A Piece of Cake
I love the Great British Bakery Show*, which is kind of ironic since I don’t eat sugar. I like it so much that I’ve actually watched some seasons more than once. Since I’ve watched some seasons a couple times I’ve stopped focusing on who wins and started focusing on what the winners (and losers) say about themselves.
What has struck me is how predictive what people say about themselves is of their eventual standing in the show. The contestants who set low expectations for themselves like, “I just don’t want to leave in the first episode” generally do leave early in the season. And it isn’t just the contestants who say “I want to win” who eventually succeed, it’s the contestants who say “I can win.” It’s a great life lesson. It isn’t about wanting it’s about believing.
My favorite baker of all time is Nadiya who struggled in the early part of the season and often said, “I’m going this week” or “I can’t believe I made it through,” but gradually gained confidence as the season went on. After winning star baker in the 5thweek she said: “I’m actually really proud of myself, I’m never proud of myself.” That marked the beginning of her growing confidence and when she finally won the entire competition she exclaimed: “I’m never going to say ‘I can’t’ again.”
I’ve been so struck by watching Nadiya’s transformation that it’s inspired me to investigate where I’m saying that I want something and where I’m saying I believe something. It also caused me to notice the sense of scarcity behind want and the abundance behind belief.
The other lesson I learned is that belief is acquired by experience. One thing about Nadiya was that she practiced baking between shows. She tried again and again until she felt confident about what she was doing. She’s been a great example for me of trying, failing and trying again.
This week spend a little time comparing what you want and what you believe. If there’s something you want, but maybe don’t believe you’ll get, try taking a small step towards it. That small step may eventually transform into confidence and finally into belief. And if that doesn’t work make yourself a cup of Nadiya’s Cardamom and Malt Hot Cocoa and then try again.
*This is a competitive baking show set (as the name implies) in a tent in the English countryside. Each episode they have three separate bakes that are judged by the incomparable Mary Berry and the inscrutable Paul Hollywood. Each week one participant is crowned star baker and one is sent home. Eventually, a single baker is crowned the winner.