Yesterday, my mentor, Dr. Friedemann Schaub, asked me to join his Transformation Talk Radio Show to talk about confidence and lack there of. Doing so sparked this latest share. Enjoy!
Change. Growing pains. Risk-taking. At the core of these is uncertainty. Starting a business. A new relationship. An epic physical challenge. All come with uncertainty.
What fuels uncertainty? Fear? If so, fear of what? Is it factual fear or perceived fear? Is it a consequence catastrophization? A self-limiting belief? An old, inaccurate assessment of yourself? These are the question I asked myself when mesearching. These are the questions I'd ask you.
Those questions either destroy our confidence or fortify it. So often, our collapse of confidence comes, in part, from the epic egoic struggle for certainty. The certainty of the self in the eyes of others. The certainty of the self in the presence of potential failure. The certainty of the self, period. Exploring that is the good stuff.
The awareness of this is one of the keys to being confidently uncertain. Gaining confident uncertainty provides space for the unknown and all the emotions that come with it. Gaining confident uncertainty allows us to progress without judgment and stedfast confidence when judged. It gives us a chance. Without it, we give up, give in, or don't even try.
Leaps of faith spring forward because of confident uncertainty. The goal isn't necessarily sticking the landing, either. It's in trusting ourselves and the character we exude as we propel ourselves towards it. It's not the goal of building a highly-sought coaching relationship. It's the care that goes into building it that matters most.
Uncertainty met with trust, courage, and a whole mess of self-compassion strengthens confidence because good things happen when exuding them. They affirm our confidence. They give it depth and shape a genuine belief in it.
One of my favorite aspects of coaching and teaching is helping others develop confident uncertainty. Doing so prepare them for further achievement, but achievement rooted in purpose, not performance. Those leaps of faith are more accurately leaps of trust, self-trust, allowing the space to gut out the self doubt.
But why? Why self-doubt? Why is our automatic reaction to play it safe, to not leap, to stay small, to keep quiet, to not approach life with courage and confidence we're all innately equipped with? Why? Let me be super clear, here. "Why" isn't asked in defiance, or as in, "why me??" Nope, "why" is a question rooted in acceptance. Asking "why" recognizes an incongruence with our truth and seeks to ask a few curious questions. Why do we automatically believe the demands of this uncertainty exceed our resources? That's an important question to ask. To explore. And to make absolutely sure the answer is YOUR answer, and not an answer that was made for you.
When we do this, when we ask these questions and strengthen our confident uncertainty muscle, we're accessing and flexing our emotional leadership.
And when we do this we begin to human, better.