Confidence: The Struggle and the Grace to Overcome
If you ever think that something looks easy or will be easy, you might want to remind yourself it may be a little bit more difficult than you think. That is where I found myself as I sit down to write this blog on “Confidence.” When I first agreed to write this blog, I thought that should be an easy one – we all know what confidence is, what it looks like, and what it sounds like – so how hard could it be?
So, I started writing and now find myself three (3) weeks into the writing process with deadlines looming. I’ve got plenty of ideas on confidence and yet I am struggling to put them down for people to read. My own confidence took a little dip, while writing this piece, and yet sticking with the process and providing myself some time to reflect on my thoughts I persevered. And perhaps it is those moments of reflection that allow us all to create our own sense of confidence.
Confidence has been defined as full trust; belief in powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing; with a secondary definition as a belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; and assurance. When I reflected on the people I have confidence in, I noticed that I tended to categorize them – as those I would trust with the lives of my loved ones, those I trust with my professional advancements, or those I would trust with my personal information. Sometimes, the lines are blurred but mostly they are created around the ability of those people to do their jobs well and meet joint expectations.
So, the next question arises about confidence and the idea of self-confidence and why this thought put me in a bit of a conundrum. I am confident in my ability to develop course material, and training material either that I have developed, or material designed by others. I am confident that my delivery will be well received, and people will find their own application of the material. Yet stepping out into a different medium, reaching out to a different audience, and not being exactly sure of my expectations made me more hesitant and unsure. I didn’t want to let the team down, didn’t want their opinion of me as a professional to be impaired, or a half-of-dozen other thoughts ran through my head.
Agreeing to write a blog was a great exercise for me in expanding my confidence. What I have learned is that we can all become complacent in how we see ourselves, our talents, and our strengths. That complacency can stop us from accomplishing many of our goals, both small and large because we are afraid to believe in our own abilities. So, as I continue to step out and have more faith in myself, I’ve decided that as I try new tasks, I will remind myself of coaching methods used to increase confidence and competence. I will recognize during new tasks that I am a novice – in doing that task as a novice I need to focus on developing my competency which means I will need instruction and support. In classes, I instruct to let people learn in an environment where they continue to realize they provided value to their organizations and teams. And I am going to start applying that principle to myself as well. I am going to believe in my abilities and continue to ask for guidance from those I have confidence in. I will give myself both constructive and positive feedback to continue developing confidence in myself and when those thoughts of, “I should do this better,” pop into my head – I am going to start reminding myself of what I tell others “None of us are perfect – learn and move forward.” And I hope that you will use that same grace with yourself. And if I have confidence that you can do this – you should have the same confidence or more in yourself.
About the Expert
Cheryl Grazier is the Principal of Cheryl Grazier Consulting LLC and has over 20 years of business experience in both the public and private sector as a trusted advisor in the areas of culture change, strategy implementation, program management, team and leadership development. Cheryl has worked in a variety of industries, including communications, government agencies, governmental contracting, and real estate.
She is particularly passionate about developing people skills and leadership capabilities for individuals.
- Cheryl holds a Master of Science in Instructional Design from Walden University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
- She also holds several industry certifications including MBTI, DiSC, and FIRO-B.