Thursday, May 29, 2014

Situationally Specific Confidence

As people, particularly people on a journey of personal development, we are growing and improving continually. As Tony Robbins, and many others have stated, if you're not growing, you're dying. 

I started my entrepreneurial journey in January 2006. As I grew my first business, my confidence grew. My personal confidence, my professional confidence, my confidence in my future self, my public speaking confidence, my training confidence. I found myself in one situation after another that was scary, but once I worked through it, became rewarding and even fun. 

But life isn't linear, and the road we are on is seldom straight. In that same business, I experienced challenges with my business growth and more impactfully, with leaders I had viewed as mentors and colleagues I had viewed as friends. Feeling like the unpopular girl in high school once again, I began my retreat. At first, it was so slow, I almost didn't notice. I certainly denied it was happening, to those around me and most importantly to myself. 

Here's the funny thing, at this same time, as my professional confidence was eroding, my athletic confidence was exploding. I ran my first marathon, then my second. I completed my first triathlon, at the Olympic distance. I entered the dirty and physically challenging world of mud and obstacle racing and advanced from the Warrior Dash to the Super Spartan race. 

I also built amazing friendships in a circle that I hold great passion, esteem and love for. A group of people that I respect and enjoy. I get to be one of the cool kids when I'm with them. I advanced to the "in crowd".

I observe, in hindsight as we often do, that I didn't lose my confidence, though I thought so at the time, rather I shifted it to another aspect of my life. We often view people from a distance that seem confidant in one way or another and we assume that they are fully, 100% confidant and competent in all aspects of their life. I wager they are not. How often have you heard an interview with a celebrity who shares something they are really bad at, something maybe even close to what they are known for. Like an athlete who is a terrible dancer, or a public speaker who can't sing in key. 

Working with an amazing coach, she saw my loss of professional confidence and the effect it was going to continue to have on my business and worked with me to take a huge leap in a totally new direction and start Chicago Over 40 Females. WOW has that been amazing. Over the past year my confidence has grown exponentially. I feel loved and respected and recognize those are very important things to me. 

And last fall, I took the leap to resign my leadership position with my direct sales company and shift into a new company. Totally new in every way. It has been amazing, uplifting, and successful. But, this week, I've observed another strange phenomenon in my confidence. I lack the confidence in my role and my connections in this business in an insidious way. Where I have no qualms about talking to anyone about Over 40 Females, in any profession, at any level, asking them for any level of sponsorship or involvement, I find I have some silo'd areas where I have that same confidence in my new business. 

If we're not growing, we're dying, right? 

As I move into the 2nd half of 2014, I embark on yet another facet of building my self-confidence, and learn to accept and embrace that it doesn't always apply in all situations.

How about you? Do you find there are areas of your life where you are confident, and others where you wish you were? I'd love to hear about it!  

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