When was the last time you did something super scary in your career? I don’t mean like having that crappy conversation you’ve been procrastinating on for months….or even talking in front of a group….but something that took significant courage. That required you to draw on your inner reserves, despite your fear, to do it.
I took some major risks this year in my life and career, all of which involved a great amount of trepidation and well, a fair amount of fear. Investing significant money in a new business, taking 5 online courses, pursuing an expensive and time consuming year-long certification process, and leaving a stable and successful role that I enjoy….all called on my reserves of courage to move in a new and scary direction (“Will I succeed? I am WAY too old to be doing this! I don’t know what I’m doing. What about health insurance? Vacation time, a pension? What will my successful and stable siblings think? What the *@&#$! am I doing?”).
I’m certainly not boasting as much as noting the discomfort associated with each one of the changes I’ve made this year. In myself and my business. And the courage I needed to draw on. To go beyond the anxiety, to say yes regardless of the fear. And, I’ve come to realize, to say yes because of the fear.
My coach says that discomfort is the currency of our dreams. I wholeheartedly believe this. Dreams, especially big dreams push us out of our comfort zone. So many of us fear failure and remain in complacency—our comfort zone. I look back on my career and see many times when I did this, even when I was not particularly happy in my role. It was easier to stay. It was easier to remain safe.
Dan Sullivan see’s courage as a part of building confidence. But it starts with commitment.
Commitment: What are your dreams and how committed are you to achieving them? Are you willing to take some risks? Be afraid? Be judged? Are you happy in your role, your company, your life?
Courage: Are you willing to trust yourself, knowing you could experience failure without being harmed? What if you sought out situations that required courage on purpose?
Capability: Through courage we gain new capabilities, skills and perhaps most important, knowledge about ourselves. This is the essence of confidence. Knowing and trusting our selves.
Confidence: A self-confident person is going to think they are good, and capable and worthy. They are going to think they are strong and competent. This does not have to be tested or proven, it can be an intentional thought that drives emotion and action.
Actions move us towards our goals. Progress increases self-confidence. Do the things you are scared to do. Learn by doing.
Increasing self confidence comes from changing your thoughts about yourself. You can increase it by considering the possibility of what you can create in the future.
Most of all, live the life of your dreams. What do you want to achieve? Be bold. Take action. Take more risks. Be afraid. Live your future. On purpose.