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Track your Courage, Find your Confidence

"What would I do if I had the confidence?" It’s a question I started regularly journaling the answer to for the past year. It’s made way for my vision coming to reality. A reality you’re a part of if you’re reading this.

Making my lists of what I'd do if I had the confidence, raises the bar, keeps me from playing small in this lifetime. From the lists come the (often daring) ladybug steps I’ve GOT TO TAKE to make my daydream a reality.

So I ask you: what would you do if you had the confidence? Now if you have all the confidence you need, rock on! If not, make a list! Then, read on to learn one of the steps I take and coach others to take to build their confidence.

You see, one of the common denominators among my clients is a desire for more confidence. Other common threads among my clients include: being high-achieving, earning a livelihood by helping others and having a thirst for learning and personal development. Additionally, my clients crave playing bigger in their lives, are ready to reconnect to dormant parts of themselves and/or wish to find and use their voice for greater good in relationships and the world. My clients often remind me of me at various points in my life.

Therefore, when I hear part of why my clients invest in coaching with me is to help them get, find or build their confidence, I get self-reflective (and emotional!) The ironic twist that a common denominator my clients perceive they can gain by working with me, i.e., confidence, is the very ‘something’ that eluded me for decades!

That’s right, despite looking like ‘I had it all going on’ throughout my life and career paths, I've really struggled with self-confidence, body confidence and confidence in my skills despite my lengthy list of qualifications, accolades, wins ... all the way into my 40s, and still sometimes now in my 50s!

What I’ve realized (and continue to realize) is:

  • Confidence isn’t a thing some people get, and others don’t.

  • Confidence is not a commodity that once you have it, it never depreciates. Rather, confidence is an investment that has to be reinvested to grow.

  • That said, confidence is also not an asset that if you lose it, you can’t get it back!

  • There is an infinite supply of confidence within us. In fact, it’s been there since we entered this world.

And ultimately, confidence is interdependent on courage.

Lemme explain.

First, let’s define some terms.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (n.d.), the word courage is made up of the Latin root, cor meaning ‘heart’ and agere, meaning ‘to set in motion, do or drive forward’. To me, this means, Courage is “doing daring heart moves”. Courage is being true to our hearts while pushing through doubt and fear. It is exercised in those heart-pumping moves we take, write, or speak even at the risk of failure, embarrassment, or criticism.

Confidence, is different. Confidence is inner trust, it’s “trust” in our worthiness, abilities, resources, and power. The word confidence comes from the Latin roots – com, which was assimilated to ‘con’ meaning ‘with’ and ‘fidere’ meaning ‘to trust’ (Online Etymology Dictionary, n.d.). Confidence is within us – it’s not based on anyone or anything outside us.

In my experience, what keeps you (us) from being confident is doubt.

Doubt, [from Latin dubitare, meaning ‘to question, hesitate, waver in opinion’] is the opposite of Inner Trust. Doubt, as much, if not more than fear, stops us in our tracks from being courageous or confident.

Given all that, my observation indicates, it takes courage to bypass doubt and feel, act or be confident.

That’s right, the only way to deal with doubt, is to ‘do the thing’, which leads me back to courage!

We have to make ‘daring heart moves’ even if we fear we’ll screw up, fumble, get criticized or embarrass ourselves to get beyond or through doubt and BUILD our Inner Trust, i.e., confidence. Then, yep, after that, we've banked more inner trust to make the next daring heart move.

Now, you might be thinking, “Great, now I don’t just need confidence, I need courage !?” [insert eyeroll emoji]


But, don’t despair!

Another observation I’ve made in myself and others is that we all have an innate (and I believe infinite) capacity for both!

We were all born with loads of courage and confidence!

Think about it, as little ones (think toddler time) we made all sorts of daring moves to explore our environments, even at the risk of harm AND we spoke our truth without fear of consequence.

Who knows which came first!

To build confidence (inner trust) we’ve got to use courage (daring heart moves). And to then do more daring heart moves (courage), we rely on Inner Trust (confidence). It’s like an infinity loop within all of us.