Okay, your logical minds caught me, courage doesn’t come before confidence in the dictionary, but in real life, it does. Recently, I posted a blog about how lack of confidence kept my startup wheels spinning and people were shocked when they found out. I received a mixed bag of feedback. First, they were shocked that I had courage to admit this when most people had no idea about my confidence struggle. Second, they asked what I was going to do now that I achieved a healthy confidence level. Third, some wanted to know why I confessed this truth.
Let’s break it down. I’ll start with sharing why the majority of people weren’t aware of my struggle. It was because I was able to mask my lack of confidence through courageous feats (convincing a high end hotel to sponsor me, landing exclusive interviews, leading seminars, etc.), but what they didn’t see was the backlash of these feats. Elongated fatigue and continual self-doubt.
I was on a crazy roller coaster ride of extreme, fun highlights followed by periods of lowlights and then a recovery period. After three years of this, I had enough and decided to strive for simplicity, harmony and momentum.
Much better and sustainable!
After this awesome ‘AHA’ confidence moment arrived, I was invited to attend OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp. American Express had plans to immerse female entrepreneurs in the three fundamental pillars, confidence, competence and connections, to unlock their full potential and grow their business.
I had already thought long and hard about shining more light on this common (yet not so talked about) confidence struggle, and once I saw that American Express was helping CEOs with confidence, I posted the spinning wheels blog. Sure, I was terrified not knowing the consequences or rewards of my actions, or if people would write me off once they found out my truth. And it was then, that I turned those swirls of doubt and uncertainty into certainty that I was the right person to lead up this discussion. I own my truth, understand how it kept me from moving forward and know I did an extensive inside job to fix it. After I put it out there, I felt a BIG sense of relief and I felt free. Truly free and full of possibility. Since I can say with healthy confidence that this struggle is behind me, I’m finally in a position to help others. Now, I’d like to build a bridge to healthy confidence for you. We’ll start with the first step, courage.
One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself from the inside (reality) and from the outside (perception).
Kathy Bass, The Branding Lady®
Since lions are supposed to be “The Kings of Beasts,” the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard’s gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.
Need help finding your courage and building your confidence? Join us at our next Power up! Workshop.
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
This blog post is dedicated to Jeanne.