What if nothing has gone wrong?
Last week we talked about confidence, about where it comes from, and about how to begin the process of having more of it. Specifically, we talked about the first two steps to thought work: awareness and acceptance — looking at our thoughts and assessing them without adding a moral judgment to them.
Now on to step three: allowance.
Our negative self-talk, our nervousness in new situations or around certain people is very often a sign that we’re doing something new, something out of our comfort zone.
So what if that was just okay? What if we expected nerves or self-doubt or anxiety, and learned to think of it as a sign of growth? What if we just allowed it to be there and knew that it couldn’t hurt us? What if we embrace it as a sign that we’re choosing a big life, choosing growth over comfort?
We can of course work on changing any of the thoughts that aren’t serving our confidence, absolutely. And if we’re experiencing continued anxiety even after repeated exposure to the same person or situation, that is absolutely worth investigating further. But if we’re living as big as we’re capable of, we’re going to keep exposing ourselves to new situations. We’re going to continue to venture outside our comfort zone.
So if we embrace the contrast — confidence + self-doubt, sometimes alternating, sometimes simultaneous — instead of asking “what is wrong with me?” or “why is this happening?” we can ask the much more powerful “who do I want to be in the face of doubt?”
Imagine walking into a room in which you aren’t 100% confident. And now imagine feeling okay with that, knowing that it means nothing about your actual value, it just comes with the territory.
We sacrifice a lot in our lives because of an unwillingness to feel discomfort. We don’t go for the big job, we show up half-measure, we don’t ask for that raise or take the crazy risk in love. Because we’re unwilling to experience the pain we think it will cause. But when we know that discomfort will always be part of a full life and that it lives in our head, there is a shift in our confidence. Because we’re not walking into the room feeling flawed because of our present lack of confidence. We know it makes us human, alive.
More next week.
You don’t need to be able to stop time, change your job, or choose between your family and your career. You can feel better and lighter this week. And if you’re like me, and your brain is telling you that exploring working with a coach is just one more thing you don’t have time for . . . if you could gain at least two hours by spending 40 minutes on a call, wouldn’t you do it? Book a free consultation call with me — there’s no risk, only potential gain. I can’t wait to meet you.