Practice Confidence Everyday

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but not fearing to be wrong.”
(Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you often…
Over-think things? People-please? Hold on to defeats? Strive for perfection?
Undersell yourself? Play it safe? Doubt yourself?

Action Item:
This week, avoid people pleasing, over-thinking, perfectionism and self-doubt.
Practice letting go of your mistakes, speaking up, and taking risks.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Having grown up in a very small town, I had the fortunate experience of playing every sport available to me. I’d like to think I was pretty good, but because I was 1 out of 140 students in my entire high school (9th through 12th grades), the competition was limited.

I loved sports — especially basketball. And while I was very confident in my ability, there were times when I would get into a shooting slump and my dad (a basketball coach) would tell me, “You are shooting to keep from missing rather than shooting to score,” or “You are playing to keep from losing instead of playing to win!”  He was right, I was playing timid and without confidence.  As soon as I would get my head straight, I’d get out of my slump, play aggressive, be a team leader and have fun.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to compete in team sports because I really do think athletics taught me some of my most valuable life skills — confidence and teamwork being two of them. However, I’d be lying if I said that I am confident all of the time.  In fact, I get a nervous stomach when I speak in public, teach an iGnite class, or hold an iGnite team meeting because…I fear saying the wrong thing, I fear not being liked and I fear not being perfect! Okay, there. I said it… and now I want to go throw up.

I recently began reading the book The Confidence Code, which I am suggesting for our summer read. I am only on page 22 and it already looks like a marked-up text book, filled with notes, underlines and highlights. It’s written by two female journalists and specifically covers women’s confidence, self-assurance — why we lack them more than men, and why that lacking keep us from speaking up, fully believing in ourselves and striving for everything we desire.

Because I am only on page 22, I have no idea what the solution is; however, what I can share with you are a few mind-blowing findings I’ve stumbled across thus far:

  1. Regardless of power, prestige, or position, every woman is guilty of: over-thinking, people pleasing, and an inability to let go of defeats
  2. Perfectionism: We assume somehow that we don’t have the level of expertise or knowledge needed and therefore we over-prepare, hesitate or simply don’t try. And women are only confident when we feel perfect.
  3. We Undersell Ourselves: We often keep our thoughts (which we decide can’t be that impressive) to ourselves.
  4. ‘Safe’ Syndrome: Rather than take a risk to experience victory, we stay in the safe zone to avoid defeat.
  5. Self Doubt and Setbacks: Men do experience self-doubt, but they shrug it off, have the ability to get restarted more quickly and don’t let setbacks linger as long. Women tend to dwell and examine those doubts in excruciating detail, which is paralyzing.

I can with confidence, say that I experience ALL of these myself to some extent!

Let’s face it, we women are emotional and complicated creatures as a result of many things — estrogen, how we were raised, life experiences, society, etc. I am certainly not suggesting that we should take the place of men, because I do think we are designed to play necessary key roles, but we must be aware of when our self-doubting, self-limiting and self-defeating tendencies arise so we can call them out and press on!

Confidence — what a loaded word. It’s complicated, but it’s ours to have and keep if we want it. By practicing confidence everyday, we will crack “the confidence code” and unlock our potential and ability to experience the many prizes that await us in life.  What do we have to lose?!

 

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