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You don't need to be more confident

"If only I was more confident..." "When I'll be more confident then I'll..." "I know where I would like to grow career-wise, but lack the confidence" It's a common misconception that in order to achieve our goals, we first need to become more confident. In my coaching practice, I got to witness how this narrative holds many people back from pursuing their aspirations. When we believe that feeling confident is a prerequisite for doing things that scare us, we're telling ourselves that we need to eliminate self-doubt in order to move forward in life. This creates a vicious cycle - We wait to 'feel confident' (which rarely happens considering that self-doubt is a natural part of stepping outside our comfort zone), so we don’t do 'the thing’, which provides us with more evidence and reinforces the narrative that we’re 'not enough'. On the other hand, if we realise that people pursuing and achieving their dreams (career and beyond) struggle with self-doubt, if we embrace the idea that we don’t need to wait to feel any more confident than we feel right now, and if we understand that inner confidence is built by taking steps with the presence of self-doubt rather than the absence of it, then we have a path forward of growth, evolution, self-expression and fulfilment.

Instead of resisting self-doubt and judging ourselves for experiencing it, we're establishing a new relationship with it. This begins with recognising the voice of the inner critic that tells us we're 'not enough'. If you’ve been listening to your inner critic for far too long, it might be that you don’t even ‘hear’ it. You've become accustomed to it. You think it’s just part of who you are. I would like to invite you to explore that voice with curiosity. Bring awareness to when and why it’s speaking to you, and try to label it: “Oh, it’s my inner critic speaking to me”. This is how you can start separating between you and your inner critic. You become the observer, which gives you the power to hear but not to respond to the voice. Once you’ve developed more awareness, you can start practising seeing your inner critic for what it is - a safety instinct. A voice that shows up to protect you from failure and disappointment. It bullies you, so you shrink right back into your comfort zone. It’s important to remember that in an attempt to protect you, it also prevents you from experiencing growth, meaning and fulfilment. For this precise reason, we tend to hear the inner critic most loudly when we take leaps and pursue our deeply held desires. Which is why I say -- Your inner critic is not a sign to quit. More often than not, it’s a sign to show up and leap. When you remember all of this, you can remind yourself that even though your inner critic might sound convincing and very real, it doesn’t make it true. You can ask for a pay raise despite the inner-mean voice telling you: "Who do you think you are?" You can launch your business despite the inner-mean voice telling you that you don’t have what it takes. You can pursue a new career path despite the inner-mean voice telling you it’s too late. You can speak up despite the inner-mean voice telling you that everyone will laugh. You can show up for your desires despite your inner critic. And the more you do it, the more you'd establish a new more empowering pattern. You'll learn to operate with the voice of self-doubt. And, with time, you'll even learn to recognise it as a sign that there is something amazing waiting for you on the other side. Even if it’s scary. Even when you question your enoughness. I have experienced self-doubt more than once, in many different areas and situations in my life. A big one was when I became a coach and started my own business. Like every challenging thing I've done, the rewards seem so much greater when I stretch myself outside my comfort zone. When I let go of the story of 'people like me don't do things like this' or ‘everyone will laugh at me’ so many things became possible. So much in my life has opened up for me as I learned to make peace with the voice of self-doubt.

When you stretch yourself beyond your perceived ideas of what’s possible for you and step into something new — you will feel scared, not qualified enough, and not possibly ready. You will doubt yourself, question your abilities and try to talk yourself out of it. If, at that moment, you look your fears straight in the eye, step towards them, and do the thing anyway, you’ll find a new depth of courage and discover how ready you are. If you didn't wait to feel confident, what would you act on today?

Love, Naama


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