I talk to my clients about courage and bravery a lot. It’s not because potential clients approach me and say they want to be more courageous or braver, but rather because most of them tell me they want to feel more confident.
But if you want to grow your confidence, first you have to show courage. You have to try new things, gain experience with success and failure, and be kind to yourself regardless of your results.
Usually I have people experiment with something small that sounds reasonably fun that they don’t think they will be very good at. They go try the new thing, get so-so results, notice how much they still enjoy themselves, and watch what their self-talk is like. Because once you can be kind to yourself even when you get a bad result, then you have the confidence to take bigger risks.
But it’s not always doing a new thing. Sometimes it takes courage to stop doing an old thing: taking a break from over-working; letting go of relationships that no longer fit; moving on from an old hobby that’s no longer of interest; or saying “no” to something you would usually have said “yes” to.
For example, “no, I’m sorry I can’t help you with that because I have too much on my plate right now.” Or “no, I can’t come to your out-of-state wedding during the pandemic because I can’t put vulnerable family members at risk.” (What takes more courage than a “no?” One without any explanation!)
Saying “no” and stopping old behaviors that no longer serve you takes real courage. Leaving empty space can feel really scary – the unknown often is. What will come to fill that space? What if nothing does?! What will other people think?!!
What’s the brave thing you need to do? Do you need the courage to try something new or let go of something old? What’s something you could say “no” to that would serve you? (Bonus points for not explaining why you really are a good person!) How will you take care of yourself in the discomfort of trying something new?
You can do it! Be brave!
p.s. As always, your comments are welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching.