Unshakeable confidence – yeah right!

Throughout the past 18 months I’ve been pushing myself into foreign territory. This is the foreign landscape outside of my consulting room and into the land of learning new skills. I’ve been continuously changing and directing myself to harder challenges both personally and professionally.

I’ve written and published a book on relationships as well as writing and filming an online relationship course. I’ve been interviewed for the newspapers, podcasts, online publications like Mamamia, some stints on TV. I joined a business group where I’ve shared my hardest stuff – the parts I wanted to keep hidden that lurked and festered in the background.

None of these were easy at first. Not one. But I grew some muscles and confidence along the way.

Do I have unshakeable confidence?

Absolutely not! It’s laughable to me. Unshakeable confidence as a concept is a load of nonsense to me.

In interviews I can hear my voice quiver even if no one else can. I can see the tension in my jaw or notice I’m nodding too often or telling the interviewer “What a great question you’ve asked!” These are my tells.

In this foreign landscape I force myself to face my fears – sometimes they’re pretty terrifying. I’ve faced tech challenges which can cause me to dissolve like the green wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. I have a fertile mind that can imagine the multitude of ways I can fall on my face or reveal my inadequacies. I’ve created elaborate stories of my undoing, whether it be a coughing fit, the incorrect or stupid response, or even worse – freezing. Actually freezing is not the worst – The worst is the… (insert scary music) the cancel culture.

So why do I bother to do this at all?

I keep pushing and moving because I am on a mission and driven by my incredible purpose. It’s why I get up and do what I do every single day. Whenever I’m faced with a new skill or situation, I can have shakeable confidence. So I work with myself to face my fears and talk myself down. I remind myself that there are people suffering in their homes, in their workplaces, or with their friends. This has a knock on to their physical and mental health.

We have a mental health crisis in Australia and across the world, with so many therapists fully booked and with long waiting lists. Backing out means I won’t be able to do something about it. I want to be part of the solution. So, my purpose is so much bigger than me as an individual.

As humans, we each have our own unique relationship with ourselves, friends, family, and the world we live in. We will have some talents and some weaknesses. We will stumble and we will fly. We will piss people off and we will be honoured. We may evoke envy and we will stoke some pride.

We don’t need to pretend we’re awesome in all domains of life. I’m certainly not, and I can guarantee you’re not either.

So, you may have a story of imposter syndrome. Yeah – ok, so put on your rollerblades and get going with shakeable confidence. Let your voice wobble! See if you freeze, cough or even vomit. Whatever, wherever, however. Test your knowledge and skill, share your experiences, become a mentor, have awkward conversations with yourself and others, and share your wisdom that you’ve accumulated through life on this incredible planet.

Seek your purpose. Don’t live in the land of “I wish…” or “If only…” Make it big and hairy. Here’s mine – “To ease suffering so that all creatures can thrive”. If you like it, it’s yours. Do it your way or do it with me or join an organisation your aligned with.

Step into it in any way you want. But first we all need to stop the nonsense of pretending any of us have unshakeable confidence. We all shake and we all fear. We are biologically wired like this. Stop bowing at the altar of imposter syndrome and start to call it what it is – an imposter story. Close the book. Don’t let a story paralyse you.

Take a small step, and another and another… and see what happens.

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