I coached a fellow coach yesterday who said she wanted to leave the session with enough confidence to do x, y, and of course…z.
We started exploring.
What’s your definition of confidence? What does it look/sound/feel like?
When in your life have you been truly confident?
How much confidence have you decided you need before you can take action? On a scale from 1 to 10?
She told me about her career as a teacher. She studied education for seven years and then jumped into teaching kids, year after year after year. She said when she stood up and taught a classroom she knew who she was and what she was doing.
I reflected back: “It sounds like you gained tremendous confidence after learning and practicing something for many years…And now you’d like that same level of confidence with something you’ve only just started.”
We explored further.
She explained that as a teacher, she could provide the answers, but as coaches our job isn’t to give away solutions but to help others discover the solutions they already have access to.
She had an insight: “When I’m coaching, I’m not the teacher. Life is the teacher. I’m just supposed to be with them in that space where they can learn their own lessons.”
“Holy fuck,” I said. “That’s awesome!”
When I asked her what her biggest takeaway was, she responded without pause: “I don’t need to worry about confidence. I need to focus on authenticity. I’ll show up as me and practice until I get really good at everything I want to do. The confidence will come.”
Sheeeeesh. I wanted to her hug through my laptop screen.
This was such a lovely example of overcoming one of the most powerful stories we tell ourselves: I need more confidence so that I can…
Don’t get me wrong, confidence is amazing. The flow that comes from a belief in oneself can be euphoric. But it’s not a prerequisite for taking action, it’s a byproduct.
Natural talent is fun, but most of our confidence comes from doing something a lot and getting better at it. When we think we need more confidence what we really need is more practice.
Just jump in. The confidence will come.