t have to agree or accept all of them, but know they are out there). I said this area has a lot of overlap both intrinsically in my field and more widely in all fields. But let’s take them in turn.

    Fight: Goes along with physicality, find a good gym, try several styles until you find one that both fits your mentality AND works under pressure. I happen to love eight diagrams boxing gung fu, but it won’t beat a stab to the taint, so my skillset is tailored from folks that have actually broken and killed people on the street and battlefield, and it has allowed me to win when real lives are on the line. Ju Jitsu is great on the mat and valuable tool BUT taking it to the ground intentionally is asking for your opponent’s friend to punt your head into next week on the street. A real fight isn’t “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” its three stooges with chainsaws.
    Regardless of your field, this is a needed skill for any man to achieve balance. Cops aren’t the only ones that deal with crooks, and I would rather be calling EMS to deal with the bad guy and not you. The added benefit of this, is that when your boss is giving you the business the internal knowledge that you could tie him in a square knot makes it much easier to stay in balance instead of saying something perhaps you shouldn’t.

    Fix: This is twofold. Learn to care for your equipment, make minor repairs, hang a door, replace a serpentine belt, install a deadbolt, change a tire, jumpstart a car. ALL men should be able to do that at a minimum. You might find you like the challenge and have a new hobby.
    The other part is medical. I will continue to say this, find subject matter experts in the field you are trying to improve. That they are better than you at that discipline is a given, but you want to try and find the folks in the top of their field. Went I went searching for someone to teach me tactical medicine, I picked up the basics first. Trauma Combat Casualty Care, Stop the Bleed, CPR, etc. so I would have a basic foundation to add to. Then I sought out my expert. I have access to a whole lot of govt. EMTs but I didn’t go to them for the important stuff. I wanted someone who stabilized and fixed folks when bullets were flying and explosions, fire, pestilence, plague of locusts, etc. was the norm. I found a Para-Rescueman to teach me (research them, truly some of the best among us along with SF medics). The expert that has done it in the worst conditions can teach you all the shortcuts (like how to get a good decompression dart every time in a quarter the time they teach in TC3) and give insight on things that improve survivability (like heat even in hot climates to stabilize a patient while awaiting evacuation, understand that is conditional on what made them a patient in the first place). This is another area EVERY man should have a good grasp of AND keep a basic kit in the car and the office. How many accidents have you driven by? How many happened in front of you? How many had a gaggle of idiots standing around gawking? Now consider if it was YOUR wife or kid, would you want a man with the skill and tools to step in and start the process of saving them while waiting for evacuation (the ambulance)? Be the guy able to do that.

    As an example, My misses and I were on the way to the theatre (I can’t remember the play we were going to see) BANG, a SUV gets T-boned and rolled by another SUV at the light we were waiting at. The struck SUV is on the roof, passenger side pushed up against the underpass and the striking vehicle is fubared and against the driver’s side. Fuel is starting to leak out of the upside down SUV. I hit the curb, grab my bag, ditch my sport coat and bail from my ride. Pop the back window of the SUV, climb on inside and thank my lucky stars I only have the driver to deal with. I get a collar on and the lady extracted in a couple of minutes, the fuel from the SUV never ignited and I got her stabilized until EMS arrived and took over. I got a little cut up on the hands/arms from the glass and debris inside. I got brushed off put my sport coat back on and went to the theatre the little blood spot on my cuff near my cufflink the only sign that anything was unusual in the day. It had the added benefit of making the misses VERY amorous after we got home.
    Shoot: The gun store commandos all have this idea of what a gunfight should be and believe they have the skills to win it. They are mostly wrong. Shooting in an apartment, on the street, or into/ out of a vehicle is VERY different from the flat range. As with all of the “skills” I advocate finding experts in the field you are improving. The three gun national champion will teach you all about tactical ballet, but won’t teach you to kill effectively. Find an instructor that has been on the two way range and has real trigger time, a good subject matter expert will be able to describe the how AND the why, and will be able to demonstrate it under as close to real world and imperfect conditions as possible. While this may be field dependent I still firmly believe that ALL man should have this skill.

    Communicate: This is the success skill. You can be the smartest guy in the room, but if you can’t convey it in verbal or written format you will be forever the “office mole”. You have to break out of your shell if you are introvert. Go sing Karaoke in a bar, strike up a conversation with a stranger in coffeehouse , go to toastmasters. Once the introverts have done this and the extroverts are done waiting, learn to READ your audience. What are they wearing (Rolex, or blue rag), what does their body language say (there are several tutorials on this), what is the situation? This can be taken at a glance ( watch panhandlers, conmen, fortune tellers, street performers for a crash course in reading an audience) now define YOUR goals, what do YOU want the outcome to be (close a deal, take her back to your place, lull him far enough from the hostage to get a shot, get that promotion). You have a read on them, you have expanded your education, you know (hopefully) know how to communicate, now put it together and succeed.
    When writing, NEVER accept your first draft. Go back and re-read while writing, then go back again when it’s done, at least two times. Use software that will autocorrect punctuation and spelling mistakes but BE CAREFUL “fancy a quiche” can become “Fancy a quickie” and that might send the wrong message (or perhaps the right one).

    Drive: Cops spend as much time in their mobile office as cabbies (at least while assigned to patrol), but this is yet another area ALL men benefit. Go to a driving school, not a driver’s safety school. You want a high performance driving school. Couple this with an offensive driving school. Learn how to maneuver at high speed, do j-turns, PIT a car, or push through a vehicle barricade. Take a turn on the skid pad. I don’t care if you’re a SWAT cop or a code monkey, there is just something satisfying about taking a couple of days and learning to drive like 007. Make it a reward to yourself and be your own Bond. This has the added benefit of allowing you to more accurately gauge traffic, potential danger/accident conditions, and when things go pear shaped, to take the appropriate corrective action. Being able gauge closing speed, direction, and path of that wheel bouncing down the road at 70mph and avoid it without breaking a sweat, or pausing in your conversation, will make you Bond it eyes of whomever is in the car with you (your date knows she’s safe and you’re her protector, your boss knows your cool under pressure, your carpool crew starts checking your desk for foreign passports).

    In closing, this is what drives your confidence, it fills your ego, allows your Id to play, and makes you a more desirable person and a better man. One word of caution though, while it fills your ego don’t let that ego make unwise decisions for you. Your ego can get you in a LOT of bad spots, and can also cause that transition from Confident to Douche in a New York minute.
    Last edited by coastalcop; 12-31-2018 at 07:32 AM.

    I'm not in the business of Losing

    A stab to the taint beats most of the mystical bullshit, most of the time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Thanks again, sir.

    For those with a lifetime subscription to Short Attention Span Theatre: if you don't read this, you are idiots.

    To paraphrase Gabe in another thread, true warriors are in this world but not of it. "Driving Confidence" is one reason.

    In addition: these are perishable skills and mindset, not a one-time checklist. We are all works in progress. Learn more. Do more. Be more.

    You may get up every day thinking you may have stayed too long at the party. But the routine and the habits accrued and earned over a lifetime help you ruck up and be a man that day, and the next, and forever.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    186. And a wakeup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Great post! That should be made a sticky.

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