What Makes You Feel Confident?
Running makes me feel confident.
Music pumping, heart racing, feet pounding the pavement.
Singing in between catching my breath, stretching my arms wide (taking up space, people), smiling and saying hello to people I pass (and in a mask I have no idea if they notice)
Running makes me feel like I can do ANYTHING.
Confidence: A Mind & Body Experience
Why does running make me feel confident? Lots of reasons I suppose:
- Endorphins. Chemicals that produce “feel good” sensations, naturally.
- Physical movement. Running gets me out of my thinking mind and into ACTION (We learn and build confidence in the DOING not the THINKING)
- Heavy breathing. If I don’t get winded, I’m healthy and most likely don’t have a heart condition or Covid. Breathing heavy makes me feel ALIVE.
- Experience. I’ve been running for 30 years and have run 5ks, 10ks, Half and full marathons. The successful completion of these races and miles reminds me what I’m capable of accomplishing. When I do the work.
Confidence is Fleeting
Last week, I told a colleague that I wanted to build the confidence to share my stand up comedy in my newsletter and on social media. (I’ve written jokes about networking, stay tuned!) She told me it gives her hope to see someone like me still struggle with confidence.
Here’s the thing. So often, especially as entrepreneurs and business leaders with a lot of ideas and things we want to do, we get stuck when trying something new.
You know, like second guessing our skills, abilities or credentials, promoting our own ideas or reaching out to connect with people we don’t know.
That’s why it’s important to have activities you engage in consistently to remind you of what you are capable of accomplishing.
Because when those negative thoughts creep in telling you you aren’t good enough or skilled enough you can remind yourself that you DO have what it takes. Because you’ve done hard work before.
Build Confidence One Step at a Time
When leading public speaking workshops, everyone wants to feel more confident. To get there, you have to speak. A lot.
Thirty years ago I didn’t start out by running marathons. I started by walking. Walking turned into a walk/jog. Then a steady jog. Then a faster pace and a longer distance.
And comedy? Well twenty years ago I bombed. 2 years ago I tried it again, more successfully. And since last June I’ve been writing 5 minutes worth of jokes every month (doesn’t sound like a lot but it is) in an online bootcamp.
One presentation at a time builds speaking confidence.
One step at a time builds running confidence.
One joke at a time builds comedy confidence.
What one step will YOU take to build confidence?
The Bottom Line
If you, like me, are constantly learning and trying new things, you might find your confidence ebbs and flows. That’s natural.
STOP LOOKING AT CONFIDENCE AS A STEADY STATE.
Instead keep taking action to build strength, stamina and skills.
And make sure you have an activity, the one that comes naturally and makes you feel confident, to remind you that you have what it takes, if you’re willing to do the work, one step at a time.
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About the blog
Insights & inspiration to make human interactions like speaking, networking, facilitating less awkward & boring and more natural & engaging.
Topics include presence, getting your message across, relationship building, staying poised under pressure, running a meeting, dealing with burnout and more.
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