Courage, passion, ethics, and resilience are inarguably components of confidence. While some are born with these comprising attributes, many others need the direction and encouragement of our teachers, our parents and our friends, who instill confidence.
Improvisational comedy functions on a theory called “Yes, and,” where members of a troupe build off of one another when they’re on the stage. They have to embrace and escalate zany and uncanny ideas. If they were to say “no,” the action and the laughs would stop, so they accept every challenge with a smile and a “Yes, and.”
For most adults, the inclination to say no is ingrained, particularly when opportunities present themselves, likely because new opportunities require more energy and more work. Yet, an extraordinary person welcomes all new opportunities, due chiefly to the fact that they have the confidence to say yes. They understand that confidence begets productivity, and they understand that each idea they bring to the table could be elevated and built upon with “Yes, and.”
Businesses and business schools around the nation have sought out improv troupe to learn the power of “Yes, and.” It should be understood that if you champion a culture where people are encouraged to develop ideas, people will come to you to you with ideas. They’ll have the confidence to bring ideas to you, and you, in turn, will feel confident about sharing your own ideas.
Please keep the following words in mind:
When you instill confidence, you get it back in return.
So, today, I dare you to be extraordinary.
I dare you to exhibit the PASSION you have for your career, your life.
I dare you to call upon your personal INTEGRITY to do the right thing.
I dare you to find the COURAGE to overcome obstacles
I dare you to be RESILIENT and bounce back from mistakes or disappointments.
And I dare you to acknowledge the CONFIDENCE you have and find a way to instill confidence in someone else.
Just today. Just for today, be extraordinary.
Tomorrow, you can go back to being ordinary.
But I don’t think you will.
“An Introduction to Integrity” is the fifth and final post in a series published around the “Dare To Be Extraordinary” address, shared at the independently organized TED event, TEDx Adelphi University. The preceding pieces are “An Introduction to Extraordinary,” “An Introduction to Passion,” “An Introduction to Courage,” “An Introduction to Resilience” and “An Introduction to Integrity.”
Christine M. Riordan, PhD, is the 10th president of Adelphi University in New York. Her writing focuses on diversity and inclusion, leadership effectiveness, and career success. Follow her on Twitter at @Chris_M_Riordan.