I spend a lot of time with my clients envisioning their ideal future and ideal self. One of the things I often ask them to examine is how that future self would be talking to them. What would her internal self chatter sound like? Invariably, the brains of our ideal selves are filled with affirming thoughts, focusing on our strengths. Our ideal selves are confident. They trust themselves implicitly.
We all want to be more confident and when we think about our ideal selves, that woman lives in a bubble of quiet confidence. She is never afraid to speak her mind and she trusts her ability to do anything. So, if our work together is to help you move one step closer to that ideal version of yourself, the next question invariably is:
How do I get there?
How do we build self-confidence?
We have to practice failing.
Stay with me here….as attorneys and women who excel at examining options and weighing risks, many of us struggle with action. We thrive when we are planning and analyzing. We excel at PREPARING to act. The problem is that we don’t have any clear metric as to when our preparations are complete and it’s time to act.
How will you know when you have fully vetted all the alternatives? How will you know when it’s time to act?
The truth is we don’t. We never do. And that is why it’s so easy to remain stuck–stuck planning to act but never actually doing anything.
All action must acquiesce to the truth that there is no such thing as being fully prepared.
There is no way to ensure success. We must simply act. Only through acting will we ever know if our preparations were in vain. Only through acting will we see whether we overlooked anything. But many of us get stuck in the faulty belief that we aren’t “ready yet.” We tell ourselves we have more work to do, more data elements to analyze. So we just keep preparing. And. We. Never. Move. Forward.
My rationale for drawing out that point is simple:
If we want to build self-confidence we have to start acting and stop preparing.
We have to start acting even when we might not be 110% ready. Why? Because only through acting do we force ourselves to experience the pressures that create self-confidence. When we are stuck in inaction, we never get the chance to really see how we perform under fire. We are so busy believing that we must do it “right” that we don’t allow ourselves the chance to simply TRY.
Passive action robs us of the opportunity to develop confidence through action.
When we act and fail, we might experience embarrassment, shame, or guilt. But when we commit to continued action despite those failures and the crappy feelings, that is where we build self-confidence. Self-confidence doesn’t mean we never fail. Self-confidence means that we know we can fail and get back up and keep going.
Self-confidence means that we trust that we can experience any emotion and keep moving.
We trust in our ability to handle whatever fallout may come our way. Self-confidence acknowledges that we have a goal and we are going to start taking action to get there, no matter how many times we have to face-plant on the way. Self-confidence means that we aren’t going to sit and wait and plot and plan until we can do it perfectly–because we trust in our ability to have compassion for ourselves and keep moving even when it doesn’t go perfectly.
When we know that failure simply means one of our theories didn’t pan out we can keep moving. It doesn’t mean we did anything wrong. That is self-confidence. We trust ourselves, despite the failure.
You aren’t going to grow self-confidence in your analytical lab.
You aren’t going to create self-confidence strategizing and planning. You will only create self-confidence when you put a time limit on the passive action and get out and start taking massive action. Stop with the planning and start practicing at failure. Once you master that, you will have all the self-confidence you could ever imagine.
Self-confidence is one of the most highly sought after skills my clients want. I have so many ways I support my clients to get out there and get moving. The transformation I see in them is why I do this work. If self-confidence is something you want, let’s get you some free coaching and see what we can do together.