Even if you’re not, pretend to be.”
I love today’s quote about being brave. I originally saw it under the image of a goldfish swimming with a shark fin attached to its back (didn’t include it here to avoid copyright issues). Imagine, a little fish in a big pond faking people out by appearing to be bigger and stronger than he/she actually was. It made me laugh – and then think.
Isn’t that what we need to do sometimes?
You’ve been without a job for months and have lost confidence in yourself and your worth. You’ve started a new business and just can’t seem to get the revenue stream going. You want to advance to a higher position in your current company but hesitate because you’re afraid you don’t have all the qualifications or think the powers that be won’t consider you for it. You don’t try something new because you know you’re not going to be very good at it at first (like agreeing to be in a golf scramble foursome when you’ve never golfed before (me!)).
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “fake it til you make it.” I personally don’t like feeling like a fake. Instead, I like to think of it as “acting as if, until it becomes natural.”
Being brave takes practice.
I had to be brave to do the videos some of you may have seen. Hand me a microphone and let me speak to a group and I’m fine. But put me in front of a camera – Yikes! Unfortunately, the only way out is through. I’ll have to keep practicing doing videos, daring to fail, until I get comfortable doing them.
The funny thing is, that being brave in one area translates to the rest of your life. You practice being brave, taking a chance, in one circumstance and it leads to more confidence in other areas.
So if you need help with this, here are 5 tips to get you started:
- Start listening for and noticing what your “inner critic” is telling you – that voice in your head saying you aren’t good enough. Usually, we’ve gotten so used to hearing that voice that we don’t even realize it’s there. Start paying attention and remember that your inner critic lies to you! Think of what it’s costing you, in terms of missed opportunities, when you listen to your critic. Hear what it’s saying and then choose to act anyway.
- Make a list of your strengths, abilities, and talents. Don’t be shy about this. Come up with as many as you can (at least 20 strengths, for example). Ask others for input if necessary. Sometimes, others see what we bring to the table better than we do. Read this list over and over until you really get clear on how valuable you truly are.
- Now make another list, this time of what you’d really like to do or have – a bucket list. Again, be as complete as possible. Don’t judge, just list all ideas that come to mind. Then prioritize them and start going for what you want.
- Give yourself permission to not be perfect – ever, but certainly not at first. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time! We get better with each effort. Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” I think she was right.
- Remember that good-hearted people all around you want you to succeed. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help and support. On the flip side, become someone known for encouraging others when they step out of their comfort zones. Seeing other people take a chance, and helping them succeed, will benefit you as much or even more than them.
If you would like more help developing (or regaining) the confidence you need get ahead, let’s talk.