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It’s Not About Your Self-Confidence

Do you believe that you aren’t confident? That you lack confidence about something?

And is this lack of confidence is holding you back?

Well I can believe that your BELIEF about your lack of confidence is holding you back, but I DON’T believe for one second that you are lacking in something or are deficient, and I’m going to tell you why.

The mistake you are making is that you draw a conclusion about what happens when you come up against UNCERTAINTY.

As soon as you are uncertain, you think its because there is something deficient in you. 

Do you really believe that when everyone else encounters uncertainty, that they just breeze through without doubting themselves?

You meet the limits of what you know, and out beyond that is a whole lot of very uncomfortable terrain. But the thing that is really uncomfortable about all this is your uncertainty. Once you’ve crossed it, you know what to expect and you can get a bit more comfortable — if you make it that far without giving in to your fear of the unknown and diving back to what you already know.

So how do you work with that?

First of all, let’s make sure you aren’t thinking you are somehow at fault. I repeat this so you can take the personal out of it.

And then, understand that uncertainty is a necessary and inevitable part of the cycle of creativity: when you do something new, when you create something new, you cannot anticipate what is going to happen.

You have to instead build a new capacity in yourself that the poet Yeats called Negative Capability: the ability to stay indefinitely in uncertainty without grasping for answers or going backwards to safe shores. (I paraphrase).

If you can get good at being uncertain WITHOUT letting that undermine your self-confidence or self-worth, then you have separated out what are actually two different functions: your worthiness as a human being, and inevitable uncertainty when doing or creating something new.

You can then develop more objectivity about what is happening.

And, the cool thing is, you can use the uncertainty as a navigational tool. If that is what you are experiencing, then you know you are stepping out into a realm of risk and also opportunity. You’ve left the near shore of “life as usual”, and stepped into the boat to leave on a bit of an adventure.

It is only there that your life can actually change, that new things can happen, new opportunities can come, and you learn new things that change the course of your life.

I’m afraid those kinds of things don’t happen if you stay safe. (You know that already)

Uncertainty is something to expect if you want to be more creative with your life, and with your contribution in the world. So make friends with the fear that arises; it’s how you build your muscle of courage!

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