Posts in Courage

This happens to all of us. None of us are immune to these three things. Jealousy, Comparison and Discomfort.

  • You see someone doing something really well, stepping out, showing up or taking steps towards something exciting and it stings. You question their motives, pick holes in their methods, inwardly (or maybe outwardly) have a pop at their action. Jealousy.

  • You watch as someone launches a new thing that is really similar to your idea. You agonise over what they are doing because they are doing it in ways you hadn’t thought of or with seemingly more ease or traction. You follow closely, weigh up how your version of that thing isn’t as good or executed as well, sinking into feelings of being an imposter or worthlessness. Comparison.

  • You brew an idea for something, let it simmer and realise all the work that is ahead of you to make it happen. You maybe mention it to a few people, don’t get the responses you wanted and that sense of failure hangs close. You shut things down before you even begin. Discomfort.

But what if these three feelings don’t have to be enveloped in pain? What if they are guiding markers, leading us towards understanding something really true about ourselves?

I want to flip the idea that jealousy, comparison and discomfort are feelings that we should go into battle with and show how, if we frame them just a little differently, they can give us some solid information and motivation that will propel us into action instead of hiding and shutting ourselves away.

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No, this isn’t clickbait, I promise.

I have genuinely come to this conclusion:

There is no such thing as confidence.

For such a long time I bought into the idea that confidence is something that you can build or grow or develop. Now I’m not so sure.

There’s something that rattles me about the idea of “being confident” that I wasn’t able to pinpoint for ages. It felt like, particularly for women, that word was everywhere - orbiting around us on magazine stands and by-lines; pointing out what was missing: 

“12 Steps to More Confidence”

“Why Confidence is Your Biggest Career Asset”

“The Confidence Gap & How to Close It”

“The Key to Building Your Brand: Confidence”

It all sounds compelling.

“Of course! That’s what I need: more confidence.”

“When I get more of that, then I’ll be able to do the things that feel stretchy; then I’ll be able to put myself forward or share my ideas or step out of my comfort zone.”

Pursuit of confidence has become this holy grail achievement for women of the world who are interested in offering more.

But what if it’s not the holy grail?

What if confidence is simply not ‘a thing’?

What if it’s a myth that has us circling around and around and never actually taking any action because the markers for confidence are really murky? How will I know if I’m confident? What does it feel like to be confident? At what level of confidence will I be ready for X Y or Z? Who knows? It’s all a bit illusive.

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