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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Motivation: Trust

“We cannot expect to receive the trust of others,

if we are unable to trust in ourselves”


Not long ago I flew with a captain who shared a secret about the psychology of male pilots. He said, "We're all really just scared little boys and bury our fear deep within, allowing our ego to create our confidence. We create the confidence that we can, and then we go out there and do. Pretty soon, we are doing with success."

He also told me that some of those pilots have a yellow streak— meaning they hold within them that little bit of fear that anything can go wrong, and they always have a backup plan. Confident, but prepared. He said, "Those are the good pilots." The bad pilots allow their egos to fly their planes —fearlessly.

I told him that I thought that women pilots needed to know what they’re doing, before they did it. That we want to know that we can, before we do. Our ego doesn't precede our performance, but confidence in performance precedes the confidence in ourselves. Whereas male pilots fake it until they make it.

He said, “You don’t know you can do it, unless you do it.” That we need to trust in ourselves and know that we've had the training, have the ability, possess the talent...

Before we can be truly great, we must trust in ourselves.

From someone who spent his life teaching pilots how to fly a 747 around the world, this captain speaks from experience and with great wisdom. I'm thinking... words to live by.

You will be amazed at what you can accomplish if only you first trust in yourself.

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. This is the BEST advice, Karlene. I'm taking it to heart and taking it with me wherever I go.

  2. I always heard "Fake it to make it" but wanted to be more sure - no faking! So, usually I knew I could make it, but every once in a while...faked it. Does this make any sense at all :)

  3. Hmmm. So I have always found it easier to be friends with women than with men, and now I know one of the reasons. It seems my ego works with the feminine side best - I'm a "know 100% how to do it before it do it" type, with a yellow streak that keeps me checking everything and hitching backups to my backups.

  4. Thanks Linda! Good advice for earthbound flyers too!

  5. Miss Anonymous, that makes perfectly good sense! We've all been there!

  6. D.B. That's what makes you an excellent pilot... Backups for the Backup!

    I think there are more of us who want to know we can do it. I think the key is to have the confidence to know that we do know, and then have the confidence to prove that. It helps when there is someone of experience giving you that confidence too.

    Thanks so much for the comment!

  7. Karlene...Thank You for posting that. Just what i need it! Today of All days...... Aida

  8. Priceless advice, trust in ourselves. Love that! This pilot sounds like a wise man. Men and women are wired differently, it's just the way the world is, nothing wrong with it, it just is.

  9. thank you for sharing story,Karlene san.
    I agree with that not only pilot but almost all people should back up opinion,or action in case something goes wrong.

    The bad pilots allow their egos to fly their planes —fearlessly means they don't open-up fear or just they don't prepare for back-up plan?

  10. Heather, you are so right! We are wired differently... and sometimes, that's a good thing. Thank you for your comment!

  11. Yes Jun, it's good to be fearless... but not stupid. Smart pilots always have a backup plan. Thank you so much for your support!


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