Eh, then again, maybe I won’t…
If it’s been awhile since you challenged yourself, accomplished a goal, or stepped out of your comfort zone, you may be feeling safe, but also not very energized or confident.
Comfort zones keep us – well, comfortable. They’re like sitting with a cozy blanket and slippers on the couch watching TV.
The longer we remain comfortable, the harder it is to throw off the blanket, get away from the couch, and do something difficult, challenging, or even different.
And it’s sooooo comfortable on the couch…. Why bother doing something difficult, different or challenging?
Challenge, courage, and confidence
Beyond just broadening your horizons, those difficult or challenging experiences, and the action we take during them, plant the seeds for confidence.
Confidence is defined as an awareness of one’s own powers. It’s not so much a belief, but a knowledge that you are fully capable. It’s the difference between saying, “I think I can” and “I know I can.”
Imagine you are about to give a presentation, and instead of saying to yourself, “I’m pretty sure I’ll do OK,” you think, “I’ve got this.”
In order to have this feeling or knowledge, most of us need some evidence that proves to ourselves that we are fully capable. That evidence comes from prior experiences.
In this way, confidence is a feeling that is created by action. And not just any action, but action that is challenging or difficult.
And this kind of action involves courage, as courage is the ability to do something that you know is difficult.
When you know something is going to be difficult or challenging, but you choose to do it anyway, you invoke courage. It’s the opposite of the cozy blanket on the couch. It’s not easy, it’s not comfortable, and you’re not sure if you’ll succeed, but you go for it anyway.
This is the very type of action – courageous action – that is a building block for confidence.
Quick exercise to tap into your confidence
You can tap into your confidence muscle now quickly – don’t worry, no sky-diving or public speaking involved.
Simply think back to a time in which you did something that made you feel proud and that required courage. This could be something you did as recently as last week, or something you did many years ago, even as a child.
Take a couple of minutes to dig this courageous, proud experience out of your memory banks. Really take yourself back to the scene, what you saw and felt, what you did, and the people who were there.
Now grab a pen and paper, and answer these questions:
- What were the challenges or obstacles you overcame?
- Why did you bother to overcome those obstacles? That is, what was important to you about doing what you did?
- What did you learn about yourself?
Now that you know you can successfully meet an important challenge, it’s time to take that knowledge and apply it to your next challenge. Continue to build the evidence and your confidence muscle.
What action will you take?
What will your next courageous action be?
What will you do even though you may fear rejection or failure?
“Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
Post a courageous comment or pass this post along to a friend who might be wanting to step out of the comfort zone!
Photo by Andrew Branch at unsplash.com.