Just got a big promotion but you’re not sure if you deserve it? Ever worry that you are about to be busted for being a big, fat fraud? Would love to apply for that new role but not sure you’ve got what it takes?
I know how painful those feelings can be. I also know that it’s bog-standard self-doubt. And I know that you’re not alone in feeling this way.
(For the record: You are worthy, you are fabulous, you deserve the best and you are far more intelligent and powerful than you give yourself credit for!)
The Confidence Gap
“The Confidence Gap” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman was a seminal article published in The Atlantic a couple of years ago. You can read the full text here but, in essence, the researchers documented a “vast confidence gap that separates the sexes….compared with men, women generally underestimate their abilities.” For many, it confirmed what we secretly believed, it catalysed a lot of conversation around how our lack of confidence is part of the ever-present glass ceiling and asked how women can become more confident.
Forget about confidence
Here’s the secret: don’t worry about your confidence. There’s a *far* more powerful tool available to you.
Confidence is often defined as “full trust or reliance”. And following that logic, self-confidence can only be full trust or reliance on self.
In my opinion, that’s a flippin’ big ask. Too big. Bordering on the unnatural. I like that I reflect. Question. Learn. Grow. Remain open to new perspectives, opinions and ideas. Truthfully, I don’t have much interest in being completely reliant on my own thoughts and deeds. (And history reveals that I do my best work when I’m surrounded by a team of super-stars.)
Focus on courage
Recently, I gave up on confidence. Ditched it as a goal. It felt too overwhelming and hard and exclusionary. I’ve recently starting playing around with “10 seconds of courage”. If you ask me, courage is a much more fulfilling concept.
Courage: “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” It’s about sharing from the heart. It’s about the whole person. It creates space for growth and connection and collaboration. It’s about promising to commit to a process but not guaranteeing an outcome.
And doesn’t that feel nicer? Easier? Less stressful? Actually achievable? (Mmmm…I agree!)
What can you do with 10 seconds of courage?
When I commit to 10 seconds of courage, I can start a difficult conversation. Start a conversation from the heart and allow it to flow wherever it needs to go.
With 10 seconds of courage, I can dial a number. With 10 seconds of courage, I can say no. With 10 seconds of courage, I can press send. With 10 seconds of courage, I can open the envelope. With 10 seconds of courage, I can book that doctor’s appointment. With 10 seconds of courage, I can wink at the universe with a cheeky “why not, let’s do it!”
It’s only 10 seconds. 10 seconds is not too difficult, I promise! 10 seconds doesn’t ask for guaranteed conclusions, just a teeny-tiny step forward. 10 seconds doesn’t ask for life-long bravado, just that you focus for a few heartbeats. 10 seconds doesn’t turn you into a cocky moron but it does allow you to sink deeper into a delicious authenticity.
And I’ve found that at the end of those 10 seconds, I am given the gift of choosing again. I can choose to continue to be open-hearted or I can choose to have a time-out. And when I’m ready for the next step, all it takes is 10 more seconds to get that little bit closer to my dreams, goals and impact.
Try it on for size. Experiment with living life in courageous 10 second chunks.
What about you?
What are you going to do with 10 seconds of courage? Let me know below – I’d love to cheer you on!
And if you’re ready to clear any blocks you have around going forward, EFT coaching could exactly what you need. Enquire here: email@example.com