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Have you got ‘bottle’?

I was recently talking with my brother about people with ‘bottle’. We were discussing it in the context of television presenters, some of whom appear to have little talent for what they are doing but supreme confidence to do it anyway. My brother’s ‘bête noire’ is Ian Wright, whereas mine is Dominic Littlewood.

My view is that this links into the limiting beliefs that many of us hold about what we can and cannot do, whereas people with ‘bottle’ have empowering ones. They are the type of people who see a job ad and convince themselves to apply despite the fact that they only have 2 of the 6 essential criteria. They project themselves in such a positive way through their application that they are invited for interview and then have the opportunity to demonstrate just how well they can fulfil the job face to face.

But then maybe like confidence, we all have ‘bottle’ about some things, it just depends on the context. So whereas some of us have the ‘bottle’ to get up and speak in front of large audiences, for others this is the last thing on earth that they would want to do.

I wondered whether ‘bottle’ is something that extraverts (using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator definition) have – those people who draw their energy from the outer world of people, activity and things rather than from the inner world of reflections, feelings and ideas, which introverts do. Or perhaps ‘bottle’ is a learned behaviour in certain situations. What do you think?

We also speculated about where the expression comes from – maybe it’s literally from the confidence that stuff in bottles – alcohol or a new perfume or aftershave – gives us sometimes!


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