Awareness, acceptance and action are a HUGE part of what I talk and write about. Heck, I’ve got an entire keynote dedicated to this theme. It would be lovely to systematically follow a course in chronological order and just nail it right out of the gate.
Alas, we all know that life doesn’t exactly work out like that!
We learn by taking action. We do things, we analyze where we can improve, and we try again. We learn by doing.
Many of us suffer from information overload. We’ve studied, interviewed, and networked with people who are professionals in our dream jobs, or have accomplished something we dream of. We have learned so many strategies and have gotten ourselves pumped and ready to go. Then…
We try something and learn that we’re not great at it right away. We feel discouraged.
We give it another go. Then another. And another. We keep at it until we’ve gotten comfortable at it, or amazing at it. Hell, many of us will settle for just allowing ourselves to just be exactly where we are. Some of us just learn to enjoy doing something for the sake of doing it, without trying to master it or make a living by doing it.
Last week I promised that we’d delve more into confidence. For me, it took a long time and a LOT of action for me to truly comprehend what confidence really is.
Here’s something that comes to mind:
Operation Desert Storm. A student that was in a NASA fellowship with me was a United States Army veteran who served in Iraq. He told a group of us about their first week of deployment. Tens of thousands of soldiers were deployed to Iraq with weapons and NO AMMO. Of course, they were the only ones who knew this. The civilians were unaware, and anyone who wanted to challenge them wouldn’t dare because they assumed the soldiers had ammunition in their weapons.
That formidable force was all that was needed to prevent an attack (they went unchallenged).
When I was in yoga teacher training, one of my mentors shared something powerful with our group. She taught us to show up BIG. She empowered us to “act as if”. This idea of acting as if serves as a great reminder that somewhere inside of us, we already KNOW that we are an authority. We have gifts to share. We all have a message. If we feel something stirring inside of us, regardless of how small that stir is or how deep it is, we HAVE it. When we act as if, we’re powerfully sharing that message and shining our light brightly. We’re allowing it to spring forth, letting our heart lead us and not letting our ego drag us down.
It’s our EGO, our FEAR that prevents us from taking action. That’s it. Simple fear.
“Oh, but fear is real. So many things go wrong.”
Our minds revert to the past, to pain, to negative thinking. So yes, it’s fairly normal to fret about the future and think it’ll turn out the way things have “always turned out.”
We deserve more than that. We deserve a shot at the future. Let’s look to the future with hope, and move FORWARD with our lives. The past is behind us. Let’s leave it there.
How do we get more confident?
Forget the “just do it”. Sure, it’s a great phrase, but it can be simplified even further.
Look, we’re all going to suck at something at first. So what? Who cares? Just keep going.
Action engenders competence, and competence breeds confidence. It’s that simple.
Whatever we want to do, we’ve already seen ourselves doing it. We want it, so a part of us already owns it. Now it’s just a matter of making it happen.
When we make mistakes, it’s a sign that we’re trying and we’re learning. We fall. But when we DO, we fall FORWARD. When we get up, we’re further along than we were when we were just WISHING we would DO what we’ve been talking about doing.
The more we do, the better we get. The better we get, the more confident we feel. We don’t go into something with a confident mindset, knowing that we’re going to be great right away. We SHOULD be embarrassed with that first draft – it’s a first draft for a reason!
When we’re doing something we haven’t done before, chances are it’s going to be hard. When we’re working on developing a skill, improving our fitness, and/or chasing our dream career, it feels damn near impossible. However, our mindset changes EVERYTHING. When we work out and cheer along instead of getting discouraged and upset, our bodies do the work. The body follows the programming of the mind. The body can do anything, it’s the MIND that needs training and convincing. A mentor reminds me to, “bring the body and the mind will follow.”
When we DO that difficult thing, we feel so much better about ourselves!
Hey! We build more confidence!
The more we DO, the better we get. The better we get, the better we FEEL.
So, what’s the big takeaway?
Stop making excuses.
Get the work done. Build the skills.
Make shit happen. Get EVERYTHING on the wish list, and accomplish EVERYTHING on the bucket list.
Also, be sure to check out this TED talk on body language and confidence 🙂
I believe in you! Meet me halfway, friend.
Go out there and DO ♥
Seeing you thrive in ALL of your endeavors!