Confidence – “the feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities”
Sounds simple, doesn’t it!
All I have to do is appreciate my abilities or qualities and I’ll have the self-assurance I need to do all the things I want to do in order to live the life I want to live… To be the leader I want to be, the person I want to be, the parent I want to be, have the job I’d love to have, lose the weight I need to lose, live where I want, feel happy… And so the list goes on!
We all know the reality is different and that there are many times when the gap between knowing and doing seems too big…. Times in our lives when we are anxious; when we judge ourselves; when the pain and challenges we face feel insurmountable and we become overwhelmed and sometimes incapacitated.
Dr. Russ Harris, in his book, “The Confidence Gap”, writes of a time like this. He reminds us of the ‘Port Arthur Massacre’ in 1996, where thirty-five people were horrifically slaughtered. Russ shares his experience of listening to Walter Mikac, who lost his wife and two daughters in the massacre, speak about the unthinkable horrors he faced.
Walter Mikac’s story brings us hope… As do the stories of many others such as Rosie Batty, who lost her son Luke at the hands of his father. Their experiences and subsequent actions give us the hope that even in the face of pain and challenge and a huge reality gap, where what we want most is impossible, we can still make choices to live according to what’s important to us… Our values. Both Walter and Rosie leave a wonderful legacy in their work supporting victims of violence.
Thankfully, most of us won’t face the horrific reality of Walter Mikac and Rosie Batty. We will however, all face the realities of pain, grief, suffering and challenges; we will all have reality gaps that feel, and often are, unbridgeable and we will all need to make difficult decisions about the way we want to live our lives.
Here’s the good news!
You don’t need to get rid of your pain or fake it ’til you make it’ or feel confident ‘in order to act. Instead, you can learn to handle life’s challenges, pain, fear and anxiety and act in an effective way helping you to be the person and leader you want to be, living and moving towards the life you want. This in turn helps others around you become the leaders they want to be, living the lives they aspire towards
As a leadership coach I use Acceptance and Commitment coaching and training (ACT) to help leaders work towards:
- accepting discomfort, rather than trying to avoid it
- responding effectively to challenges; living in the present moment
- developing self-compassion
- noticing, naming and ‘unhooking’ from negative thoughts
- identifying what they are passionate about, setting realistic goals and
- taking action guided by their strengths and most important values.
If you want to build the strength and skills to deal with challenging situations and people by developing a mindset of psychological flexibility and develop genuine confidence, contact me on sallybettsconsulting.com.au.