I Don’t Believe in Confidence

Okay, I don’t believe in CONFIDENCE. Yep, you heard it right, I don’t believe in CONFIDENCE. If you have been on my website, you already know that to some degree because I am a little more blunt about my views on CONFIDENCE at www.DeliberateCareers.com. It is not that I don’t believe that it exists, but I don’t believe it is reliable, that you can count on it.

1. You can FAKE confidence.
2. You can SHAKE confidence.

After all, you can fake CONFIDENCE. We have all seen people who fake it, right? You know, that person who comes off as confident, talks way too much about themselves, believes that they are the best at everything they do, but really just gets on everyone’s nerves. We even have names for those people from the grade school lunchroom to the board room of the biggest company. Come on, you can say it. We say things like, “Here comes Ms. Know-it-All .” “Can you believe what that braggart said in the meeting?” “Isn’t she a smarty pants, or even a smart a_ _.” Therefore, CONFIDENCE is not something you can trust as a measure of how successful someone is or how accomplished someone will become. It isn’t that CONFIDENCE is a bad word, it has just been used in lots of misaligned ways. So, let’s break it down to the basics.

CONFIDENCE has Latin derivations that means “with trust or with persuasion”, it has to do with how you confide or show yourself to others. Many people come to me saying that they want coaching so that they can be more confident; they could do much more in their life and career if they just had CONFIDENCE. That is when I call foul. CONFIDENCE, the way it is typically used in conversation, is about the need to show or portray yourself in a certain way or persuade others to see you in a different way. So, if someone doesn’t get you, doesn’t take what you show them or confide in them well or in the way you intended, then that can really shake you up. It spurns you to act differently, to get a different reaction, to fit in, to impress, to thrive or survive in this environment. You start operating as if how you are is not enough or not right. That is where it gets backwards.

See, I believe that everyone is capable, whole and resourceful in a way that they can create a life they love. Yep, I said it and I mean it. I am talking about you and I am talking about myself. So if not CONFIDENCE, what is it I need to move forward? I say AWARENESS is the key. Awareness of where you are right now and where you want to go, the TRUE YOU, that is way more powerful than CONFIDENCE.

Who you are, your unique path, what you want and what you have to offer, is what you need to show others. When you get clear about that inner you, your “muchness” as the writer Lewis Carol called it, or your Core as my friend and fellow Career Coach, Jeff Fischer, says in his TEDx talk shown here. No matter what you call it, when you know what is truly important to you and about yourself, you can’t help but portray that to the world, because it is TRUE. I just call it Your TRUTH. Truth is another word that gets misused, but I will save the English lecture for now. For the moment, just entertain the idea that you have a Truth, purely within that is enough, is just right and is everything you are supposed to be. Check your breathing…How does it feel to have this idea of truth filling you up? When we realize that our thoughts create our beliefs and our beliefs create our actions, then how powerful are we when we create thoughts of ourselves as whole, capable people who are able to figure our lives out?

When people learn to be aware of that truth, first they have to set aside the notion that they are their titles- mother, father, daughter, sister, engineer, accountant, breadwinner, athlete, musician, employee or television host. These are all temporary states of being. Each change with time and in the world of work and careers these titles change more frequently than ever before, with current college graduates expecting to change careers, not jobs, every 4 ½ years according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. If you have a need to change jobs or the need to is thrust upon you, you need an anchor and that anchor needs to be Your Truth. You need to be aware of who you are and what makes you unique, “warts and all” as my mom says. That is what you will find about successful people, they always know where they are, what they want and where they want to be.

So, what happens when you get very aware of Your Truth. People start noticing Your Truth. You don’t have to be confident, you just have to be aware of it first, then you learn to stand on Your Truth and express it in ways that make sense to the people that need to be near This Truth. Think of it as a spring of clear water that benefits the people around them and forms a relationship that is vital. I once worked with a well-paid sales person whose company changed its product so that it was no longer aligned with her Truth. It was a great source of misery and she didn’t know how to move beyond the current situation. Although she knew exactly what her Truth was, the piece that was missing was the expression of who she was in a clear way, like the clear spring, that bonded her with those that she needed to have vital relationships with. Once she got the words to flow, the relationship and the job offers came to her, one of which she had to turn down….Amazing. She planted it, seeded it in a place that she could grow, where she could make the difference that she wanted to make in the world.

Some people are repelled maybe, because your truth is not what they are seeking or that they can’t accept how Your Truth fits in with their ideas of what is true to them. That is okay. There is room for all of us. We have just gone through a presidential election. The mud-slinging and opinions, he-said/she-said was rampant. I even engaged in some political banter with my Mom. We both hold a Truth for our family’s well-being in the areas of health, education and equal treatment among genders, but we disagreed which presidential candidate stood with us in our Truth. This doesn’t mean that either of us needs to change or that we won’t pass the butter to each at our next meal together around the dining room table. It just means we differ politically and we accept that about each other. We are cool with each other in that way. However, that is not always the case when you find and express what Your Truth is.

When I changed from teacher and counselor to coach and business owner, there have been people who have rejected my ideas, asked what am I thinking, why would I give up a steady paycheck to start a business? That is okay…..they don’t get it, they don’t get me. I often have clients who have career dreams that have nothing to do with the family business, their past experience or the degree hanging so proudly on their wall…..I have to remind them that “just because you are good at something, doesn’t mean you have to do it.” There are lots of things that you can be good at that wouldn’t bring you joy if you did more of it. I have a client who likes to iron. It is simple, you have immediate results and it is repetitive, like how meditation, mantra’s and runner’s high can be. However, we laughed at the thought of doing it all day, every day as a major portion of your job…nope not ideal. I have a client who loves taking photos and she is incredible with details and loves to give them as gifts and mementos, but when she was required recently to take photos for a recent event, with a strict turnaround time, it was no longer fun or rewarding and took the joy of giving out of it. Although, she has considered being a professional photographer, she can’t quite picture it at this time. Pun intended. Through coaching, we could explore and even get beyond the participant’s fears about being paid for what she loved to do, instead of giving her photos away as gifts. However, coaching is about the client’s goals and time will tell if this is her goal.

So, some of the people who don’t get you may “evaporate” or take on a lesser role than they currently hold in your life. Many people will ask you why you are doing whatever you are doing. That is okay. Just be aware of trying to prove anything to them. That can get you in quite a pickle…imagine having an iron in one hand and a camera in the other. Yes, that is a funny image, but one that shows you how easy it is to get bound up. Then there are those that will support you unconditionally, your cheerleaders, who will always stand by you.

So, how do you find your Truth? Well, that is what we start with every time we think about what is really important to you……With my private clients and in my workshops, we start with what we value most……

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Email: deanne@deliberatecareers.com