Whenever I ask women what’s the biggest barrier to their success, the most common answer is: lack of confidence. Strongly related to that is fear of failure, of looking foolish, of losing everything. Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, we believe life would be so much better “if I only had the nerve”. [Side note: I played the cowardly lion in the 3rd grade. At that time it was oddly appropriate type-casting].
I know and admire a lot of women who are fearless. No, that’s not correct. They feel the fear and do it anyway. Yesterday I saw several of them which got me thinking about my own situation. Sometimes I power through my fear to take on challenges; other times, I succumb to it and stop myself from moving forward. Lately, I’ve been withdrawn. Part of the reason was a series of major computer problems which kept me preoccupied for months. Time, energy and attention usually directed at tweeting, blogging, consulting, and training were focused on getting all systems back up and running. Although those technical issues were finally resolved a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been stuck in limbo, feeling uncomfortable, afraid, to return to my old activities. That sense of- ‘whatever I don’t won’t be good enough’ had returned, sapping my confidence.
So here I am, getting back on track. These are the steps I am taking to regain my confidence, overcoming the internal resistance I had allowed to hold me back. I’m including links to articles, videos and books that I’ve found useful- hoping they’ll serve you as well.
- Change my self-talk from I can’t to I can (Shad Helmstetter, What to Say When You Talk to Yourself)
- Stop assuming everything I do must be perfect or close to it (Biali, 8 Mistakes that Hold You Back From the Life You Want)
- Expect to make -and benefit from- mistakes (Rowling, Fringe Benefits of Failure)
- Focus my attention on what is positive in my life. (Anderson, What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life)
- Let go of anything that is holding me back including ‘my story’, past experiences, beliefs that no longer serve me (LoVerde, The Invitation)
- Ask for help (Wise, Nine Secrets of Courage)
- Laugh every day (Beckman et al, Unconditional Laughter and Workplace Efficacy). – I’m looking into Laughter Yoga
- Sit and stand with confidence and strength (Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are)